Barbies and 3 and 4 Year Olds

Updated on January 22, 2012
J.V. asks from Chicago, IL
36 answers

My daughter will be 4 in March. She has never been all that interested in dolls, but for her bday I decided to get her some Fairy dolls (she is obsessed with flying and Fairies). In any case, all of her friends are playing with fashion barbies, etc.

Does anyone else think it's inappropriate for 3 and 4 year olds to be playing with fashion barbies? Here is my thinking: 3 and 4 year old girls do not need to be introduced to the world of high fashion and appearance obsession. They should be exploring their imaginations and creativity. High heels and fancy skirts don't count as creative to me. We love Fancy Nancy books, and my SIL painted my daughter's nails at xmas time, so I'm not "oh no stay away from all of that."

I loved Barbie as a kid, and played with my 18 Barbies till I was close to 10. I know girls are growing up faster nowadays (I am almost 40), but is it because we, as mother's, have decided to introduce them to things that should be left for older girls? I know part of it is cousin influence (since the 6 year old cousin has a Barbie, I want one!), but what is our responsibility as women to raising strong, smart and creativity ladies, as opposed to appearance obsessed fashionitas?

I worry about what we are teaching our young girls when the only real toy options for preschoolers are high fashion dolls. At least boy toys teach cause and effect, gravity, the laws of motion, how to build things, etc. What does Barbie teach? Attracting Ken? Being pretty?

Please help me see why letting preschoolers play with Barbie isn't that big of deal.

Edited to add: I have a son. My daughter plays with his toys, and he loves dolls! My daughter mostly builds and plays trains.

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So What Happened?

Sure, imagination is used, it's a toy, but what kind of imagination? With my daughter's fairy obsession, we've learned about astronauts (they fly) and lots of other really cool things. Not sure how one can do such extension learning with a Barbie, and no way in hell is my daughter having a Vet Barbie that looks like a slut. For me, this isn't just about self-esteem. I'm not worried about that stuff, it's the smallness of Barbie, the limitedness of what values she represents.

Of course I'm overthinking it, everything we expose them to teaches them what to value.

Featured Answers

T.N.

answers from Albany on

This is like the 'playing guns' question from yesterday.

My answer is the same kinda thing. If young girls were REALLY that influenced by 'playing barbie' the entire female population would be oversexed and underdressed.

I think it's ok, I really do.

:)

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My granddaughter has played with Barbie for years. She has no idea what I am talking about when I ask her questions about how Barbie looks or how she dresses. It's a doll, people decide how her appearance is translated.

Kids do not see toys the way an adult does. It's a doll they can dress that looks like a real person.

My granddaughter just this year decided to play with a different doll, she wanted LaLa Loopsy's for Christmas. It had an abnormal head size and a tiny body. Should I be concerned that she'll start thinking her head is too small? Or that a normal body is too big?

Grownups interpret all kinds of stuff that the kids just see as toys.

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

my reason for not giving Barbies to kids that young is different - until they can dress and undress that type of doll *I* am the one doing the work and since I don't want to play Barbie, I don't buy them till the kid is at least 6 and has the ability to work the clothing.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Barbies are just toys. I think you are WAY over thinking it. Your daughter will be MUCH more influenced by you and the other women role models in her life than she will be by a pretty doll.
For what it's worth my oldest daughter had a friend whose parents would not allow her to play with Barbies, they even put it on birthday invitations, "please no Barbie gifts, we don't find them appropriate for our daughter." That girl is now sixteen, totally goth, pierced all over and going to an alternative high school after flunking out of two others.
I'm not saying it's because she wasn't allowed to play with Barbies, I'm just saying it's not the TOYS that make the child, it is the environment and family in which they are raised, not to mention the child's inherent temperament and personality :)

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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

Well, Barbie is downright wholesome compared to some of the other dolls out there (Bratz, Monster High).

