Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Dolls as role models

I used to love playing with my Barbie dolls as a little girl, and so when my daughter was reaching doll stage, I turned to Barbie! What a shock to see the new Barbie dolls,  with more make up and thinner curves then I seemed to remember! My Barbie was more sedate in recollection, or is my memory wrong?
 It set me to think about dolls as role models for our girls, and how some girls have taken this to the extreem. Read recently about the current craze in Ukraine for teenage girls to  undergo plastic surgery to ressemble as closely as possible a Barbie, with some odd results!
When I looked at other current dolls, I liked the look of them but they all seem to revert to the traditional wellbehaved little girl look, see Kathe Kruse ( german make); Corolle (french make) and Mariquita Perez (Spanish make). It seems difficult for doll makers to model real girls, but what messages are we giving to our daughters?Are we teaching them about fashion?  In which case my daughter will say to me, that I am definitely not following Barbie fashion!
Another odd thing with dolls, is that it is actually very difficult to get boy dolls, which was not the case some decennia before? Are we stimulating girl power, and a matriarcal culture? Perhaps with society so much in confusion nowadays, we ought to rethink what kind of dolls we present to our children.