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Barbie vs. Bratz

Business Week and others dubbed the court case the "Battle of the Dolls."

And in Round 1, we had Mattel in one corner and MGA in the other. Mattel, otherwise known as Barbie's corporate parent, said MGA Entertainment -- Bratz' corporate parent, stole work that belonged to it. You see, the Bratz doll designer Carter Bryant came up with the idea while he worked at Mattel. The two duked it out in court, and, on Friday, Mattel won.

The punishment's still open however. Mattel may win money ... or it might try to give Barbie some Bratz siblings (along with their $1.1 billion in sales that the dolls generate annually). MGA says, by the way, that it's not giving up its Bratz children, Business Week reports.

So, the fight should continue for a little while longer. In the meantime, Barbie's trying to play catch-up with her stepsisters. Coming in September is Black Canary Barbie, all garbed in fishnets and a motorcycle jacket.

Are your girls Bratz or Barbie fans? What other dolls pique their interest?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 22, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
Previous: The Cost of Child Care | Next: The Perfect Water Bottle

Comments


The Black Canary Barbie was MADE for LizD.

"Are your girls Bratz or Barbie fans?"

Sexist.

Posted by: Sparky | July 22, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

I still have my Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy from when I was a child. My daughter loves to play with them. She hasn't gotten into the Bratz or Barbie for which I am grateful. She has a bed full of stuffed animals. Sometimes there is barely room for her in there. It is really cute to watch her snuggle with them as she falls asleep. My little angel.

Posted by: Donna | July 22, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I allow neither Barbie nor the Bratz dolls in my home. Neither one is appropriate. My daughter has stuffed animals, legos, books, games, and her American Girl doll.

Posted by: Anne | July 22, 2008 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Donna

Keep your head in the sand and your "little angel" just may grow up to be a messed up druggie nympho.

Posted by: Sigh | July 22, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Anne, why do you say that Barbie in not appropriate? She's been the standard doll ever since I can remember.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 22, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I too snuggled with my Barbies. I had 13 Barbies at one time when I was growing up. My Barbies had so many adventures. Sure, I combed their hair, but given my poor hand/eye coordination, the result was not good. The point is, I imagined adventures for them. The size of her chest never made an impact on those adventures. Parents see Barbies one way, but kids see them another. It may be the same way with Bratz, but I wouldn't know. Bratz didn't come out until I was rising near 30.

Posted by: Barbies are good | July 22, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I can not understand how anyone would think it was appropriate for a child to play with a doll dressed up as a stripper, or a hooker or gang member, or with a doll that projects such an unrealistic female body image. Yet, Barbie and the Bratz are some of the top selling toys for girls. Amazing. What's next? Stripper poles for toddlers?

Posted by: Amazed | July 22, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why the person at 7:52 thinks that just because my daughter isn't interested in Barbies or Bratz that she is going to grow up a "messed up druggie nympho". What does the choice of doll have to do with it? I think that this person is very unhappy - maybe they have a family member who is on drugs or they themself have a substance abuse problem. Either way, I wish them well and hope they get the help they so obviously need.

Posted by: Donna | July 22, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't allow Bratz dolls in our house. They dress inappropriately and wear a ton of make up. They promote an image to my daughter's that fashion and looks are what is important. Some Barbie's are the same way, but it is still possible to find Ballerina, Veternarian, Doctor, Mom and Princess Barbie Dolls with no make up and plenty of clothing. We have many of those and they are played with often. We also like the American Girls.

Posted by: Momof5 | July 22, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I grew up with Barbie dolls but that suggestive clothing just didn't exist - at least not that I remember. Just like Barbies are good, I imagined all kinds of adventures with my two Barbies, Ken and my brother's GI Joe and assorted other toys such as my toy horses.

I don't remember having one thought about Barbie or Ken's shape either. Is this really on a child's mind when they are playing or is this something we are projecting onto our children.

I don't think that Black Canary Barbie is appropriately dressed for a child but on the other hand you need to remember that lots of adults collect Barbie dolls so I am sure that Mattel caters to this segment of the market also. There are plenty of Barbie dolls out there that are appropriately dressed for a child. Buy those for your child and leave the others for the adult collectors.

Posted by: Billie | July 22, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else remember the Barbie magazine that was published in the early-mid eighties? I used to love it -- it would have stories about Barbie going on all sorts of adventures.

I'll admit, I was a huge Barbie fan as a kid. I loved that she could pretty much do anything, since she came in all sorts of variations (vet, doctor, even president, I think). It was never really about the fashion for me. Although, I totally loved my Western Barbie with the blue eyelids.

Bratz dolls do make me uneasy. They're just so ugly and so badly dressed. I'm guessing that they'll probably be out of fashion anyway by the time my 2.5-year-old is old enough to notice them. Right now, she's happy with stuffed animals and baby dolls, plus a few of my old Strawberry Shortcakes.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 22, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I second Billie's rational post at 8:31. I collect Barbie dolls. Leave the Black Canary Barbie to us adult collectors. My Barbies never get out of their box. I like to rearrange them on their shelves. It is just something I like to do. I have all boys and they are not interested in my collection at all. Some people collect match boxes, snowdomes. I collect Barbies.

Posted by: adult collector | July 22, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the whole princess thing...and I admit I have no daughters, just boys. But to me that the princess theme is just as obnoxious as the inpropriety of some Bratz dolls. Setting a daughter up to pretend/think she is a princess...which to me means catered to, unearned adoration, and bossy...is instilling some of the worst traits out there. I understand fantasty and make believe but so often I see the princess thing done to the extreme. I don't get it.

Posted by: mlc | July 22, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

are their Bratz collectors like there are Barbie collectors? Bratz have been around for what 15-20 years. I would think there would be collectors by now.

Posted by: bratz collectors? | July 22, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't like Barbie or Bratz. I just don't buy them for my kids, who have asked for them. I don't think either doll is healthy, so I told my kids no, then I explained why.

Barbie is the reason most of my class in the 70s (all African American girls) walked around with towels and sweaters on our heads pretending to have "long, beautiful, blonde hair" like Barbie. Gag. Don't tell me it doesn't influence a child's self image.

So, they finally make some brown dolls and they all gotta be dressed up like hookers? I'm tired of the poor offerings by the toy companies, so, I'm keeping my money in my pocket.

My girls are very into mermaids - which don't exist, unlike hookers, which do exist. The upside is now my kid who loved water anyway, asked for more advanced swim classes, which she loves. So, her dolls actually motivated her to learn an important skill.

Posted by: Kay | July 22, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

the more disturbing question is... what kind of adult collects barbies? of all the things you could do with your money and free time?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I whole-heartedly agree that little girls do not look at barbie the same way adults do. I had lots of barbies but I never sat there thinking - wow, I can't wait until my chest is 10 times the size of my waste just like barbie. Instead I wanted her beautiful clothes and the adventures that I made up for her - which is why I think Bratz are so inappropriate for young girls. I would never want my daughter to dress like a Bratz doll, even as an adult.

Posted by: mango | July 22, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember Dawn dolls? Sort of mini versions of Barbies but I don't remember their busts being so bountiful. Maybe that's an example of kids being oblivious to it all.