I didn't play with Barbies at all as a kid (just wasn't into them) and I was going to try to avoid them for my daughter (age 4) for all the same reasons that you listed, but then last year she discovered one at a friend's house and had the best time with it. No changing clothes or hanging out with Ken, just carrying her around, taking her to the beach, etc. She started asking for one of her own so finally for her 4th b-day, I got her one, and since then, she's gotten a couple of others from a friend of ours who is a Barbie fanatic (as in, collects them and never takes them out of the box).

Interestingly, she does not play with them hardly at all, now that she has some of her own. She's more into puzzles, building things, art, etc. She also has some Ariel and other Disney princess dolls and they are built the same way.

They do have Barbies in various careers, apparently to show that girls can be anything. Our friend did get us the veterinarian Barbie of course (though I found it annoying that pediatrician Barbie actually looks like a doctor in a white coat, while veterinarian Barbie still looks like a slutty candy striper).

If girls have body image issues, it's not all because of Barbie. You are her first role model - if she sees you obsessing about weight and appearance, talking about being fat or dieting, etc., then that is what she is going to pick up on. The media (TV, fashion magazines, etc.) is a culprit too. If she starts begging for a Barbie and you refuse to let her have one, will you be creating more of an issue than you are trying to prevent?

Right now I am focused on my daughter having a healthy body image by just talking about what are healthy foods that make you strong, and what are sometimes foods that are yummy treats. She also started doing gymnastics last year and loves it, and now is asking to try out ballet. Activities like gymnastics, dance, karate, etc. are all about having strong bodies and being proud of what you can do with them. Girl Scouts could be helpful too. I figure if I've done my job, a Barbie doll is not going to undo all that.

My cousin grew up playing with Barbies and was excited when her own daughter was old enough to have Barbies too. She figured they would play with them together like she used to. Instead those Barbies ended up being driven around in Tonka trucks (her daughter has an older brother) and blown up in army battles and thrown off of buildings. Go figure.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

okay - take a deep breath. you are going overboard on this - in my opinion.

it's a DOLL. It helps a child USE THEIR IMAGINATION!!! They set scenes and use their imagination to play. You are all wrapped up in the "fashion" aspect and forgetting that they are using their IMAGINATIONS.

My daughter was into Barbie's for all of a flash in time. I don't understand why you are caught up in the fashion part. Watch your daughter play with them. LISTEN to how she plays. You might find out you are way over thinking it.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Self esteem comes from much more than a piece of plastic, no matter how pretty that plastic may be. I know many adults who never touched a Barbie and struggle with self esteem issues. We are a beauty obsessed culture. We are inundated with perfect beauty and flawless bodies. They are everywhere. I am far more worried about our celebrity culture and that fact that everywhere you turn there is someone telling you how to be prettier, better, skinnier, etc. How many fashion and beauty segments do you see on morning news shows each week? Now compare that to how many segments on fostering positive self esteem, or increasing your brain power? I feel like THAT is our fight for our daughters, not a doll.

There are many positives that come from playing with Barbies. First , it develops fine motor skills. Dressing and undressing Barbie takes coordination. Ever put on Barbie shoes? It's no easy task.

Barbie also encourages pretend play. Social skills are practice during these scenarios - sharing, cooperation and problem solving. This smaller world can also help children work through scenarios they are dealing with in their own lives. You can learn a lot when you listen in on imaginative play.

My daughter got Barbie squinkies that came with a little car. Over Christmas break her and her brother took her car and some of his hot wheels and created a track around his room that included a ramp that shot the cars into the living room. If that isn't teaching laws of motion, I don't know what it is.

I have no problems with my son playing Barbies with my daughter. The stories and games change drastically, but he is getting a opportunity to play with his sister and have some silly fantasy. I have no issue with that. Gender bias works both ways.

