Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why we’ve decided to say No to..



Before my little girl was old enough to play with Barbies, I didn’t really give Barbies much thought as to whether or not they would or would not reside in my home. If someone would have asked me, “Are you going to let your daughters play with Barbies?” I would have just sort of looked at them blankly like, “Why wouldn’t I, I did!”

One day, right before my oldest daughter was old enough to play with Barbies, but definitely not interested (remember we did pigs for forever a couple of years), I came across this article in a No Greater Joy magazine (be sure to sign up for their free magazine).  I started out thinking about it some, but this article didn’t really convince me totally. What did convince me is that I started noticing these hoochy mama Barbies were dressed in a way that I would never want my daughter to dress. Need another picture or two?

bathing_suit_barbie_doll_ PoisonIvyBarbie

My daughter has had a few Barbies that were bought for her by other people. We have since trashed all of her Barbies and she has total understanding of why we have done so. We have discussed this with her and she is supportive somewhat. :) I know she will completely understand when she is older.

Maybe I could buy only modest Barbies? (I tried to find a modest Barbie picture, but after 6 Google Image Pages I really couldn’t find one I thought was modest). What happens when the Barbies are undressed? If your little girl is like mine, you will find the dolls without clothes more than with. Have a look…

naked_barbie_and_kenThis is so repulsive to me. I feel like I have posted porn on my blog twice in one month! (Pray Saints :)

If you have sons in your home (as I do), is this the image you want them to see on a daily basis—or even an occasional basis—or even a once a year basis? Please, if you do decided to continue with Barbies in your home, at least make sure they stay covered.

Speaking from experience, Barbies are sources of imaginative play for young girls and this can result in a form of idolatry. I have watched little girls play with Barbie and Ken and immediately that would get still and just sit and hold Barbie and Ken for many moments, somewhat lost in their own play. Young girls can and will pretend they are Barbie and Ken is, well, their boyfriend and then they will act out certain scenes, which will depend upon how ‘educated’ the little girl is. Is. this. Healthy?

Little girls will want to dress like their Barbies (or the correct term is undress like their Barbies). Teenage life will not come soon enough for your precious little girl.

I know you are like me in wanting to preserve your daughter’s girlish years. Her innocence. Her femininity.

Pray about what God would have you do. I would encourage you to make sure that godliness reflects in what your children watch and with what your children play. You will not be alone in your decision. My brother’s wife had on her last 2 year’s Christmas lists, No Barbies! She has 3 precious little girls to preserve. I recently talked with this mother of 10 and she mentioned that she never allowed Barbies to be played with by her daughters. Dolls help young girls learn to be mothers, not Barbies. Barbies teach young girls about having a Ken/Barbie relationship and about how to be a teenager.

I would love to hear your comments yay or nay.

PS If you are looking for great, wholesome toys for your children, check out


  1. Honestly I've never thought about it before, but you made some good points.

  2. I don't know! We have all boys right now, and if this next baby is a girl, I guess I will have to make a decision... I thought (maybe I am not remembering correctly?) that the same company came out with a less-endowed "barbie" doll? I know that if I do have a girl, however, that she will one day have an American Girl doll to play with--she might not "need" anything like Barbie...

  3. I have always been a firm NO to the Bratz dollz...but I never made too much of a fuss about Barbies. Although I agree their outfits are horrible! I *do* see where you are coming from though....Madelyn, fortunately, isn't a huge barbie fan. She likes playing with her doll house people (who have non-removable clothing) and playing outside with the boys. This would probably be a more difficult and necessary issue for me if I had more than one girl! :)

    Also...I am very discerning with No Greater Joy ministries. Although I have gleaned some good from them....I also am very careful of what advice of theirs I take.

    I think you are making a good decision and commend you on it! :)

  4. I saw your comment on Candy's blog and thought I'd pay a lil visit! :)
    Like the above commenter, we've said "NO" on the Bratz Dolls. They are so awful. But I guess I never thought of the same rules with Barbies. I'll have to look, but I'm fairly confident that the Barbies that my daughter has have clothes on that are formed into the plastic of the body of the doll. I know for sure her Snow White and Cinerella Barbies do and I don't think her Ariel dolls clothes come off either. She also has a fairy doll that the only article of clothing that comes off is the skirt, she has a teal "swimsuit" type thing on that is molded in the plastic. She doesn't have any boy Barbies so I can't speak for those. But you do make some good points. I wouldn't want my 4 yo to be playing with nekkid dolls either. :) Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  5. My home is a "no Barbie zone." I remember my Barbies well, and still have them, buried somewhere in storage, awaiting their trip to the trash can.

    I used to think that the clothes that came for Barbie was how sophisticated, young women dressed. I actually tried to dress like Barbie, because I thought that was how it was supposed to be done.

    I used to look at Barbie without clothing, and wonder when I'd get big b**bs like her.

    Barbie = corruption of innocent, young minds. Forming minds to think life is supposed to be worldly, with fancy (slutty) clothing. No. Thank. You.

