Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I Did Not Buy a Barbie for My Daughter

First up, I have to say that as a little girl I was enamoured with the doll. When I did not have a barbie and all I saw were fancy little ads of peaches and pink barbie in her lovely glowing gown and the little girls playing happily with it everytime I watched a cartoon. All this made me feel that I absolutely needed a barbie and would have tonnes of fun with it!

The next birthday, I actually got it and then... reality slapped me in the face...

It is just a doll and a tiny one at that. I had other dolls mind you. My other dolls were the size of newborns and I could actually play 'Mommy' with them. With my barbie, all I could do was well... nothing. It cant be cuddled because it is neither the size not the shape nor the texture to be cuddled. If you change its hair more than 5 times, you ruin it. Buying more dresses costed a lot and the doll houses? Dont even get me started! So, I pretty much resorted to keeping the barbie close to me and playing with other, more engaging toys in my box. I never spoke about this with my other friends so I have no clue what they did with theirs. Maybe I missed the whole point of having this doll!!!

And then, when my daughter was born, all the toys we wanted to buy were the ones that would give her some education too.. like the shape sorters, jigsaws, stacking cups / rings etc. There were also soft toys. Loads of them... gifts mostly. But they were there. At first the soft toys were just decorative pieces that made her room look cutesy. Then she started calling them her babies. Everyday a new toy would be picked and would serve the purpose of a doll. And so, I did not buy the doll for her. Sometime later I began to see what a massive franchise Barbie had become. Kudos to the makers for keeping interest alive for decades and expanding the merchandise so much. From bedsheets to pencils, everything comes in a barbie brand now. You have no clue how much that freaks me out as a mother. Imagine a kid insisting that she needs stuff from that brand only. Parental Nightmare! And so, we as parents made a conscious call to keep away from that franchise. Though we are guilty on indulging her in her favoutite Chhota Bheem goods, I dont think we have gone overboard. 

Now, as she starts big school her exposure will increase. I am still not sure how things will shape up. She just may take to liking a similar franchise now. Hope we still manage to stay away from the consumer madness!

Disclaimer: I have nothing against the brand Barbie. The opinions are from my own childhood experience and I am in no way propagating against the toy. If you like it, by all means go buy it.