7-Year-Old Girl’s Honest Reactions to 10 Barbies Will Shock the Doll’s Critics

Jeanne Sager | Aug 16, 2012 Tweens & Teens

barbieI'm not sure if there's any toy as fraught with controversy as Barbie. The doll is blamed for everything from decimating girls' self esteem to encouraging them to dress like hookers.

The whole debate is enough to give any mother of a girl a serious case of agita before each and every birthday party, lest one of the little gift givers comes walking in with a doll box. But with a 7-year-old in my house who has played with the occasional Barbie (none of which I purchased) and still seems to have a pretty hearty self esteem, I was curious: how much is the Barbie debate in our heads? Do little girls really think what we think they think when we see a Barbie?

I decided to find out.

I went online and found 10 Barbie dolls that range from slutty and skanky to pretty run of the mill. I found the tattoo Barbie who started the whole debacle last year. I found some designed to encourage girls to aspire to big careers (even president), and some that are decidedly not for kids.

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And then I placed the photos one by one in front of my 7-year-old daughter and asked her what she thought. I didn't coach her beside telling her that there were no wrong answers and she wouldn't be in any trouble ... and asking her a question or two (would you play with this doll? would you dress like this doll?).

What she said made me feel a lot better about letting her play with Barbies ... not to mention my parenting. Take a look ... it might surprise you.

What's your take on little girls and Barbie?

 

Image via Flavio (back for awhile)/Flickr

  • 'Dancing With the Stars' Barbie

    1

    I would play with her. I kind of like that skirt because it's pink and yellow. I think she would be a fashion model. I wouldn't want to look like her because she has skin showing, but if she didn't have that, I would want to really, really play with her.

  • I Can Be President Barbie

    2

    I think she would be a dog walker. I would want to play with her a lot. I kind of like her shoes; they're pink and I like pink. I like her more than the last one because she doesn't have too much skin showing.

  • Black Canary Barbie

    3

    Oooh! I kind of actually really like her hair. I think she'd be a singer. I think I would play with her because I kind of really want to be a singer when I grow up. I wouldn't wear that because it's black and I don't really like black that much, but I actually kind of like the boots the best.

  • Tokidoki Tattoo Barbie

    4

    Whoa! That's cute! She's awesome. I like the pants; I like cheetahs! I wouldn't wear the pictures on my skin except that one (points to the tiger), and I would wear the rest. I would want to look like her the most.

    Note: This is the only Barbie she said she really wanted to look like.

  • Architect Barbie

    5

    Ooh, that's cute! I think she would build stuff because that looks like blueprints in there. I would do that but I would wear a hat.

  • Stacie Barbie Doll

    6

    Is that a kitty cat? I would like to be like her. I would like to play with her a lot because there's a kitty that she comes with. I kind of like her shoes the best, but I like the dress without the vest. If I could have it [the dress] separate, that would be nice.

  • Palm Beach Barbie

    7

    Ooh, she's cute! But she's like the other one with skin showing out. It's not really me, but I like the rest of her. I think she would be a fashionista. I would dress like her sort of, without my skin showing out.

  • Cooking Teacher Barbie

    8

    She's the chef of a cook shop, and that kid might be her daughter. It's bring your daughter to work day. I actually do want to play with her really, really a lot, but I wouldn't want to be her when I grow up because I don't really want to work at a place like she works.

  • Cat Burglar Barbie

    9

    She dresses like a cat. I like the outfit kind of because it's really tight, and I wouldn't want to be tight. But I would really want to play with her. I think she would be a spy, but I wouldn't because spies wear tight stuff.

  • Movie Star Barbie

    10

    I think she would be a red carpet walker. I would definitely play with her because I like movie stars and her outfit. I would wear her outfit because it's really, really pretty. It's not tight.

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