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Do Girls Today Need More than Just Fashion Dolls?

Do Girls Today Need More than Just Fashion Dolls?

It’s no secret that girls are underrepresented in fields like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

While there are many factors at play, one of the reasons could be the toys that young girls are given to play with. dolls and other traditionally “girly” toys.

Research shows that when it comes to gender-based toy preferences, there is a clear divide between boys and girls by age three. 

Boys prefer toys that allow them to explore and experiment, such as blocks and action figures. Girls, on the other hand, prefer dolls and other toys that allow them to act out social roles and scenarios.

Fashion dolls have a history of being manufactured with very specific reasons in mind.

They are designed to uphold specific ideals of beauty, which typically include light skin, long hair, small noses, and slim figures.

The problem with fashion dolls is that they present a very limited view of what it means to be a woman. 

They send the message that women must be pretty and thin in order to be considered valuable or worthy. This can lead to body image issues and low self-esteem in girls who play with them.

History of fashion dolls

French companies dominated the fashion doll market between 1860 & 1890.

The first doll made entirely of bisque porcelain was developed in Germany by Louis Rohmer in 1884 & sold under the brand name 'Dolly Face'.

German antique doll

Fashion dolls were first introduced to America in the early 1900s when the French company Jumeau began exporting its dolls to the US.

During the 1920s, American companies like Ideal Toy Company and Effanbee began producing their own fashion dolls.

The most popular fashion doll of the 20th century was Barbie, who made her debut in 1959.

Today, there are many different types of fashion dolls available on the market, catering to different age groups and interests.

Fashion Dolls Were Originally Meant to Prepare Children for Adulthood

Originally, fashion dolls were meant to prepare children for adulthood. They were meant to teach girls how to dress and behave like adults. 

It was a way of instilling the values of beauty, femininity, and fashion at a young age.

Fashion Dolls Send a Limited Message About Beauty

The problem with fashion dolls is that they present a very limited view of what it means to be a woman. 

They send the message that women must be pretty and thin in order to be considered valuable or worthy. 

This can lead to body image issues and low self-esteem in girls who play with them.

Fashion Dolls Can Help Girls Develop Important Skills

Despite their drawbacks, fashion dolls can actually help girls develop important skills. For example, dressing and undressing dolls can help improve fine motor skills. 

Playing with dolls can also help children learn about empathy and caring for others.

So while fashion dolls may not be the most empowering toys for girls, they can still be used in a way that helps children learn and grow.

Childhood Today Is Longer Than Ever Before In Human History

Due to a number of factors, the period of time that children are considered children has become longer in recent times; increased life expectancy, higher levels of education, and changing social norms have all contributed to that.

As a result, children now have more time to play and explore different types of toys. And while this can be a good thing, it also means that they are exposed to more gender-stereotyped toys for longer periods of time.

This can lead to girls developing limiting beliefs about their abilities and what they can achieve in life.

So it’s important that parents and caregivers select toys for girls that will help them develop a broad range of skills and interests.

Pay closer attention to the types of toys we allow into girls’ worlds

As parents, we are often guilty of letting the idea of being seen as rude for not accepting gifts for our children from family/friends cloud our better judgement. And while it’s not always easy to do, we need to start paying closer attention to the types of toys we allow into girls’ worlds, even if they are from our loved ones.

We need to pay closer attention to the types of toys we allow into girls’ worlds and be willing to say no when necessary. This means choosing toys that promote exploration and creativity, rather than those that reinforce gender stereotypes.

It’s not always easy, but it’s important to work...

Buy toys for girls that encourage active play versus passive admiration

Where possible, try to buy toys for girls that encourage active play versus passive admiration; this could mean buying dolls that can be played within a number of different ways, or opting for construction sets over make-up kits.

Girls today need more than just fashion dolls to help them develop into confident women.

There are a number of other types of toys that can be just as empowering, such as dolls that promote exploration and creativity, or toys that require active play instead of passive admiration.

Moving Beyond Fashion Dolls to Promote Leadership in Girls

Girls today need modern and reflective doll figures that show them they are valued for their thoughts, opinions, and talents - not just their looks.

It’s time we moved beyond fashion dolls to promote leadership skills and characteristics in our girls. Look for dolls that come with diverse careers, or better yet allow your girl to create her own career path for her doll.

There are a number of other types of toys that can be just as empowering, such as dolls that promote exploration and creativity, or toys that require active play instead of passive admiration.

Let's make sure we pay closer attention to the types of toys we allow our girls to play with, and say no when necessary - trust us, it's important to work!

FAQ's

Is Barbie a fashion doll?

Yes, Barbie is a fashion doll; she has been around since 1959 and is known for her iconic look. Over the years, Barbie has evolved to represent different styles and fashions.

How old is Barbie today?

Since Barbie was first manufactured in 1959, she is now 58 years old.

What jobs can Barbie have?

Over the years, Barbie has had over 150 different careers, including doctor, astronaut, and president.

Wrapping Up:

In today's world, things are moving rapidly and it's important to keep up. Especially when it comes to the development of our children. They are growing up in a time where they have more opportunities than ever before, but with that comes more challenges.

We need to be mindful of the types of toys we allow our girls to play with. increasingly, we are seeing toys that promote exploration and creativity, which is what our girls need in order to develop into confident women.

So, next time you're out shopping for your girl, keep this in mind and choose wisely!

What do you think is the right way to select toys for girls?

Let us know in the comments below!

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