Posted by: ah memories | July 22, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

mlc

"But to me that the princess theme is just as obnoxious as the inpropriety of some Bratz dolls. Setting a daughter up to pretend/think she is a princess...which to me means catered to, unearned adoration, and bossy...is instilling some of the worst traits out there. I understand fantasty and make believe but so often I see the princess thing done to the extreme. I don't get it"

The Queen Bee & Wannabes love & live the "helpless" princess thing and the Prince Charming "rescuer" big bag of b.s..

Posted by: It's a choice | July 22, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Oh and then there were the craft dolls my friends and I made and played with. They had a styrofoam skirt and bodice with a plastic head on a stick that you poked into the body (sort of morbid sounding). They came with all sorts of sequences and beads for decorating, and had themes - cowgirl, Irish girl, etc. Li'l Missies or something equally gaggy like that.

Posted by: ah memories 2 | July 22, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

mic - you should watch some Disney princess movies before assuming what it means for a little girl to have the princess fantasy. Cinderella and Snow White are far from catered to and bossy. Dreaming of being a Bratz on the other hand makes me a little nervous about a world filled with a bunch of Paris Hiltons running around - I think that is the image you have in your head. :)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I mean mlc not mic.. oops

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I was never a fan of Barbie. My experience "playing Barbie" comes soley from babysitting. As a creative toy, I think it's great. I love the idea of anything that gives children a voice, and inspiration to make up all sorts of scenarios - figuring out who the players are, what they do, acting them out.... It's true creative play. On the other hand, the commercialism is brutal. YOu can't have *one* Barbie, you need a dozen, and a dream house, and a convertible....

I don't have kids yet, but I hope to keep both of these dolls out of my home. Ultimately, I'd rather see a tea party with mixed company of random dolls and stuffed animals, if my child is playing tea party.

Posted by: jb in va | July 22, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Well, taken to the extreme and totally overanalyzed, one could argue that Cinderella and Snow White ultimately needed males to bail them out of their predicaments. I agree that they are fine stories that reflect the era they were originally written in. But when there are other roles today for girls to fantasy play with - basically any role a boy would, now that I think about it - why foster the princess theme?

Posted by: mlc | July 22, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

My girls just turned 4 and each got a Princess Barbie from a friend for their birthday. I hadn't wanted to go down that road yet, but what can you do? Then they got some birthday money and wanted to buy another Barbie. So now they each have 2 and have actually played with them a lot since last week. They really enjoy combing her hair and making her "dance" and do "gymnastics". I am annoyed that one of the dolls is wearing a very skimpy 2-piece bathing suit that keeps sliding up. So her (quite large) breasts are constantly exposed! Who designed that outfit and why?

I am hoping that Bratz dolls will no longer be popular in a few years. I think they are ugly and I never want my girls to dress like that!

Posted by: LBH219 | July 22, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

errrr, American Girl dolls retail in excess of $100. Barbies and Bratz retail for between $3 and $14. It's easy to be a snob, even a principled one, when you have the resources to choose. Poor schlubs don't have the same choices.

This is another in a long line of topics on this blog about products for kids. The blog should be renamed "Consumerism Run Amuk 101".

Posted by: Aaron | July 22, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I've banned my kids from watching Donald Duck because he doesn't wear pants. What a pervert!

As you can see, I have superior morals over parents who draw the line at Bratz dolls.

Posted by: 5-star mommy | July 22, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Bratz are the gateway to rampant adult consumerism. They start them early and reel 'em in.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Do those of you who have boys buy them GI Joe dolls? Do you think that buying a soldier doll for a boy makes him more prone to vilence?

Posted by: Donna | July 22, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I, too, grew up playing with barbie and never noticed her boobs - until breasts started being on my radar when all my friends started growing some. When I played with friends it was all about the social interactions. When I played alone, it was the clothes I cared about. I inherited a great wardrobe from my mother's childhood (as well as her much-loved #2 barbie) and my grandmother kept me stocked with more up-to-date clothes. I loved mixing and matching outfits. Ken was more an accessory than anything. I only had one and the only clothes he had was a pair of swim trunks - so barbie wasn't going to be seen out in public with him. :) Anyway, I never grew into a transvestite druggie hooker despite playing with barbie so much. Yeah, I longed to look like her, but I also longed to look like my babysitter who was built about the same way.

Today, I don't have any daughters but I am thinking of buying some tyler wentworth fashion dolls to indulge my love of small-scale fashion sewing. If this upcoming baby is a girl, I'm probably going to buy her an american girl doll, but someday tyler too as she's actually an adult with a successful career and even better clothes.

And to 8:56, there are plenty of very hip, very creative adults out there playing with blythes, tylers, and asian BJDs - as well as barbies. It's a much healthier pursuit to model for your kids than those 43 junk cars in your yard that you're "going to get running someday".

Posted by: kjk | July 22, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Kay,

You tweaked a memory of mine....

I grew up with a traditional blond Barbie and a very non-traditional (at least for our area) brown Barbie. I am not sure if she was meant to be African American or West Indian. She was definitely my preferred doll because you could do things with her hair and her body was soft. My blonde Barbie was hard and her hair was made from some kind of slippery material that you couldn't do anything with.

I can't argue that you weren't influenced by your blond Barbie dolls but I don't think that was my experience. But perhaps I didn't give it any thought because I wasn't exposed to any diversity except through TV until I went to university. I lived in a rural area that was 100% white where everybody had basically the same ethnic background.

Posted by: Billie | July 22, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The only Brat that came in the door had NO FEET just stumps when you took off her hooker boots? Sheesh. Fact is, completely isolating our daughters from the culture is not possible. All we can do is explain the culture. I like the Groovey Girls from a socio-parenting perspective. My daughter plays with the Barbies so there you go.

Posted by: J | July 22, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"I don't like Barbie or Bratz. I just don't buy them for my kids, who have asked for them. I don't think either doll is healthy, so I told my kids no, then I explained why."

I hear ya. They come in as birthday presents, though, as your kids turn 4 - 6. I guess you can return them, but is it worth it to hurt a friend's feelings by returning a gift this trivial? I would rather teach my daughter to be kind than right.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Donna -

I don't buy my sons GIJoe dolls...tho they do have some small action figures that are soldiers. But that's about it for the soldier theme. They don't also have soldier bedding AND soldier dishes AND soldier plastic play junk in the backyard AND soldier lunch boxes AND soldier shirts AND soldier backpacks. As I said originally, it's taking the princess theme to the extreme that I don't get.

Posted by: mlc | July 22, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I've never understood the whole argument behind "you can't isolate them from the culture." Actually, as long as I pay the mortgage, I can decide what gets carried into my house, what gets watched on my television and so forth. (And that means if a six-year old friend brings over a violent video game that's rated "T for teens" and wants to play it on my VCR, I'm allowed to say "Thanks, but we don't watch those in our house. Why don't you pick out one of ours?")

And it's my experience that most of the time other parents will ask "what does your child want for her birthday" in the course of waiting for the schoolbus, pick up at daycare or wherever. And in that instance, it's perfectly appropriate to say something like, "You might think it's silly but we're somewhat uncomfortable with Bratz dolls. I'd prefer it if she receive a nice craft set or some books." And it's my experience that most of us make friends with people with similar values, so they're likely to understand if that's your decision.

Standing up for you values doesn't mean that you're being judgemental. What if you were kosher and someone gave your child a gift certificate to a fast food place for a present? Would you compel her to go and eat the food rather than risk being judgemental? No, you wouldn't. You do have the right to say no.

