What started out as mere objects of amusements for little kids, soon turned into their obsessions. Toys shape the mindset of a child, so it is very important to pay attention to what a toddler is learning from.
Mattel, the company that manufactures Barbie dolls, has been targeted by feminists and parents for decades now:
Why should little girls see the ideal body image as fake and underweight?
Wouldn’t that lead them into following eating disorders?
Moreover, why should a pretty blonde model always be a fashionista or baby sitter?
What started out as a miniature of Californian surfing beauties soon turned into the grotesquely lean, skinny Barbara – girlfriend of rich brat Ken.
However, over the years, many new variation have been brought about. Not just the Barbie, but also the other toys that companies are making, are wary of the way they mould the psychology of the children – to not affect their impressionable minds negatively.
Though I’d rather have a child reading a good book (like I did), here are some toys may have taught us a thing or two…
The Barbie with a Profession: If you are a 90s kid, you will remember the cool new Barbies that came with stethoscopes and tool boxes. This new range was a fad. But what’s more important is that these dolls opened our world to the possibility that being a girl or having superficial beauty has nothing to do with having a great career!
The Breast milk Baby: This was a huge scandal when Berjuan Toys released their product. The reviews were mixed and mostly extreme. A doll that would make suckling sounds when placed to a little girl’s chest? An early lesson in education of the body? Maybe. But many others found it disgusting. Either way, the girls were learning how babies ate.
The Lammily doll: Average is beautiful. With this aim, artist Nicola Lamm created a doll that was closer to the real body structure of a 19-year-old. She doesn’t have feet designed solely for high heels, she sometimes gets acne, and some models also have stretch marks. Accessory stickers of glasses, tattoos, moles and other such customization can be bought separately– giving each girl the freedom to choose what her doll should look like, based on her own judgment and preference.
The Realistic Barbie: Maybe Mattel’s marketing and design teams have found the common ground, and maybe the company will not be shot down. After a long line of controversies and compensations, the Barbie has now restructured the concept of ideal body image. The new range of dolls come in 4 body types, 7 skin tones, 18 eye colors, 18 hairstyles and many occupations. We are happy with this, but maybe a few more things could be adopted from models like Lammily: perhaps the normal feet and the acne?
The Lego man on the wheel chair: It’s not just girls who play with tiny toys. And girls don’t just play with dolls. The wheelchair Lego guy is another new release, which has the same small design of man sitting in a movable wheelchair. It is encouraged that he be placed among the other “normal” men – and no one made fun of him, and no one ever bullied him for being as he was!
So on the whole, the toy universe is evolving. It’s not just the toy movies that are widening their horizon and depicting a less fantastical world, but also the everyday plastics that the children get on Christmas.
Tell us in the comments section if you know of any other such playthings, suitable for the children.
Images from Google and Mashable.