When Dolls Need Chaperones

Photo by Peter Becker

Kids need protecting. Few adults would argue otherwise. But here is a threat we may not be taking seriously enough . . .

An article that posted last night on MSNBC suggests that the line of dolls that children play with today (think pixies, fairies, and humanized horses) are a totally different breed than we played with a few decades ago.

And while innovation and improvement is the expectation in the creative industry, the article suggests that some things are better left the way they were. We want kids to grow up, of course, but should their dolls?

One glance at the row of pint-sized princesses at the top of the article gave me enough insight to understand immediately the issues at stake. The row of scantily-dressed, flirtatious, midriff-baring dolls made me wonder why it is such a surprise that our children are 5 going on 25. Is it any wonder that little girls want to dress and act like the toys they own?

Education isn’t limited to the classroom.

(The article didn’t even have time to address whether or not scantily-dressed, flirtatious, midriff-baring adults were a good idea. I vote, “No.”)

The article suggests that provocative dolls belong in the same category as violent video games and PG-13 movies. Parents need to pay attention to the dangers.

Here’s a simple litmus test from my perspective:

If your child came to the table dressed/acting like that doll, would you send her back to her room? If so, you might consider swapping out Trampy Tracie for Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Muffin, and Orange Blossom.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I never comment, but had to tonight. I couldn't agree more. Great post tonight on adult responsibility. Thank you.

    Lydia G. Moore

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't usually comment either, but you hit the nail on the head, Trisha. It is a sad day when we become desensitized to such things. Thanks for posting.


  3. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU. I just walked through the kids aisle at the store and shuddered the whole time. Such an oversight on our parts as adults.

    Mom to four

  4. Anonymous says:

    I couldn't agree more! When my daughter was two, I began dreading the day we would have to begin shopping in the little girl department. I would walk into Target and shudder at the advertisement posters of little girls dressed provocatively and posed suggestively. Now that we are there, it has become difficult to dress her modestly. We are certainly thankful for Strawberry Shortcake and her friends to play with, as well as her cartoon that teaches great values. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Deborah says:

    Thank you for the post! I get so frustrated when trying to find acceptable toys as gifts for nieces and friends' children.
    As a mother to three girls I had to be constantly on my guard about this…. and my girls are 16, 20 and 22!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your kind comments! So good to see so many taking this issue seriously. Never too young to start making good choices . . .


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