Posted by: A little commonsense, people, please . . | July 22, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't care for Bratz dolls or Barbies. My daughter has one Barbie that she doesn't play with. If a Bratz doll found it's way into my house (birthday gift from clueless mom or something), I would make it disappear. They dress like trash. I don't like the name.

I don't like promoting bad behaviors. Same reason my kids don't watch "cool" shows like Hannah Montana. I can't stand how the kids talk to each other and their parents. I'm not sure when it became the thing to do to act like a little snot all the time, but it doesn't fly in this house.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

mlc - I understand your point. I think the more recent princess stories are less chauvinistic, but I think in the end the princess fantasies are harmless. It is more about playing make-believe than endorsing a certain kind of mindset. Kids learn from all things, not just playing and I think balance and good parenting is the key in the end.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

And the Emmy for the dullest OP topic for July 2008 goes to:

Posted by: I heart Mad Men | July 22, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Posted by: Question? | July 22, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

to mlc - I agree with you on the popular conception of princesses as being bossy, narcissistic (sp?) etc. I think if I have daughters I will spend time telling them about the early life of Elizabeth I - being disowned by your father who beheaded your mother and later imprisoned in the Tower of London doesn't seem to make it into the Disney movies so often.

and to kjk- not sure I agree with you about the 43 junk cars. We only have 3 of them, but I hope my kids will learn a lot from their dad about maintaining cars and fixing them, which does have some practical value. I think of them as classics, but I know for a fact that one person's classic is another's junk!

Posted by: tsp 2007 | July 22, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

No way am I buying my girl Bratz. I will buy her Barbies if she is interested. My mom saved all of my old starwberry shortcake dolls for me, so she plays with them. The new version of the dolls make me very sad.

Posted by: Irishgirl | July 22, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"I don't like promoting bad behaviors. Same reason my kids don't watch "cool" shows like Hannah Montana. I can't stand how the kids talk to each other and
their parents. I'm not sure when it became the thing to do to act like a little snot all the time, but it doesn't fly in this house."

WorkingMomX, you have the snottiest post so far today.

Posted by: It's a contest | July 22, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll admit the last Disney princess movie I saw was The Little Mermaid...but I didn't see a huge departure from the basic theme in that one.

I think all in all, it's good that I have boys, since I am princess impatient. And none of them are real toy kids either...although the downside to that is the constant goddamn wrestling.

Posted by: mlc | July 22, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I had Barbies when I was a kid, and liked them plenty. I find Bratz to be kind of offensive, and hope that none will find their way into my house. Would probably return them if they came in as gifts (discreetly of course, without hurting anyone's feelings). The American Girl dolls are sweet by way expensive.

I was a bookworm as a kid, and kind of hope to share my love of books, especially girl stories, with my daughter as she gets older. I began with the Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie series, and went on to read stuff by Lousia May Alcott, Frances Hodgeson Burnett, Lucy Maude Montgomery (those were probably my favorite authors when I was a little girl)and many others. Reading their books was way better than playing with any doll.

Dolls are nice, and fun to play with, but children's literature that appeals to girls is much more interesting and fun.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: The big yawn | July 22, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

That's exactly what I was going for. (And if you don't get it, you just don't get it.)

Also, Mary Ann. Of course.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I always give both my girl and boy a Sasquatch doll. No sexual stereotyping for them!

Posted by: A REAL doll! | July 22, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

A few people have mentioned that they collect Barbie dolls as adults. What else do people collect?

I collect clocks.

Posted by: Talk about Collections | July 22, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If American girls ar expensive Barbies are too developed and Bratz are too tacky is a Sasquatch doll all that's out there?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

To combat the princess syndrome in my girl, I gave the girl the GI Joe. But I did not wring out all the princess themes.

Well, she grew up to be a M249 machine gunner in the Army. The Iraqis call her the "Devil with the Pink Headband!"

Posted by: Proud Dad | July 22, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Well I don't know about you but all the dolls in our house end up naked pretty fast and the clothes (or feet in Bratz case) get lost so any fashion statement either company is trying to make gets lost as well.

I confess to being sensitive to toxic cultural message for girls but I have to say I've been forced to chill out on the Barbie issue after grandparents bought the dolls for my kids.

My kids have had their Barbies and Bratz racing to bring serum to Nome. I mean their play with those dolls has ZIP to do with how the dolls are envisioned! My kids will give characters to small rocks and play with them if there are no dolls available. The shape or *fashion message* of the doll couldn't be more irrelevant to their play.

Posted by: anne (lowercase) | July 22, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

i think Bratz dolls are beautiful! I wouldn't mind if my daughter dressed up in the type of clothes the Bratz dolls wear.

Posted by: td | July 22, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"This is another in a long line of topics on this blog about products for kids. The blog should be renamed "Consumerism Run Amuk 101". "

PI$$ off, there is nothing worse than the holier than thou anti consumer. Next we will bored to death with how this ninny makes gifts out of recycled tomato cans.

Posted by: bore the hell out of someone else Aaron | July 22, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I love Bratz dolls! Granted, I dress just like they do, so I'm a little biased, but in any case, they are wonderful.

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I love Bratz dolls! Granted, I dress just like they do, so I'm a little biased, but in any case, they are wonderful.

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 10:45 AM

You especially like the ball gag,i bet.

Posted by: hmm | July 22, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

atb

"I love Bratz dolls! Granted, I dress just like they do, so I'm a little biased, but in any case, they are wonderful."

Halloween in July.

Posted by: Curly | July 22, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't like promoting bad behaviors. Same reason my kids don't watch "cool" shows like Hannah Montana. I can't stand how the kids talk to each other and their parents. I'm not sure when it became the thing to do to act like a little snot all the time, but it doesn't fly in this house.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 9:55 AM

Have you seen the episode of the OP blog where WorkingMomX indicates she doesn't know what she's talking about? The kids on Hannah Montana don't talk rudely to their parents and don't act like snots. Disney runs plenty of shows that involve disrespectful dialogue. Zach and Cody, for one.

Posted by: huh? | July 22, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I love Bratz dolls! Granted, I dress just like they do, so I'm a little biased, but in any case, they are wonderful.

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 10:45 AM

You especially like the ball gag,i bet.

Posted by: hmm | July 22, 2008 10:51 AM

Ha! Maybe that's why atb is "speechless"!

LizD is more the ball gag type.

Posted by: LOL | July 22, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

PI$$ off, there is nothing worse than the holier than thou anti consumer. Next we will bored to death with how this ninny makes gifts out of recycled tomato cans.

Posted by: bore the hell out of someone else Aaron | July 22, 2008 10:43 AM

If you're bored, go read this months issue of Consumer Reports. It's right under your pillow where you left it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

My daughter was given Barbie dolls by the girls next door (mainly because the Barbie car needed passengers) but they wound up lying around naked all the time, unplayed with. I thought it was very inappropriate - they were corrupting the GI Joes. So I wound up sewing clothes on them. How neurotic is that? ...Clearly, the kids aren't seeing this with the same baggage as their parents...

Posted by: anon | July 22, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Nappy time, again | July 22, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"I thought it was very inappropriate - they were corrupting the GI Joes. So I wound up sewing clothes on them. How neurotic is that? ...Clearly, the kids aren't seeing this with the same baggage as their parents... "

50% of GI Joes are gay and not affected by nude Barbies....