Like anything it's the perspective you put on it. My daughter is three and half. Yes, she has Barbies. And yes, sometimes she wants to show me how pretty they are. But we try not to focus on her beauty. Yesterday, Barbie went swimming in the ocean to see sharks and stingrays. And she got to pet a penguin as she climbed the mountain getting out of the tub. Ken was no where to be found. It didn't matter what she was wearing. It was all about the fantasy world my daughter created. I have no issue with that at all.

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter has been playing with barbies since she was about 3 and she's turning 5 in two months. I think you're over thinking it. Most of the shoes get lost and the barbies end up naked most of the time or wearing Ken's clothes at our house. She did get a bunch of the Disney Fairies and loves them. Also she loves having the Princess Barbies.

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J.S.

answers from Jacksonville on

My sister and I used our barbies a swords....not even kidding.....

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

I get it, I have the same thoughts about them.
We have the princess barbies, that is a whole separate thing.
I think about all the subtle influences in our society, and not so subtle. They impact us, whether you realize it or not.

I'm not a super feminist hemp wearing crazy, but I think you are wise to be aware of all the influences & decide how to proceed for yourself. At least talk about it or try to balance out the influences.

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L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

As someone else said -- overthinking here. But I do get it. I was never crazy about Barbie for my daughter and guess what? She never had one. And she's fine at 10 with never having had Barbie.

You refer to girl toys and boy toys. Why? Get your daughter those boy toys you're thinking of -- things that let her build stuff, bang stuff with a toy hammer, race things around a track. My daughter adored her Thomas the Tank Engine trains at that age and loved anything she could use to build. There also are good Fisher-Price type dollhouses that are not entirely pink and lacy and have whole families -- not just Fashion Model Big Sister. Direct her toward active toys. In other words -- be comfortable with your own discomfort with Barbie. You don't have to ban Barbie or similar dolls; she will get one sometime from someone, or play with them at friends' houses. But you don't have to feel that Barbie is a must, or a cultural rite of passage. You liked Barbie and you're fine. If she doesn't, that's fine too.

What troubled me recently was seeing a set of Barbie-style knockoff dolls. They were a set of four packaged together as "Career Women" dolls. The careers: Cheerleader. Ballerina. Chef. Anyone else find that sending some interesting messages to girls? My daughter wants to be a ballerina and is doing real dance lessons to get there (we'll see!) and she found that set laughably "silly" as she said.

Hey, even in my day long ago, Barbie at least had the doctor option.

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K.D.

answers from Provo on

My daughter has, and loves, fairies. She also knows that Barbie is not allowed at my house. I had this same discussion with another mom when she went for a playdate the other day -- there are Barbies at their house (lots of older sisters). My reasons are the same as yours -- what Barbie represents, the reduction of women to clothes hangers and sex symbols. Sure, they make barbie a little less skinny now and closer to achievable proportions, but there is no intrinsic value to barbie. She is a fashionista and an air head, and her clothes don't match the standards my child is allowed to wear. We do lots of girly stuff at our house, but we also try to balance everything with a sense of value and inherent worth. Barbie just doesn't have those for me.

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Barbie is just another doll to my 4 year old. We have some, we actually have a ton of old clothes and furniture and stuff that was mine when I was a kid. I don't see any big deal. I seem to have turned out normal from having played Barbies for years.

Kids learn SO much from play, it is how they act out and situations and interpret things and process things. I know thats what my Barbies always did for me... my Barbies were always moms or big sisters, Ken was always on a business trip, and occasionally Skipper would go on a date in the corvette. But most of the time they were having sleep overs. I was raised in a big household with 6 girls and one male, my dad. No wonder Ken was always secondary, ha! My neighbor/best friend who I always played with had a mostly girl household too (2 sisters) and we still joke to this day how Ken was so not a major part of our playing and it was always about the girls!

Anyway, my point is, I think Barbie is innocent. Just another plaything to a girl, especially a girl that young. And any doll is an excellent toy for role-play and learning.

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J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Although I hate Barbie dolls I have to say you would have to be a poor parent if a doll could influence a child's perception of themselves to the extent you fear.

