Thoughts on Barbie

I’ve been thinking about the Barbie doll a little bit lately. Yeah, I know that’s not a macho thing to admit, but what can I say, I have two little girls in the house. My 4 year old had been asking for a Barbie for Christmas for the whole month of December. She prayed to God (often and diligently) that she would get a Barbie.

I hadn’t given a Barbie doll much thought, but my wife had, and she said that she was uncomfortable with a Barbie for a little girl. My first thought was that she was over-reacting. What was the big deal? It was just a doll! She asked a simple question to me. Which would I rather my little, impressionable girl play with: a Barbie who has a mature body, tight and skimpy clothes, and over-emphasis on fashion OR an alternative doll that doesn’t emphasize those things so much – a doll that might emphasize motherly qualities?

When stated that way, the answer is simple. The more I have thought about it, the more I realize how much these “minor” decisions go into an overall lifestyle that we are trying to teach our girls. The truth is that we do not want them to have the world’s fixations. Who can deny that Barbie comes with a certain image, and she is marketed in a certain way? We want the girls to have a different set of values, counter-cultural in its outlook and chiefly concerned with godliness, modesty and the importance of family.

We settled on an Only Hearts Club doll. It has a soft body, which is bendable, and it still allows for changing of clothes. It ends up that my 4 year old was just as happy. To her, she received a Barbie with a different name.

As my girls get older, I’m pretty sure that I will need to be thinking about many more decisions like this. Dear Lord, give me wisdom in the parenting decisions to come!

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2 Responses to Thoughts on Barbie

  1. Sam Andrews Bartley says:

    Great post, Jeremy! I too notice those little things that are offered to our daughters at such a young and impressionable age. That is great that Jessica found alternatives that your girls are still happy with. It does seem a little extreme when you say you don’t want them to have Barbie, but we have to start early in teaching them what is appropriate. Good for you and Jessica!

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