Posted by: ?? | July 22, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Ha! Maybe that's why atb is "speechless"!

LizD is more the ball gag type."


Mmmmm,hmmm,mmmmm,hmmmmm,mmmmm,

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

We don't allow Bratz - they look like hookers. We do have some Barbies, but my daughter seems to prefer the groovy girls or her American Girl doll. Target sells their version of the American Girl doll for about $20. We get the clothes for our AG doll there. I've always kind of wondered who actually buys the Bratz dolls. Then again, I don't let my 5 yr. old watch Hanna Montana either which is apparently odd as well. Who knows.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 22, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Don't ask. Don't tell.

Posted by: Shhhhhhh! | July 22, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

50% of GI Joes are gay and not affected by nude Barbies....

Au contraire, they are offended by her lack of style!

Posted by: Fashion Plate | July 22, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Whatevs. I'm getting tired of this. If the people at OP can't admit they are mean to each other (and mommies, therefore: mean mommies!), there's no hope in getting them to be rational about anything. MN was hateful to me one day when I made a comment regarding people "using grandparents" for their daycare. The context was clear that using = utilizing, not using = taking advantage of. She is a mean mommy, and clearly an attorney who gets off on arguing with people. I'm a laid back Pastafarian who doesn't see a need to waste any more time on this celinedion.

Posted by: RiverCityRoller | July 22, 2008 11:12 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

mlc, I share your discomfort with the whole "princess" thing -- really superb marketing by Disney. "Little Mermaid" is the one that gets under my skin the most -- she gives up her home, her family, her history, even her voice, all for a guy? And this is good?

And yet, my daughter LOVES the princess thing. To be fair, it doesn't seem to have the same connotations for her that it does for me. When I was growing up, being a princess meant being powerless, waiting passively while someone came to rescue me. Not at all appealing. To my daughter, though, "princess" = power, adventure, excitement. Princesses are the ones who go places, take risks, stand up to their parents who would wall them in and protect them, and follow their own dreams. See Jasmine, Mulan, even Ariel. So I had to take a look at it from her perspective, see what she sees in it, instead of letting my own interpretations override hers. Now, I still don't buy princess everything, but I also don't get too concerned when she goes through a phase where she wants to watch Ariel all the time. Although recently it's Avatar.

MN: laughing about the Barbie gift thing. My kids have three sets of grandparents -- and each and every grandma has taken me aside and told me that they hoped I wasn't offended, but they would never be buying my girl a Barbie or Bratz, because they didn't like the message those dolls sent. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 22, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

WWLD?

Posted by: ?? | July 22, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

We don't allow Bratz - they look like hookers. I've always kind of wondered who actually buys the Bratz dolls.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 22, 2008 11:10 AM

Please, they do NOT look like that. I have several outfits that are similar to what the Bratz dolls wear, and I get lots of compliments about them.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I just can't believe how you are raising your daughter. I would think you would forbid all that princess rubbish. You would have Black's Law Dictionary and the Collected Works of Mr. Justice Holmes as the only appropriate media for your daughter.

Posted by: To Laura | July 22, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

that's not MN - she'd never respond like a petulant 8 year old.

Posted by: Moxiemom | July 22, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

One of the lizards is peeved with MN over something that happened months ago, so she is getting quite a hazing in Liz Kelly's blog.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: To Laura | July 22, 2008 11:23 AM

Please -- you think I want her to be a lawyer? Nope -- with us, it's Encyclopedia Britannica and the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Oh, and the giant Periodic Table posted on the wall.

Posted by: Laura | July 22, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Laura

"And yet, my daughter LOVES the princess thing. To be fair, it doesn't seem to have the same connotations for her that it does for me. "

Strange. I thought your daughter was so super smart, that you she would never fall for any bourgeois crap.

Posted by: Stop bragging about your average kids! | July 22, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Emily,

Doesn't sound very laid back or friendly, does it? The irony is worth a moment's amusement.

Thanks, moxie. Someone with Internet balls - the courage of the anonymous - is really quite desparate to prove how friendly and not-mean she is.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is news? Nine years ago I was at FAO Schwartz and found Barbie lingerie--sheer, lacy, and totally inappropriate for children, IMO. But there it was, with all of the other Barbie clothing.

Posted by: KateNonymous | July 22, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My young adult daughter sleeps with her Barbie doll.... and her grenade launcher!

Posted by: Another Proud Parent | July 22, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

laura,

I think we covered this a long, long time ago in a discussion of "pink", LOL.

The worst birthday present one of my kids received was a pretend, plastic ATM machine. What 5 year old needs a fake ATM? Egad. That thing disappeared about 2 weeks after the thank-you note went in the mail. I'm admittedly more concerned about the message sent by the ATM than the dolls.

The dolls all end up undressed after about 10 minutes anyway, so whether they are initially dressed as hookers, virgins, or soldiers, my daughter renders them all nudists.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Doesn't sound very laid back or friendly, does it? The irony is worth a moment's amusement."

I do think it's a little amusing. Luckily, I think that the lizards are as diverse as the OP/OB bloggers. Which is good. Can you imagine how boring it would be with only one POV?

I for one, found CBC to be a hoot sometimes.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

What does everyone think of Cohen's anti-tat rant today?

At what age would you let your kids get tattooed?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"I'm a laid back Pastafarian who doesn't see a need to waste any more time on this celinedion.

Posted by: RiverCityRoller | July 22, 2008 11:12 AM "

Actually you are a snide bore. MN for her faults is not a mean mommie.

Posted by: snorks | July 22, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Emily, Agreed on all counts.

On the tat thing, I've come full circle from anti- to neutral. I've got bigger things to worry about as a parent, like what brand of plasticized role model to introduce into my house, LOL.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

My point was that the junk cars aren't being worked on! We love working on cars too, but ours actually get worked on, not just mowed around like a lot of the "someday I'm going to get that car running" variety.

Agree about the practical value. Personally I don't care what interests my children develop as long as there is practical value. Occasionally everyone likes mindless pursuits like TV, but there is more satisfaction in mastering that song on the guitar, working out the shape of a doll's jacket, getting that old Jeep to start, or whatever. That's why I have no problem with a child appreciating beauty in the form of a doll. It looks like play, but it's practice for a variety of later life situations.

Posted by: junk cars | July 22, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with a toy ATM machine?

I had a toy cash register with toy money as a child, which I loved and played with a lot. They teach about money and counting.

Posted by: Annapolis | July 22, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I see someone with a tattoo the first thing that comes to mind is trashy idiot.

Posted by: nope, never | July 22, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Someone please explain to me the good lessons Hannah Montana teaches to children. My kids have been bugging me to watch it, and I have reviewed three episodes and I just. don't. get it. The best I can come up with is it's okay to make fun of people (parents and friends) and disrespect them but sometimes they're still cool/right. Whatever.

Also, a lot of the posters (OB regulars and a few others excepted) on this blog are just plain nasty to everyone. No wonder you think it's okay for kids to speak disrespectfully.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hi there! I was going to pop up a minute and say hi to all my old friends.

(Maybe this was not the best day to do so?)

Posted by: Fred (and Frieda) | July 22, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Also, a lot of the posters (OB regulars and a few others excepted) on this blog are just plain nasty to everyone. No wonder you think it's okay for kids to speak disrespectfully."

