Thursday, August 4, 2011

About Dolls - How Much Reality is Too Much?

The following isn't verbatim, but I will try to relay it as best I can and I am leaving some parts out.

This morning, I heard a comedian (unknown) ranting about toy dolls on a morning talk show. He was discussing how he didn't like that they've now come out with breastfeeding dolls ...complete with sound. He went on about how they should be more like Chatty Cathy (doll from 60s) was, although he made fun of the voice wearing out after the string was pulled too many times. He thought the Betsy Wetsy (60s) doll was too much. Then he said something like "The next thing you know they'll be selling a "Barbie Gets Her Period" doll. Once a month you won't be able to play with her!"

Ha ha!

I'll just add ...they could also have a PMS button to press for the CRAZEE days before Barbie's period. ;)

I decided to go over to Youtube to check out this breastfeeding doll.

First I will say that I nursed both sons and provided for all their nourishment until they went on baby food at 5 months and then I continued for several months after. I know it is not for everyone, but I found it to be one of the most amazing and rewarding maternal experiences ever, that I shall always remember with great fondness.

That being said, I have to say that I did not at all care for seeing this little girl breastfeeding her doll. I know breast feeding is a natural function that nourishes the baby, while also bonding mother and child. It is a beautiful experience.

Children in families with breastfeeding moms, know full well that their mother is feeding the new baby. It becomes the accepted, natural norm. No big deal.

But, I do take issue with this particular doll. You can go view the video for yourself. Maybe you will disagree with me. There is a comment thread with varying points of view ...sometimes heated. I am sure little girls have emulated their moms nursing the baby before. Although, my friends and I never even thought of that when we played dolls. Probably because we were all bottle fed in the 50s!

It just seemed weird to see the little girl in the video put on an over the head strap on halter apron, that has 2 circular, rose red or pink with green border marked out areas representing her breasts and then place the nursing doll right there ...complete with motion of suckling and sound effects.

I think it has the potential for being provocative around the wrong person. And ...I don't think little girls need to put all that much focus on *their* breasts ...even though plastic halter apron in this case. They'll grow up fast enough. It just seemed too personal. It took child's play to another level that I don't feel is age appropriate. I would never buy that doll for any little girl.

Imagination works just fine in this case.


Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Although I have not yet seen the video about this, I must say I agree with your point of view. There are just things that should be left alone and let the little girls and little boys discover things for themselves without us graphically showing them the process. Times have changed and in the name of the almighty dollar, they have introduced so many new concepts of playing. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Chrysalis Angel said...

You're right, Sea. Little girls have to grow up too fast already. Let them be protected, and be able to play and be innocent and young while they can. Kids today are exposed to too much, too soon.

SeaSpray said...

Hi Mel - Well said. I really do think there is something to allowing them to use their imaginations ...which fosters creativity, etc. This one was too much. I wonder if it will become popular? I don't see it.

Thanks for your input and God Bless you too. :)

SeaSpray said...

Hi Angel- yes exposed to too much too early from so many sources.

I think society is getting desensitized to so much. Childhood is magical while still innocent.

I told Iris about this today and she agreed not a good doll at all. It is just too weird having a little girl put on fake breasts ..even if just flat flowers and then have a baby suckling there.

Even women go off somewhere private when they can ..most do anyway.

Iris is making a trip down to NC beaches tomorrow and is nervous about it. She's been hanging in there and the chemo never seems to stop. This week was her 13th treatment since last june. She had radiation twice in between and Tarceva pill which ca grew when on that. Chemo not shrinking ..but not growing and so they keep it at bay.

Cancer patients have so many appts and they often don't feel goo. I know you understand.

I am just so glad they are doing this and I pray all goes well. her family going too. :)

Have a great weekend Angel! :)

Anonymous said...

i think it's a great idea to present breastfeeding as a norm that little girls (and everyone else) can grow up being comfortable with. i think in a society where many of our mothers chose not to breastfeed for a variety of valid reasons, it's difficult to return to a culture of breastfeeding because it feels uncomfortable and awkward when you don't grow up in a community of women openly nursing their babies, and we don't have as many resources to show us we're doing it right, or to comfort and reassure us when it's not going well. (what we do have are free cans of formula that show up in the mailbox unrequested, just taunting us in those weary moments where nothing is going right) i think this doll is a step in the right direction, but it will definitely seem strange in our culture, to see young girls pretend nursing because breastfeeding isn't as wholly accepted and is hidden away, while breasts are treated as sex objects instead of what their primary purpose is - nourishment and comfort.

i honestly believe that this doll is a lot less provocative than most barbies, bratz, etc.


SeaSpray said...

Hi Peggy - I think breast feeding is a a lot more accepted than even in the 70s or 80s. While I wholeheartedly support breastfeeding, I just don't think this would be advisable in this format for little girls. Perhaps it is my own childhood experience that sets off alarms to this. You just never know who is watching and why. I would want to do everything to keep any of that kind of attention away from children. As a fully committed breastfeeding mom ...even so, that video set off alarms in me.

Barbies are pretty,sexy and unrealistic in body proportion and Bratz dolls seem so trashy looking.

Still ..I am okay with barbie.

Anonymous said...

maybe i'll get it for myles ;)

Anonymous said...

I nursed 3 babies and my daughter did not require a "breastfeeding" doll. All her dolls were breastfed.

SeaSpray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

Children emulate what they see in the home and elsewhere and breastfeeding is so natural and beautiful. One of the best bonding times.

I liked the doll, not the suckling part. and not the apron. the combo seemed to much. Imagination better in this case. And I am no prude. But, I lived with a perv next door when I was a young girl girlfriend's father. He first exposed himself to me when I was 9. he had been watching me for a good 5 years after that and did some other things. thank God he never physically hurt me. Maybe I will write about it sometime.

So ...I am very sensitive to the fact that even people you trust ..or should be able to ...can be pervs on the inside. Even with my sons ...I was extremely protective about who ..what families, etc they were with. And I just know ...had that man seen a little girl with that doll would've fanned the flames already burning. It is sad and infuriating that we need to be on guard and perhaps I am hypervigilant ...but I would rather err on the side of caution ...because there are some things in life ...once they happen can't go back can't undo them. My innocence was robbed at 9. Not physically ...but it was what it was and I never told anyone ...not anyone. Until I was 14 and got mad at something else he was doing and then I blew up and I probably scared him. he deserved it and more. But, no one reported him! And I wonder what happened to my girlfriend in that house?