Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doll Trouble

Eek. I don't know, too real? Not real enough?  And the sociological angle:
One weird thing about Toy Fair is all of the stringent gender norms that are pushed in marketing-speak. Trucks are for boys. Transformers are for boys. Nerf is for boys. So what do girls get? This exceedingly creepy robo-baby, designed to train them to be mothers. Seriously.
So this doll isn't totally horrible (though, c'mon, we've all see that Twilight Zone, right? You know the one).  But why does it only interact with Mommy? Maybe it has a daddy-switch in the back, not sure. I wonder what message my daughter would get from this doll? Would this doll make me look bad?
Mommy, how come my doll always asks for mommy? I ask for Daddy when you're at work? You're the one who is supposed to be home with me, right? Isn't that right mommy, you're neglecting me? My dolly represents cultural norms. Why are you forcing me to grow up in a culturally inconsistent household?
Right? I mean, who wants to live with that sort of guilt?

I'm going to need my mom to remind me to what extent I played with dolls and mothered my toys as a child. I remember stuffed animals more than dolls. I loved my American Girl doll when I was older. But I don't think I mothered it. I probably friended it.  I recall my little sister having the wetsy type dolls.  And I know my older sister was crazy excited to get my niece her first baby doll.  I am already, however, projecting onto my daughter and her toys my anger over the expectation that girls grow up all nuture-y and the message sent by "My First Ironing Board" or whatever.

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