Posted by: (stands up and applauds WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Hi Fred and Frieda. Glad to see you. You popped in at just the right time. We need your level head and good humor. How's it going? How's Frieda?

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"Also, a lot of the posters (OB regulars and a few others excepted) on this blog are just plain nasty to everyone. No wonder you think it's okay for kids to speak disrespectfully."

Posted by: (stands up and applauds WorkingMomX | July 22, 2008 12:04 PM


Stands up and applauds WorkingMomX needs to get laid. "Nasty" is high school....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, as a longtime doll collector (dolls of any time--antique, modern, etc....), I'm always entertained when they call out a specific Barbie doll in a case like this.

The Black Canary Barbie was dressed *to look like the comic character*. The Wonder Woman/Batgirl/Poison Ivy grouping wasn't clothed any more thoroughly, and I don't think anybody reacted like this?

Dolls are toys. They reflect a lot about society as a whole, culturally, socially, politically. The reason Bratz are selling better than Barbie is that they actually have someone with ideas in product development, someone who understands the brains of preteen girls. While Mattel sits back and the Barbie offerings get less and less sophisticated.

Also....when you're around town, shopping, whatever....look at what people are wearing. In public. I can't believe half of it, but lots of it is much worse than what the Bratz dolls are wearing. They're *highly stylized*. I mean, nobody gets offended that Strawberry Shortcake's huge head is anatomically impossible, and it's even farther out of scale.

The shoe/foot thing is kind of ingenious, actually--Barbie's kind of limited in her shoe choices, but having the whole foot pop off on the Bratz allows for more play value--and play value is key.

And as far as Barbie's figure goes--realize that this 1/6 scale doll has to wear human-scale fabrics. The tiny waist accomodates them. True, it gives her a rather extreme figure naked, but clothed it's not so bad. And the redesigned bodies of a few years back are even less exaggerated than the classic 1959-1990s shape.

Mattel's broken a lot of stereotypes with that doll over the years....introducing ethnic dolls, showing Barbie (in 1960 or 1961....) as an astronaut and careerwoman, etc. The modern stuff isn't quite up to the quality standards of the dolls from the 1960s, but still....

Posted by: Doll Lover in Annapolis | July 22, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with a toy ATM machine?

I had a toy cash register with toy money as a child, which I loved and played with a lot. They teach about money and counting.

Posted by: Annapolis | July 22, 2008 11:53 AM

Annapolis, by way of explanation, I don't see a fake ATM as being in the same phere as a fake cash register. A toy cash register may teach you how to recognize and count coins, or be part of a pretend game where you run a store, or a lemonade stand or whatever. The point of a fake ATM is to slide in a plastic card, and remove "money". The "money" wasn't in coins so the child couldn't learn preliminary money counting. An ATM isn't part of any pretend business model or game. It just struck me as a cultural touchstone, e.g., toys that teach all the wrong messages. Just as we can agree to disagree on whether American Girl dolls are overpriced, elitist hoohaw, reasonable minds can differ on the ATM, I suppose.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

MN

" Just as we can agree to disagree on whether American Girl dolls are overpriced, elitist hoohaw, reasonable minds can differ on the ATM, I suppose."

Or, can it, instead of vomiting a knee- jerk argument every 5 minutes. Sheesh!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

12:27, crawl back under the bridge.

Posted by: errrr | July 22, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

My daughter was given Barbie dolls - they were corrupting the GI Joes.
Posted by: anon | July 22, 2008 11:03 AM

Check out the movie Small Soldiers! Boys 6-9 just can't get enough of it: robotic GI Joes rewiring Barbies, fighting educational toys, and generally blowing up the neiborhood.

Posted by: Tante | July 22, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I like Hanna Montana. I don't think they are disrespectful just zany. The dad is ultimately respected and loved and the mom is in heaven. Hannah gets hers quite often and the mean people get slapped down. Now having said that I need to get a life. HAHA

Posted by: to working mom x | July 22, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Emily,

Doesn't sound very laid back or friendly, does it? The irony is worth a moment's amusement.

Thanks, moxie. Someone with Internet balls - the courage of the anonymous - is really quite desparate to prove how friendly and not-mean she is.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 11:39 AM

Posted by: yeah, that's MN, the same spelling of "desperate" | July 22, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Cindy Cindy Cindy Lou
Love my rifle more than you
You used to be my beaty queen
Now I love my M16

Posted by: GI Joe | July 22, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"I like Hanna Montana. I don't think they are disrespectful just zany. The dad is ultimately respected and loved and the mom is in heaven. Hannah gets hers quite often and the mean people get slapped down. Now having said that I need to get a life. HAHA"

THIS is why men cheat!!! And why working mom x has a "strained" relationship with her stepdaughter.

Posted by: ZZZZ | July 22, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Somebody has got to get a life. The copying and pasting is out of control.

Posted by: anonforthis | July 22, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Is there a company that sell dolls with wide child-bearing hips? I want one for my daughter.

Posted by: Catholic Mommy | July 22, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"On the other hand, the commercialism is brutal. YOu can't have *one* Barbie, you need a dozen, and a dream house, and a convertible...."

That's my issue with a lot of kids' merchandise these days, and the main reason I dislike the Disney princess thing. If it were just a matter of reading to the stories and having a doll or two, that would be one thing. But now it seems like they're tying to sell tiny kids onto a whole "princess" lifestyle -- you need the dolls and the accessories and the clothes and the makeup and the bedroom set and the furniture and the lunchbox and the dress-up sets and so forth and so on. Even my niece, the product of as level-headed a mom as you've ever seen, spent a whole year fantasizing that she was a princess and begging for the "right" dress-up dresses(apparently, only official Disney merchandise fit the bill). And most annoyingly, the main point of the princess thing seems to be (a) to look pretty and (b) to buy a lot of things.

I know that there were a lot of Barbie accessories back when I was a kid, but I seem to recall that very few of the kids I knew had more than a few dolls and maybe the dreamhouse or a car. There just didn't seem to be the same sense of ubiquity that a lot of the toys today have.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 22, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Barbie now seems to be tied to whatever the latest straight to DVD fantasy flick she is starring in. It's hard to find just a plain Barbie anymore - it's Mermaidia, Fantasia, Swan Lake, the 12 Dancing Princesses. Actually pretty tame stuff. And the movies, while unwatchable to adult eyes, keep my daughter pretty entertained.
Bratz on the other hand, used to come with thongs. Ahem. We actually were given one where she was dressed in a tiny little skirt, tube top with a lepoard print jacket - we call them little 'Ho dolls in our house and they are banned. Sadly, we have friends that don't have children that think we are denying our daughter something by not letting her have Bratz dolls. After letting the dog chew up (Oops! Must learn to not leave your dolls lying around sweetie!) the dolls, we have decided that any friend that can't respect the boundaries we have placed for our 4 year old isn't our friend.
Barbie is definitely the lesser of two evils.

As for American girl dolls, they are expensive, but at least engage the girls in history lessons.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

All the Disney stuff are in the 'pink aisles'. Just don't go down the pink aisle, and you'll be safe.

Posted by: no pink stuff here | July 22, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

NewSAHM |


"But now it seems like they're tying to sell tiny kids onto a whole "princess" lifestyle -- you need the dolls and the accessories and the clothes and the makeup and the bedroom set and the furniture and the lunchbox and the dress-up sets and so forth and so on."