  6. Hmmm...interesting comments. I don't have a problem with Barbies. My youngest who is 6 just started playing with them. She plays just like I did , they are mommy, daddy and children. I never looked at Barbie and wondered when I would become so well endowed, but perhaps my home atmosphere growing up was very different from others. I had positive role models for motherhood so that is what I knew. That is innocence. I do not like the clothes out there for Barbie so I bought vintage patterns on Ebay and made my own. I would never judge anyone who lets their children play with them or call my home a no barbie zone, to me that is so legalistic. One can always adapt something, and it is not compormising. Just my opinion:-) Here is my post when my daughter turned 6 with some of the clothes we made Barbie.

  7. What interesting comments! Just wanted to add that I've been paying more attention to how my kids play with the Barbies since I read this post, and will continue to. So far, Grace plays with them as the big Barbie the Mommy and a smaller doll the baby. All their clothes are pretty decent, no bikinis or negliglee type stuff. Mom even made some dresses for them that are longer and cover a lot of area. It does concern me that as they get older, they will start noticing and playing with them in a more negative way. Thinking back, most of what I can remember about playing with Barbies was the boyfriend/girlfriend thing, which probably had more to do with what I was exposed to outside the home than how the Barbies influenced me. Very thought provoking and I will definitely be more attentive about them from now on--I've already weeded some of them out. :)

  8. Wow, I'm glad you posted this. We don't allow our girls (ages 6 and almost 4) to play with Barbies either. I feel like some what of an odd ball, but I really feel strongly about the issue for the exact reasons you mentioned.

    My girls play with baby dolls, of course, and they really enjoy "Life of Faith dolls"- Amy has an "Elsie Dinsmore" doll, and both the girls have several "Faith and Friends" dolls. These dolls are similar to Barbie in size, but they are "little girl dolls"- not grown women with big busts. :P Because the dolls are made by a Christian company, the doll clothing is modest as well.

    To my knowledge, Life of Faith is no longer producing their dolls (whaaa!), but the dolls and clothing are still available in stores and online. I definitely recommend them to anyone who is considering staying away from Barbie dolls. We've found "Faith and Friends" dolls to be a wholesome, fun alternative. The dolls are pretty and well made, and the accessories are so cute!

    Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

  9. Thanks for all who commented. I really appreciate it. I'm glad those who aren't getting rid of Barbies are at least becoming concious (I can never spell that word correctly) of issues that can arise. That was what this post was about. On the other hand, I know Candy and she is a 'say it like she sees it' person and it is okay on my blog for her to say a 'no Barbie zone' after all it is her home. Mine is a No-Barbie Zone as well.
    Thanks for all comments. Make sure to comment on the topic and not on the comments made by others, k? I don't want to sound mean, that's not me, but I just want everyone to be able to have their say, yk. Okay, nuff bout that.
    :) :)

  10. This is very interesting. I did feel rather uneasy with my daughter having a Barbie type doll, but only because of 'body image' ideals which can cause low self-esteem. My husband, who was a nurse, pointed out that it is a very unrealistic body-type anatomically. A woman that thin would hardly have a bosom that big! Now my daughter is grown this is an issue I can talk to her about. She has had her struggles concerning body-image too.

  11. I have found this subject very interesting even though I don't have a little girl, just a little boy! I have started noticing when I would go into a toy store how provocative Barbie would be dreassed and a lot of the other dolls as well! I remember having only a couple of Barbies growing up that someone had purchased for me besides my parents because they were not crazy about them even back then and look how far we have come now!!! I am also having some of the same issues about toys with my son because I don't allow him to play with the action figures that are out such as Spider Man ect. He still loves to play with his trains and Match Box cars and I hope it stays that way!!! I feel like if I don't let him set and watch those kind of things on tv I am not going to let him play with the action figures from them!!! Just my opion!!!

  12. Just reading some of your past posts. We only had sons, so I never had to deal with this. Growing up, I was never allowed to have Barbies. My Mom said then, and still says, she never wanted me to feel like that was how I should look. I agree with all you said! Amen!

  13. Enjoyed reading your post about Barbie and I have a couple of comments. I am a mother of four children. My only daughter is my oldest- she is now 13. I decided when she was a baby that we would be a "no barbie household" for two reasons. 1) eating disorders- the disturbing part of the naked photos you posted, to me, is not the nudity, which is natural, but the proportions that Barbie has been manufactured to have. They are not normal, for any woman, and certainly not honoring to women's real bodies in any way. Much like pornography. 2) Barbie was originally created as a sex toy for men (thus the large chest), back in the '50s I believe. Not much that needs to be clarified for that....My in-laws purchased barbies, perhaps to spite me and my "rules" but I did not allow them in my house (my daughter was 3 at the time!) and that was that....In our culture, it is hard to find mothers who care enough to think deeply about the messages that our girls receive, via many different media, toys included. Thanks for your thoughts. :)


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