My Facebook feed has been full of posts about the controversy over an anatomically correct baby boy doll that is being sold at Toys R Us. I want to know why this is making news when anatomically correct boy dolls have been around for so long.
When I was a kid, I had an anatomically correct baby boy doll made by Mattel. He was in the Baby Tenderlove line of dolls and was sold as their little brother. Being the daughter of a mother that loved dolls, I had dolls of all kinds and that included several of the Ideal, Tenderlove dolls.
Now in the mid to late 70’s when this doll was introduced there was also another anatomically correct boy doll by Ideal that was on the market, called Archie Bunker’s Grandson Joey, from the sitcom All In The Family.
This little doll was very similar to Ideal’s Tenerderlove little boy. Funny thing is, when we were buying the Joey doll, we got home to find that Baby Tenderlove had been put in the box instead. The only reason I knew it was not Joey was the eye color was different. So I had a Joey box and Tenerderlove doll. Either way they were very similar and both with their little boy parts. I still have him around here somewhere.
So back to the original question of why is this an issue now in the year 2014? Does this cause anyone real issues? Recently I heard 2 colleagues who are in their early 30’s say they were not allowed to have a Ken doll growing up. That’s a foreign concept to me and all the little girls I played with growing up had Ken to go with their Barbie and be a husband and a dad. I would think those parents would want their girls to have the traditional family dynamic.
I truly cannot comprehend what must have been their train of thought. Do they think somehow a Ken doll will corrupt their daughter and how exactly would that happen? Like I said, I liked having the family dynamic of a mom and dad Barbie family and it did not cause issues of any kind.
I think not being allowed to have the doll raises more issues and does more harm. It also instills that men are bad or will have the child then focused on what’s the reason her parents will not allow Ken in the house. So in the long run, trying to protect their child from whatever it is they are trying to protect them from is instead focusing the child’s attention on it.
As I am writing this, I just remembered the 70’s Sunshine Dolls also from Mattel. I had these dolls too and they were sold as a family unit with a mother, father and baby or baby and toddler. I think this is a healthy concept for kids and you could even buy additional kids, babies and grandparents as well as a craft store business and family home.
In closing I think a much more controversial doll is the Breast Milk Baby doll by Berjun. In my opinion, it’s a very weird concept that little girls should put on a top that gives them breasts so they can breastfeed their doll. I understand it’s natural, but natural for a woman not a little girl. The whole idea of it is unsettling to me. However, an anatomically correct boy doll; that’s so last century!