So what??
No one is holding a gun to your head to buy this crap, just say No!!

"Even my niece, the product of as level-headed a mom as you've ever seen, spent a whole year fantasizing that she was a princess and begging for the "right" dress-up dresses(apparently, only official Disney merchandise fit the bill). "

Niece is a future messed up druggie nympho.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Niece is a future messed up druggie nympho.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 12:59 PM

Get a new line.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Even my niece, the product of as level-headed a mom as you've ever seen, spent a whole year fantasizing that she was a princess and begging for the "right" dress-up dresses(apparently, only official Disney merchandise fit the bill). "


What a load of BS from a bunch of overbearing parents. God forbid that a young girl have an imagination and dream of being a princess or a boy a knight. These parents must be PC and squash those things in the name of anti consumerism. What a bunch of dry, sanctimonious drips.

Posted by: yuk | July 22, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Niece is a future messed up druggie nympho.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 12:59 PM

Get a new line."

I can't get a new line. It's part of my deal with the Devil.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't get a new line. It's part of my deal with the Devil.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 1:07 PM

Who knew Beelzebub required his subject to be boring as they spew venom?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I really missed a troll-a-thon today! Obviously, that wasn't me posting earlier. You could tell because when I didn't respond, the troll tried to get MN to take the bait. Ha! Shows how much it knows about MN.

I rarely buy toys for my kid since we get a ton of hand-me-downs plus birthday and Christmas gifts. If we get Barbie, that's fine. I can only imagine getting a Bratz doll as a joke, but should one make its way into our house, I'll probably pass it on to another unsuspecting parent. It can be a much beloved gag gift, passed around and around, like the femur pen and the composite material bunny candle holder.

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Who knew Beelzebub required his subject to be boring as they spew venom?"

No kidding, I always thought the Prince of Darkness would be very witty and urbane, apparently not.

Posted by: well so much for that | July 22, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously, that wasn't me posting earlier. You could tell because when I didn't respond, the troll tried to get MN to take the bait. Ha! Shows how much it knows about MN."


Just couldn't get the ball gag off huh? Being hogtied does make it hard.

Posted by: Really atb? | July 22, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Who knew Beelzebub required his subject to be boring as they spew venom?"

It was that or marry Perry Steiner....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Beelzebub is contemplating a lawsuit against Whoa on a single count of slander.

We demand a jury. We expect a quick verdict in our favor.

Posted by: Satan's lawyer | July 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"God forbid that a young girl have an imagination and dream of being a princess..."

since marrying the right man is the single most important decision that most girls will make in their entire life, it's good to get them thinking about what qualities they want in their future husband. Good looks and wealth are 2 of the most important.

Hopefully they will get it right the first time and spare themselves, their children, and their family a lot of misery.

Posted by: teach your children | July 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I loved Barbies when I was younger, my sister and I spent countless hours playing and imagining where they were and what they were doing. We had 2 dream houses, we each had a convertible and tons of dolls, we had the most Kens of anyone. It was awesome and I only hope my daughter is going to love Barbie too so I can play for countless more hours. You all need to relax a bit and enjoy life instead of wrinkling your noses at all sense of fun. No wonder liberals aren't very pretty they are worried and uptight all the time.

Posted by: BarbiePrincess | July 22, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I spent one Christmas Eve putting together a Barbie townhouse while my husband just sat there and stared at all the pink. He couldn't believe the complexity. I enjoyed putting it together and it ended up being one of her most favorite, and memorable, toys. She's getting married next year....how fast it went.

Posted by: Barbies are good | July 22, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"God forbid that a young girl have an imagination and dream of being a princess..."

But that's just the problem. The Disney princess line has nothing at all to do with imagination. In fact, the aim seems more to be stripping all vestiges of creativity and imagination from the play. These kids aren't trying on mommy's dresses and pretending to be someone else ro dreaming up their own adventures, they're asking for the specific, "official" costume of whatever character they're into, and acting out the stories as told in the movies and books. From what I observed of my niece and her friends, there wasn't much room for deviation in the script.

And yeah, I have the power to say no, and I exercise it. I've asked my family not to buy DD licensed character merchandise (not that it's stopped my mom), and I don't bring it into my home. But avoiding exposure isn't as simple as avoiding the "pink aisle." Those stupid princesses are everywhere, from diapers to art supplies to sippy cups.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 22, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I remember's Barbie's townhouse. I also remember Barbies airplane (where she was the stewardess --gag). I had both. My friend, who had 2 brothers near our age, would play Barbies and GI Joe with them. GI Joe would invariably do something bad, like kidnap Barbie and Ken and torture Ken, or run their trucks over our townhouse, or shoot the plane down. Barbie would invariably dump Ken for GI Joe. Once, Ken and GI Joe even hooked up.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

But that's just the problem. The Disney princess line has nothing at all to do with imagination.

This is the type of person who would buy a frumpy women in a corporate drone suit and tell her kids "here play with lucy the lawyer, now that's a suitable doll". GROSS!

Posted by: barbie rules | July 22, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And what's the problem with gag balls and being tied up anyway? You act like that's a bad thing. I thought the stereotype of parents was that they didn't have sex or the sex they had was bad. Yet, I'm having some hot S&M sex in your head. What an impression I've made!

Posted by: atb | July 22, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The Barbie airplane is a way to torture parents. It's something grandparents and new boyfriends of single moms get for the kid. They'll never have to clean up all the accessories. The pieces are itsy bitsy little. For example, the scoop of ice cream is a separate piece from the bowl and there are matching miniature spoons and a saucer for underneath. The parents then have to keep track of all that crap or risk having the baby brother of the recipient choke on a Barbie saucer.


Tell us more about this GI Joe and Ken incident.

Posted by: The Friendly Skies are an Amalgam of Choking Hazards | July 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Satan's lawyer

"Beelzebub is contemplating a lawsuit against Whoa on a single count of slander.

We demand a jury. We expect a quick verdict in our favor."

That would be a LIBEL action and TRUTH is an affirmative defense.

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Those stupid princesses are everywhere, from diapers to art supplies to sippy cups."

Of course you have the right to say no to toys that are not aligned with your values, but its seems to me that putting the kibosh on certain things only makes them more attractive. So I hesitate to ban things unless I find them really objectionable, and can basically provide a pretty clear explanation (that a youngster would understand) about why. I understand the desire to stay away from the ubiquitours branding culture, but I think that is something a child would not fully understand, and if the toy is innocuous, I think it is best to subtly discourage it or steer your kids to other things (rather than outright banning something for the sake of principle).

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Stop shouting.

When you are relying on a defense, you are already admitting the deed.

Next, consider how you intend to prove your defense: that your deal with the Devil required you to post ad nauseum, "Niece is a future messed up druggie nympo."

Beelzebub's reputation for proper punctuation, creativity and persuasion far exceeds your own. His deals historically have been offered in exchange for talent of which you've shown none.

btw, the distinction between slander and libel is not as clear as it used to be. The line generally is between permanence and impermanence. This media is arguably impermanent. Check your statute as required.

