Why “normal Barbie” might not be the answer

Caryn Rivadeneira

Caryn Rivadeneira
December 2, 2014

If we want kids to have good stories to tell, we don’t need a better or truer doll. We need a better, truer mind.

Amanda Cleary Eastep
December 2, 2014


Barbie does get lots of flack when she's just a small part of a larger issue. Your post puts things in some perspective since, yes, she is a toy. I'm more concerned about the way human women are portrayed in advertising and believe that has a deeper impact than Barbie on how girls view themselves.

In addition, for the many, many children who are not taught that they are made in God's image--and I wonder exactly how that is "taught" even to young Christian women--outside influences such as toys, games, movies, and TV have a greater influence on self image.

Thanks for your thoughts!

December 2, 2014

I can see your point. As the father of a young girl, I struggle with her obsession with "prettyness" and princesses. Honestly, my wife and I haven't told her that princesses are fun, it's just what she's been drawn toward. Those dolls are girls, like her, so she likes playing with them.

But I like the idea that there's now a girl doll out there that will give her a different idea of "pretty." All of the Barbies and Disney princesses have the same body type, and that's what she sees as "so pretty."

I'd love to see more Lammily dolls, actually-- with different shapes and sizes.

No matter how much my wife and I tell her that it's more important to be kind and love Jesus than it is to be pretty, she still wants to play princesses and marvel at how "pretty" they are. I suppose we could take them away from her, but I think I'd rather give her different (shaped and sized) dolls instead, and let her marvel at their beauty.

December 2, 2014

One other thing that's disturbing - at least from the description you give, Caryn - is the idea that someone who looks like Barbie can be dismissed, as if pretty women can't be engineers or pilots or chefs or doctors or whatever.

April 10, 2015

This was so interesting to learn how children think of this subject. Thank you for doing this experiment and making it available to everyone. And you are on point when you talk about teaching children that they are made in God's image, not the toys they play with.

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