A couple of days ago, the kids and I were in a department store. Youngest likes dolls, so they soon wandered off to see the newest additions they're bringing in for Christmas. Shortly after, they came back to me and dragged me over in disbelief. There was a new Cher doll out - and it actually looked like Cher! What an amazing concept.
Now, when I was a kid, Barbie (TM) was the epitome of everything wrong with toys for girls. She was unrealistically formed, with gigantic breasts, minuscule waist, and deformed hips (though that, at least, could be blamed on the need to attach the movable legs). Then she had all that sexy clothing. She was also promoting a consumerist lifestyle, with houses and cars and toy boys (Ken's gone now, apparently). The list of all the terrible things Barbie (TM) taught our girls was quite long. Personally, as I kid, I hated dolls. I preferred interlocking bricks (no Lego (TM) back then - am I dating myself?), and cars - or better yet, running around outside and playing with sticks. Did you know that you could make a really neat whip that snapped most satisfyingly with a stick and some bale twine? But dolls? Nope. I sneered at those. They were "girl stuff" and I hated girl stuff, whether in toys, clothes or the behavior expected of me.
My kids are a lot more opened minded about such things than I was. *L* They were as comfortable playing with dolls as they were with their tool kits (they each had their own), play houses or cars. My only restrictions were with make up. No toy make up. That stuff is gross. If they were going to have make up, it would be the same stuff that's sold for grown ups.
So it's been interesting to see how they are responding to the dolls that are available to girls today. Barbie (TM) is now pretty much the most realistic, classy doll available right now! The latest Bratz (TM) dolls and their imitators now dominate the shelves, and the girls find them disgusting. The heads are gigantic and misshapen. The faces look deformed. The bodies make Barbie (TM) look realistic. Then there's the clothes and accessories - talk about skank!! They exude a sexiness that's crude, blatant and disturbing.
With what's on the market right now, I'm happy that Youngest prefers the elegant and beautiful Barbie (TM) and friends over the others that are available now.
Man, have things changed.