Dad Thinks Disney Doll 'Sadness' Stirs Up Suicidal Thoughts in Kids

sadness doll

Due to the success of Disney's movie Inside Out, dolls depicting the various emotions in the film have been selling like hotcakes, only not everyone is happy about it. One concerned dad claims that the talking doll Sadness makes suicidal comments that could plant some scary ideas in the mind of his daughter.


Andrew Smith, 34, of Dingwall, Scotland, had bought the doll for his 11-year-old daughter Regan at a Disney store. But he was soon shocked to hear the doll making what he calls "suicidal comments" like "Good-bye friendship, hello loneliness" and "Crying makes me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems."

"I think it is a really damaging message for young children, in particular preteens who maybe struggling with hormones anyway," he told the press.

Smith contacted Disney and said the doll should be recalled. To which they replied, "Sadness is pivotal to the happy memories that are created, as without her there can be no value to the feeling of joy."

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I, for one, think this dad is overreacting. For one, unless this doll is saying "I should just kill myself," I don't think a doll can cause suicidal thoughts. Abusive or neglectful parenting, bullying -- THOSE can cause suicidal thoughts. But not a doll.

But I do think dolls can put us in touch with feelings we are already having -- and that it's important for kids to know it's okay to feel sad. Because sadness is one of those emotions that's so tempting to push away and pretend is not there.

One time, my daughter was acting like a jerk -- refusing to brush her teeth, put on her pajamas, go to bed -- and it took some serious time and effort to peal away the layers of defenses she'd built up to realize that deep down, she was sad (that some kid had dissed her at school, but that's a whole other story).

Perhaps if my daughter had had a Sadness doll, she would have just told me, "Mama, I'm sad today because blah blah blah." Then I could have hugged her and talked with her and hopefully made her feel a little bit better. 

I hope Andrew comes to realize his daughter picked this doll for a good reason ... or else, if not, he can send that doll my way.


Image via Amazon

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