Barbies teach you nothing, they are not supposed to teach you anything. You put clothes on them, you stick them in their car and when you are old enough to have scissors unsupervised you cut their hair and then you grow bored with them. That is all they are. No balanced child thinks they should have the proportions of a Barbie doll, very few girls want to dress like one, they are just a doll.

I hate them because they cost so damn much and you have to buy a new doll to get the cool clothes. What like 25 a pop for a doll that will end up hairless and in some drawer, no thanks.

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J.☯.

answers from Springfield on

Honestly, I think you're thinking about it too much. I think most of what you're thinking about doesn't even occur to them.

It's very similar to kids movies. Some parents really worry about the "adult jokes" and the scarry situations (so many orphans), violence, etc. Most of those compeltely go over the kids heads, but some worry that the movies are just too much for kids and why can't we go back to Snow White and Bambie. And then we rewatch Snow White and Bambie and see how violent and scarry those movies are and how did we miss that when we were kids? Because, kids just don't notice most of those things. They don't understand it, so they just ignore it and focus on that which they do understand.

When you were little Barbies dolls had clothes and high heels and jewelry and Ken and Barbie's Playhouse and the convertible.

I would introduce your girls to many other forms of play, but I wouldn't worry too much. My youngest son seems to only want to play with cars. He really loves playing with them. We try to get him interested in other toys as well, but he loves what he loves. I wouldn't worry too much.

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K.F.

answers from New York on

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look presentable and being pretty in and of itself but if that is the only thing you concentrate on teaching your daughters that would be wrong in my opinion.

I believe Barbie for a 3 or 4 year old is way too much but not because of the pretty factor but because it can be very frustrating trying to get her dressed and undressed. I enjoyed my Barbies very much up into my early teens. I still have my last two Barbie dolls tucked away.

Growing up my Barbie often spent time in the back of a red jeep I owned. I would strap her into the jeep. Tie the jeep to my bike or wagon and up and down the hill we would go. And oh yes, poor Barbie. After a day in the dirt, or sand or "jungle" aka bushes. Barbie was invited to join me for bath time and a change of clothes.

I wasn't truly able to appreciate Barbie until I was older like 5-6 and up.

Barbie doesn't have a limit to what she represents. She can be an astronaut, doctor, rock star, anything you can imagine. Barbie can be. My esteem or the lack there of didn't come from Barbie but from the women around me and how I processed the world at large.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

I would get your DD what she likes. If she's a train girl, then get her trains. My DD isn't into Barbies yet, but I have gotten her a couple of themed Kelly dolls (because the redhead version looks like her). She has a Fisher Price dollhouse and van that got passed down from a friend and that's what the dinosaurs live in (and sometimes Kelly gets to drive).

Why not get your DD more building sets? There are likeminded girls out there. She'll find them eventually, or play with the boys. I had matchbox cars for the sandbox to play with the boys.

I do draw the line at dolls like Bratz and will not be getting DD some of the outfits they have out for fashion dolls. Places like dollclothesuperstore.com sell clothes that are just as much fun. My SD had Barbie and Polly Pocket and yeah, she likes clothes and makeup but the girl can also wield a power tool and knows how to build a set. Barbie doesn't make or break a personality.

Remember, too, that sometimes Barbie is a doctor or pilot or whatever. Your DD will pick up what YOU teach her about life, the universe and being a woman. I think the bigger issue about self-esteem is way beyond a doll. It's the media and everything else. My bet is that Barbie will end up nekkid in a box if that's not your daughter's true interest.

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J.F.

answers from Bloomington on

I briefly read the other posts and saw what I expected. I don't think you are over-thinking it. That's our job as a parent to decide what values and morals we want our kids to grow up with.

I think because you are thinking about it, you are doing a great job introducing her to toys/things/ideas that promote a strong, smart, and creative daughter - your goal.