Posted by: Esq to Whoa | July 22, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I feel about barbies the same way I feel about video games and most other toys - fine in moderation and at age-appropriate levels. Especially at the younger ages, the stuff that discourages imaginative play bugs me, although I have found that my son and my meice get bored with those toys pretty quickly too, or find a way to subvert them into something more fun, so that hasn't been much of an issue.

But like Emily, I think outright bans are of limited effectiveness. I try to use what my friend calls a crowding strategy - rather than focusing on avoiding or prohibiting something, focus on including a lot of other things. That said, I also feel no need to purchase for my child things that I don't like, don't think are fun, or find objectionable. If someone else gives it to him or he plays with it at another kid's house, so it goes. But I don't need to be the supplier of crap, LOL.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

But EVERYONE knows that Ken is gay. That is why Barbie never loved him!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

That said, I also feel no need to purchase for my child things that I don't like, don't think are fun, or find objectionable. If someone else gives it to him or he plays with it at another kid's house, so it goes. But I don't need to be the supplier of crap, LOL.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 2:22 PM

A voice of reason crying in the wilderness.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"But EVERYONE knows that Ken is gay. That is why Barbie never loved him!"


Ken cheated on Barbie with one of those street trash Bratz dolls....hope he wore a condom.

Posted by: Jem | July 22, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I LOVED my american girl dolls, Kirsten and Felicity, that I only got after convincing my parents that it was the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas. I saved and saved to buy them clothes, and my birthday gifts were often her's as well, as that's all i wanted. I devoured every book that was written about them and their "friends" and my friends and I wrote the authors to get their feedback. They were so much better then my barbie's, as they had history, familys, old adventures (the ones in the book) and new adventures (the ones I made up). Gosh, I loved those dolls. And while I may not play them anymore, my lingering obsession with the History Channel, Historical Fiction and History novels I'm sure stems from those dolls. Elitist? Maybe. But instilling a lifelong passion in this former little girl? Absolutely.

Posted by: Anne | July 22, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, OK Ken is AC/DC. But Ken's "buddy" is straight gay! NTTIAWWT

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Personally I think the big three monotheistic religions are a lot more sexist and harmful and repressive to females than any plastic doll can be.

Let's stop blaming dolls here- they can be fun toys or not. I've no problem with a parent who says "Not that toy, thanks" though I do question a parent who so early starts out refusing to let their child explore new ideas and experiences because of their own fears and biases.

But let's keep things in perspective- having tons of those dolls and playing with them a lot does not suddenly mean your parenting is ineffective. To suggest that the presence and interaction with these dolls sentences your child to a lifetime of self-esteem, body image, lack of confidence problems is utter BS.

Posted by: Liz D | July 22, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

That said, I also feel no need to purchase for my child things that I don't like, don't think are fun, or find objectionable. "

Great an adult decides what is fun for kids, that is always a winner with kids... Once again the frumpy lucy the lawyer doll sits unplayed with but mom can brag about how she is dealing with anti feminine, consumerist issues blah blah blah.

Posted by: snoozer | July 22, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Good looks and wealth are 2 of the most important.

Hopefully they will get it right the first time and spare themselves, their children, and their family a lot of misery.

Posted by: teach your children | July 22, 2008 1:28 PM

Good looks. Check.

Wealth. Check

Heterosexuality. Not so important to teach your children.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Good looks and wealth are 2 of the most important.

1 out of 2 for Perry.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Great an adult decides what is fun for kids, that is always a winner with kids...

Posted by: snoozer | July 22, 2008 2:38 PM

snoozer is quite the whiner.

Must have been picked last one too many times for the kickball team in second grade.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Heterosexuality. Not so important to teach your children.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 2:39 PM

How early do you start teaching your kid gay-dar?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Anne, how do you feel about tats?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Good looks and wealth are 2 of the most important.
1 out of 2 for Perry.
Posted by: | July 22, 2008 2:43 PM

Posted by: Leslie's Ex strikes again | July 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Anne, how do you feel about tats?

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 2:46 PM

Why do parents get their baby girls ears pierced?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"snoozer is quite the whiner.

Must have been picked last one too many times for the kickball team in second grade."

Snoozer is one of AB's kids....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL @ LOL, I didn't realize what an impression I'd made. Personally, I prefer bit gags or ring gags.

And yes, they do make kinky barbies and kinky teddy bears and plenty of kinky people talk about all the "innocent" power games they enjoyed growing up.

Posted by: Liz D | July 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"Great an adult decides what is fun for kids"

So, who decides what toys your kids get? Do you exercise any discretion at all, or is it just a free-for-all in your family?

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 22, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"Great an adult decides what is fun for kids"

Maybe their kids run the house - kind of like the inmates running the asylum.

"Gee Susy - wouldn't this knife be fun to play with?"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"But now it seems like they're tying to sell tiny kids onto a whole "princess" lifestyle -- you need the dolls and the accessories and the clothes and the makeup and the bedroom set and the furniture and the lunchbox and the dress-up sets and so forth and so on."

So what??
No one is holding a gun to your head to buy this crap, just say No!!

Posted by: Whoa | July 22, 2008 12:59 PM"

----

That said, I also feel no need to purchase for my child things that I don't like, don't think are fun, or find objectionable. "

Great an adult decides what is fun for kids, that is always a winner with kids... Once again the frumpy lucy the lawyer doll sits unplayed with but mom can brag about how she is dealing with anti feminine, consumerist issues blah blah blah.

Posted by: snoozer | July 22, 2008 2:38 PM

----

You are a bad, whiny parent whether you buy the doll or not! Ha ha!

Posted by: ya can't win for losing | July 22, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

My grandmother always snarked on the Golden Girls. She thought they were ridiculous and inappropriate (all the dating and talk about sex I guess). I don't necessarily agree that senior citizens shouldn't have those issues in their lives, but it was kind of much.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 2:52 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Emily, the show was FICTION! Get a grip.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

NewSAHM


"So, who decides what toys your kids get?"

You do. But drop the bull about how difficult it is to make & enforce the decisions because the crap is "everywhere".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

My daughter gave one of her favorite Barbies a haircut and got upset because it looked terrible.

Not a problem though, we shaved the doll's hair as short as possible, and from then on she was known as Butch-Barbie.

She was last seen face down on the floor as if she was munching the carpet.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Great an adult decides what is fun for kids, that is always a winner with kids...

Sounds like Father of 4 whining again about how the only reason he wasn't popular as a child was because his parents wouldn't buy him all the expensive toys & brand name clothes he wanted.

Posted by: If the shoe fits | July 22, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"I try to use what my friend calls a crowding strategy - rather than focusing on avoiding or prohibiting something, focus on including a lot of other things."

I like that description! That's how it works for us, too. I rarely have to worry about this kind of thing, because my girl goes through phases pretty quickly. But if something bugs me (usually something too old for her), I just toss in a few alternatives that I know she likes (baking cookies, going to the park, etc.), and she's very happily diverted.

MN, a kiddie ATM? Really? For the "money comes out of the wall whenever I want it" family? Dang.

Posted by: Laura | July 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Emily, the show was FICTION! Get a grip.
Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM

Snort. It sounds to me like you're the one in need of a firm hold. Perhaps you don't realize this, but this discussion has embarked on Bratz, Barbies, and the sexual orientation of the Ken doll.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

My aunt & uncle went to Vegas & brought me back a toy slot-machine which doubled as a piggy bank. Every 10th dime that you put in, it spewed out 10 dimes.

