Did you play with dolls when you were growing up? I did. I loved them. In fact, I still have them. They are all hidden away in a box in the basement along with some very funky fashions. I like to take them out every few years to marvel over the memories, fashions and body dimensions.
One of the most common toys for little girls is the B*****. You know which one I mean. Growing up I never really thought about whether my dolls were a reflection of what I would grow up to look like. But looking back, I can see how it could have affected me. I remember lying on the floor with my feet in the air so I could see them better to practice shaping them into the famous pointed toe (If you didn't, don't tell me about it. I'm embarrassed enough). What about those unusual splits she always could do? Fabulous. I always wanted to be able to do that.
Looking back I don't think my dolls affected my body image until I hit puberty and started to notice all the starlets kind of looked like my dolls, but I didn't. My friends didn't either, even though some of them came pretty close. Sure I was a little envious of B***** but I was pretty much envious of anyone who didn't look like me. When I look at pictures of myself fifteen years ago I realize I was perfect. Hind sight and the realization which comes with age, that we are all perfect.
I looked nothing like my dolls. Except maybe the blonde hair and blue eyes (yes they are both natural). It's been said that if we actually had the proportions of B***** we'd fall over. I never wanted to have her proportions, just her symmetrical uplifted breasts and tush. And the Betty Grable legs. The thick long blonde hair was nice too. Ok. Maybe I was more affected than I thought.
I'm really conflicted over this issue. Part of me wants to say "It's just a doll" but another part of me wants to say "How could something featured so much in a young girl's life not have an impact?"
It's been a hot topic amongst women for decades but now there is an alternative. Finally, a doll for children and adults that is representative of real women. Audrey Bell and Georgette Taylor created the concept of full-figured fashion dolls in 1999. Big Beautiful Dolls. Not only did they think of body image they considered race. Their dolls are available in African American, Latina, or Caucasian. The price is a little heftier ($59.95) than the average B***** but if you are buying for any kids like me who actually end up keeping them for a life time then it's worth it.
According to the designers, these dolls "represent the 62% of women and young girls who are size 14 and over." Not only that, they're beautiful, they're fashionable, and they make a great gift alternative to the B-word. I don't think B***** needs to be done away with but it's nice to have an option to complement little girls' toy boxes.
Visit the Official Big Beautiful Dolls website.