I'm 37 and my oldest is 4. I take a lot of thought into what we introduce to her and what toys she is given (for a variety of reasons). She does have Barbies (just this Christmas) and even has the ones I had at my grandmothers years ago....so maybe 6 or 7 total. I think it's a balancing act. She is drawn to want to play with them. Call it instinctual mothering and woman role modeling. Yes, I wish there were better dolls like Barbie without the over sexualized hair, boobs, legs, and clothes.

But, she loves to dress them up, make them walk, talk, and immitate life. She also likes to play this way with her Dora family (who do not have changable clothes....darn it!).

My point, you have to do what feels right for you and your family. I tend to "over-think" how I parent (according to many mamas here) and I'm ok with that. We'll have a few Barbies, but I won't buy the ones with the stripper clothes and will encourage my daughters to play with many other things - including gender neutral and "boy" toys.

I didn't grow up with Barbies or many other girly toys (had 3 brothers). We also didn't have a tv until I was 8 and had limited tv viewing until 13. We didn't have named brand anything and there times I felt completely out of the loop at school. My goal is to let me daughters see what's out there, but not go overboard with it. Or, let them play with things or watch shows I certainly do not agree with just because others let their kids do it.

Good luck mama! :)

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C.C.

answers from Houston on

15 million mothers couldn't be wrong!

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E.J.

answers from Lincoln on

When I was little my barbies had pretty dresses... all I saw was Barbie needs to wear a pretty dress. I didn't act out any fashionista things b/c I was not exposed to that. My barbie was a housewife with her husband Ken and her kids. Sometimes she was getting married, going to work, doing the laundry etc. I think that just b/c your daughter gets a Barbie is a fashion dress doesn't mean that she will be staging run way shows, heavy dieting, and purging after meals. As another poster said, I think she will just do what you have modeled for her. :-)

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S.L.

answers from Boston on

My daughter (who turned 3 in October) is - by nature - the girliest little girl out there. She has a twin brother and until they were about 2 years old we had all gender neutral toys. Shortly after turning 2 I noticed a HUGE change in their playing styles/interests. I never swayed them one way or the other (pushing dolls on my daughter or trucks on my son, etc.), it JUST HAPPENED. Thus far, it has been so interesting to watch them devleop into their own little people with personalities with no persuasion from me what-so-ever.

With that being said, my daughter has expressed interest in Barbies simply because they are a doll who wears a dress and looks pretty. She has a few Barbies that she got for her birthday and Christmas and plays with them occassionally. For her (at age 3) it hasn't been about fashion, the high heels, thin figure, etc. Sure she thinks their dress is pretty and occassionally asks me to put Barbies hair in a pony tail, but she really just likes to talk to them, carry them around, put them in her doll house, line them up, etc. I see no harm in it.

Like you, I had several Barbie dolls growing up and LOVED playing with them. (And did so until I was probably 10 or 11 too). I don't ever remember looking at the Barbie and thinking she was "perfect" and that I wanted to be just like her, etc. etc. Every kid is different. But right now, for my daughter, Barbie is just a doll. Nothing more than that. If when she is older I start to see her obsessing about certain things with Barbie I may re-think this, but right now I'm fine with it. So, my opinion is that a Barbie or two is okay for little girls. I'm sure you'll get other opinions about how it isn't okay for little girls to play with Barbies and I respect other opinions towards and I do understand the concerns about self-image, etc. As a mom you will have use your best judgement in what is best for YOUR daughter, her personality and what she is capable of handling. Best wishes!! :)

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K.

answers from Chicago on

I think you are being thoughtful and not over thinking it. Our daughters are flooded with crazy values from our culture and I applaud you for caring about what messages your daughter gets and from where. Yes, my daughters play with Barbies they got as gifts, but I have on going dialogues with them about what is truly important about being female. For example, if I see an ad onTV about anti wrinkle cream I will engage them in a conversation about how crazy that whole idea is.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I think you are only thinking of Barbie as a fashion doll. My 3 year old granddaughter loves Barbie because she loves to play dolls and play with her dollhouse, not because of fashion. In fact, she usually takes the clothes off and plays with all of her dolls undressed. So, I think it's you that has the hang-up that Barbie is only played with because girls are fashion conscious - some kids could care less about her clothes and hair. In fact, my granddaughters usually take Barbie in the bathtub with them so the hair gets messed up right away - they could care less.