Posted by: Ka-ching | July 22, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Emily

"My grandmother always snarked on the Golden Girls. She thought they were ridiculous and inappropriate (all the dating and talk about sex I guess). I don't necessarily agree that senior citizens shouldn't have those issues in their lives, but it was kind of much"

The Golden Girls = AARP Sex and the City

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

LizD got the john holmes ken doll and never was the same......

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi Fred (and Frieda)! Today is no better or worse than any other day to stop by--Since OB bit the dust, so to speak, I've lurked here more often and have found that this place is rife with trolls and cranky anonymous posters. I guess they really miss OB! :)

I hope that you two are doing well and that you are staying cool in spite of the heat and humidity in Nawlins this time of year. It's pretty bad up here inside the Beltway, too.

Best wishes to you both!

Posted by: Lynne | July 22, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"For the "money comes out of the wall whenever I want it" family? Dang."

I know, what's wrong with them? I'm teaching my kid about the free money tree instead, it's so much more natural, LOL.


Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"I know, what's wrong with them? I'm teaching my kid about the free money tree instead, it's so much more natural, LOL.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 3:14 PM"

Yeah, but the cost of fertilizer is killing me. :-)

PS -- forgot to say hi Fred and Frieda!!

Posted by: Laura | July 22, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

why did you put just part of my comment and omit what i thought was the funny part about my being old and creaky? you did an edit that slants the comment to your point of view. whether i am or am not nuts is a diagnosis for someone more qualified than you to make. and if i am nuts, i'm certainly happy w/it. better to be nuts than a big, snoring bore.
high and mighty? no one's ever said that to me before. i feel empowered. does that mean i get to go to the front of the line?

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I thought Cohen just sounded like a ranting, cranky old man.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

laura, Zachary.

Emily, the show was FICTION! Get a grip.
Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:01 PM

Yo, fatty, carm down.

Posted by: MN | July 22, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

3:17 was not my post.

Posted by: The real Emily | July 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse


"Sounds like Father of 4 whining again about how the only reason he wasn't popular as a child was because his parents wouldn't buy him all the expensive toys & brand name clothes he wanted."

It was the crappy personality...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The same nameless troll is on a rampage again.

Posted by: Emily | July 22, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse


Someone without an ounce of creativity has exhibited his fondness for Word cut and paste today. His mom must not have come home from work yet, so there he sits masturbat*ng and deciding which fun people to mimic.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Someone without an ounce of creativity has exhibited his fondness for Word cut and paste today. His mom must not have come home from work yet, so there he sits masturbat*ng and deciding which fun people to mimic.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:21 PM

More like calling out MMs who talk out of different sides of their mouth on different blogs.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Someone without an ounce of creativity has exhibited his fondness for Word cut and paste today. His mom must not have come home from work yet, so there he sits masturbat*ng and deciding which fun people to mimic."

Uh, oh.

Posted by: Perry | July 22, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like Father of 4 whining again about how the only reason he wasn't popular as a child was because his parents wouldn't buy him all the expensive
toys & brand name clothes he wanted."

I doubt it. Father of 4 is perfectly capable of getting by on his charm and wits alone.

Posted by: FO4 is my long lost OB hero | July 22, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

More like calling out MMs who talk out of different sides of their mouth on different blogs.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:24 PM

Really? How does attributing a Celebritology commenter's words to Emily at 3:17 accomplish that goal?

You are one bitter girl.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

More like calling out MMs who talk out of different sides of their mouth on different blogs.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:24 PM

so you are being mean in an effort to identify people being mean in an effort to . . .

Interesting Moral Compass.

Posted by: to 3:24 | July 22, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

You win the cut and paste across all blogs prize. Now what are you going to do? Go to Disneyland?

Posted by: for anon at 3:24 | July 22, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I loved playing with Barbies as a girl and also didn't think about the way they looked. Their being blond didn't make me want to be blond either. In fact, I always made them have coffee colored skin and black hair when I colored in Barbie coloring books! I also used to collect the cards and have a nice little collection of them. I have no qualms letting my (future) kids play with them. The Bratz dolls are ugly but I don't see them really promoting a certain lifestyle than boys playing with toy guns makes them violent serial killers.

Posted by: FloridaChick | July 22, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

When I was younger (maybe 11 or 12), my sister and I colored Ken's genitals red and said that he had a disease and had given it to Barbie. We were sick, sick children.

Posted by: Cubeland | July 22, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, but the cost of fertilizer is killing me. :-)"

LOL, exactly!

Emily, it's funny, my mother loved Golden Girls for exactly that reason.

Posted by: babycrocs | July 22, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Golden Girls is coming up in the blog - Estelle Getty passed away today.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the Golden Girls is coming up in the blog - Estelle Getty passed away today.

Posted by: | July 22, 2008 3:59 PM

No s**t, Sherlock.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I like dolls. My favorite dolls are the life sized ones that are anatomically correct. I have a have a beautiful blonde doll woman that I like to dress up and take out on dates, especially when HOV-2 is in force. We go all kinds of places. She doesn't eat much, doesn't drink much, and she doesn't nag me to take out the garbage. And I can take advantage of her anytime I want. She's my my kind of woman.

She wants children, so I thought I would buy her one Barbie and one Bratz. What do you think?

Did you know that Ken eloped with G.I. Joe?

Posted by: Uncle Martin | July 22, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Martin, get her a pussy cat. One with particularly sharp claws.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

My daughter was young when the Bratz surge tilted @ full speed. She occasionally played w/Barbie but wasn't star-struck...I refused to buy Bratz - they were EVERYWHERE, like cockroaches - yech!...movies, t-shirts, curtains, etc...I explained to her that the dolls were just another way to separate parents/kids from their money & make them feel like they need to be like the dolls w/lipstick & adult hoochie clothing. At 14 she shakes her head @ other 13/14 y-o's stumbling in high heels & super minis, rushing up to the boys, looking stupid - oh yeah, I used to model & she is gorgeous - but I don't teach the "how to sell yourself through your body" philosophy. I teach her to be a smart consumer, be fashionable, respect herself & don't fall for the crap.

Posted by: survived the gauntlet | July 22, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"Uncle Martin, get her a pussy cat. One with particularly sharp claws."

I heard tell them thangs have some nasty teeth, too.

Posted by: Uncle Martin | July 22, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"I used to model & she is gorgeous - but I don't teach the "how to sell yourself through your body" philosophy."

Lemme guess. You're too busy teaching little miss gorgeous humility.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

What nonsense! I don't think dolls or princess dresses have much at all to do with self-esteem.

I think having parents who have a lot of untreated psychiatric problems causes self-esteem issues for kids. Our society has so many real problems that directly impact self-esteem (ummmm...obesity, for one). Getting worked up about Barbie dolls, to me, for most Americans is a little like the hardcore alcoholic who decides he or she is going to make a big deal out of how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee. Ridiculous.

I don't buy the Bratz dolls because the name annoys me. But it has nothing to do with sexism.

Posted by: michelle | July 22, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"oh yeah, I used to model & she is gorgeous - but I don't teach the "how to sell yourself through your body" philosophy."

Who would know better how to sell herself than a former model?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

lalalalala

Posted by: Anonymous | July 22, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Registration is NEEDED at this site. Down with the trolls!

Posted by: DCer | July 22, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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