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B.K.

answers from Detroit on

Yes, overthinking here momma! My 7 year old LOVES barbies and has for a long time, but she's also an extreme girly girl. If your daughter is more the tom boy, buy her trucks/trains/dinos!

Barbies are imaginative toys, sometimes my DD's barbies play "house," othertimes they are fighting aliens off. Let her imagination take over, Barbie doesn't have to be a "pretty girl"

NOW, because of barbies never ending fashion scene, my daughter wants to be a fashion designer or a buyer!!! NOT a 1950's housewife :)

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

I grew up playing with Barbies as one of my few toys, and fashion is one of the LAST things on my mind. I still have my case full of them in my girls' playroom + a few they have gotten as gifts over the years.

I can count on one hand the # of times my older daughter (now 11) has played with them, and those are all in the company of friends who are more interested in them than she is. They actually use them as characters when playing together, not as mere fashion objects.

My 4 yr old is not interested in them at all, but she doesn't play with toys, hardly ever- only sits and reads all day. When she does play, she gravitates to the piano to play and sing, dances by herself or with her sister, or sometimes they build forts together.

Their favorite toys when they DO play are:
playsilks and clips for forts
homemade gnome toys
blocks
musical instruments

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S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Be careful in what clothes you get for Barbie and there are some that look like regular clothes. I got one for our 4 year old granddaughter because she loves them, she loves to dress up too like a princess, etc. Our kids dressed up but not like elaborate fashion models. I think as long as the doll is one of the more moderate Barbies and the clothes are normal it is fine. I don't think the little kids see her like we do maybe. They do have other dolls that size that are more like girls and not women and you might start with those. Then there are all kinds of values she can learn from a person like herself.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My girls, now 16 adn 14 got their frist Barbie when they were maybe 3 and 5, from my SIL. Within 5 years they had acquired over 30 BArbie, Ariel, Cinderella, etc.
Honestly my now 16 yo never had any thing to do with them. She played a little bit with dolls but was more into reading and cause and effect type of toys and craft kits.
My now 14 yo liked Polly Pockets better, they are smaller and easier to transport in a purse.

I don't think a doll has any bearing on how we as women see ourselves. I am more leary of how television portrays women and young girls.

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A.L.

answers from Austin on

I don't like Barbies for very little ones because of the tiny pieces, and because some of the small accessories are hard for ME to do, and the kids have an even harder time. I think they are simply not designed for young children to play with.

I am dissapointed with some of the new dolls, I very much dislike the website, and some of the themes in the new movies. However, I DO like some ofthe movies very much. The 12 Dancing Princess is nice, and Swan Lake (though it is a bit different from the original story) uses the actual music from the ballet, as well as including some information about constellations and ballet terms in the bonus features. Diamond Castle has original music, but it includes themes about friendship, and how it's okay to disagree with your friends sometimes - it doesn't mean you have to stop being friends. I like the Fairytopia movies - sometimes, you are called on to do something hard, and even though it's hard, you do it, and you don't have to do it alone; it's okay to call on your friends. We just got Island Princess for Christmas - eh. The original music is fun, but the story is just, eh. Mermaid Tale is nice, too - "sometimes, being different is your greatest strength." However, the Fashion FairyTales are just drivel. Yuck.

I have a bigger problem with real-life stuff. My MIL refers to Barbie as "slutty," (and I do not want that word being in my children's vocabulary just yet!) but she painted my girls' nails before they were two and lets them play with makeup, and bought them bikini swimsuits (all without asking). They are 2 and 5. I think that this sort of thing is far more likely to encourage "sluttiness" than playing with Mermaid or Swan Lake Barbie.

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

I have a six year old and 3 1/2 year old girls. They both play with Barbies. I don't think it's a big deal at all. I was a little surprised when my younger girl wanted to play with them with her sister, but they're fine. They also have the Disney princess dolls, so if you're worried, you can get those too. My girls re-enact books and movies they know mostly, and it's not like this is all they play with. Good luck!

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W.P.

answers from New York on

I'm totally with you on this one....Our kids grow up fast enough! My daughter got a Preschool Teacher Barbie last year (2010) for Christmas, and she was dressed like a slut. She lost interest quickly (thankfully!), so Barbie has now left our home (at least for a few years). Although 3 & 4 year olds playing with Barbies isn't the biggest deal in the world, there are many better, age-appropriate toy choices for kids out there. My daughter also found dressing Barbie to be very frustrating at times. She much prefers playing with her Thomas trains or her Loving Family dollhouse.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

personally i love your 'overthinking-ness.' i don't think barbies are the debbil and will turn girls into slutty fashion automatons, but in a world so jammed full of better things to play with, why bother with 'em?
glad you and your daughter are enjoying your astronaut fairies!
:) khairete
S.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Some little girls just like them. I do not see any harm as long as they have
a variety of other todays to play with.

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

I don't have a daughter, but I would put of Barbie for another year or two, there are so many other toys, you know? I loved my Barbies, we turned them into Amazon women, and even ski sleds... ha! But there are plenty of girly toys that teach that kind of stuff, even legos come in pink and purple.

The Bilibo is ranked #1 and is supposed to be for highly creative and imaginative play.

Have you seen these flitter fairies... they 'fly'... watch the video!
http://www.topnotchgiftshop.com/ff001.html?gclid=CILfi56e...

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C.V.

answers from Milwaukee on

My then 3yo daughter got one for xmas from my inlaws last year and I returned it before she could review everything she had gotten since it had gotten lost in the fog of xmas chaos. I know barbies will surface with her friends at some point (she is in school now, after all) but I dread it, not unlike the princess obsession that we are now dealing with. Why couldn't I have had all boys?! ;)

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J.W.

answers from Chicago on

I have the same thoughts as you about Barbie dolls, "girl" toys being very different than "boy" toys (like how Legos -- a toy that teaches so much -- used to be marketed to girls and boys but now is marketed towards boys only... Though they just came out with a "girl" version of Legos that are pastel colors and have shapely girl figurines. Makes me mad.), how the toy industry has so segregated girl and boy stuff. Have you read the book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter"? While I don't agree with everything in the book, it's an interesting take on this subject and I do think the author makes some very good points.

I have two girls, ages 5 &3, and a 1 year old boy. They had Barbies given to them as a gift (otherwise I don't think they'd have any), but don't really play with them; they seem to prefer cooking toys, stuffed animals, blocks, etc. which I'm happy to encourage.

C.F.

answers from Portland on

VERY interesting...
Article about the new Lego Friends, Legos specifically for stereotypical girly girl stuff, or what society deems girly...
The female Legos are shaped differently and do not look like Legos.
Why couldn't they keep the block shape for the bodies like ALL Lego characters have ALWAYS had? Why did they need to be shaped differently?

I was unsure how I felt til I saw the slideshow near the bottom, ALL the characters from my childhood are now "sexed up". They have long flowing hair, styled & colored, they have long legs, have breasts, trendy clothes & knee high boots, & make up. Why can't little girl toys look like little girls???

I have never bought my 6 year old Barbies and I never will.
I firmly believe that Barbie and Kim Kardashian, and things like that are horrible influences on girls and should be kept out of their world for as long as possible.

Focus getting girls to have good self esteem and give them the desire to grow up and be strong women with good jobs and good relationships and good educations and good quality of life...
stop focusing on clothes and big boobs and all these superficial things that really don't matter.

Here is the article...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/15/lego-friends-gir...

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