Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Playing With Dolls

Did you have dolls as a child? You probably did.

I did not. Gender roles were sharply defined fifty years ago and my parents battled with me endlessly over my gender. In that effort they banned female toys. I was given a baseball and truck instead.

You may think it is silly or even foolish for an adult to own child's toys but I'm re-claiming the girlhood I never had. It's a healthy impulse. Living female life, to the extent I can, gives me hope. Dolls symbolize female childhood and I want girlish experiences, even if they're late to arrive.

I have two Barbies who were just joined by a Journey Girl. My new doll's name is Meredith. Journey Girls are big (18 inches tall) and similar to American Girls but cost a third of their hefty price. There are eight Journey Girl dolls sold (Toys R Us); they are aimed at girls 6-12 years old. Meredith is said to be "very athletic and outspoken." She's pictured below.

As you can see, Meredith enjoys riding my motorcycle. I need to get her a chic moto-jacket. Meredith is both a feminine fashionista and a badass biker-chick. Like me.

Above right is one of my Barbies whom I call Suzanne 'cause she resembles my BFF in Toronto. Suzanne talks with a lovely Canadian accent and has mad DIY skills.

What was your experience with dolls growing up?


32 comments:

  1. I always loved the dressing up part of playing with dolls. I wanted a Barbie doll but my Mum said they were ugly, so I only got one after much nagging. Many years later, I started collecting 1960s and 1970s Barbie dolls and, especially, their clothes! I have more than 100 dolls now and many more outfits. So, I don't think it is foolish at all. Oh, and that doll really looks like Suzanne! xxx

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  2. I loved dolls so much as a child. I love that you are reclaiming your youth and getting the dolls you always wanted. I'd still play dress up with my Barbies if I could find them all. Sometimes we just need to be a kid.

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  3. I'm so jealous of Ann's Barbie collection!

    I loved Barbies as a kid. Real "baby" dolls? Not-so-much. Maybe that's when I'd already decided I didn't want kids.

    I agree that is never too late to live out your dreams.

    I'm digging Meredith's skirt. So 1950s!

    Ha ha! I *wish* I had that Barbie figure.

    Suzanne

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    1. In complete agreement re baby dolls (shudders).

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  4. Growing up, I loved American Girl dolls :)

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  5. You are so right about that doll. ! She does look like that. And you are very sweet to send her such a lovely Valentine’s Day card. I didn’t have very many dolls growing up. I think I was more of a book person. But I’m glad you have them and I think they are a sweet thing to have.
    ❤️❤️❤️
    Elle
    https://theellediaries.com/

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  6. That doll does look like Suzanne! I loved dolls growing up - I had two tiny 5" ones, a 10" Afro-American doll, and two "Barbie" style dolls (not the brand name, we couldn't afford that!). I played fashion with all of them, and sewed and crocheted them clothes. I used to have a fashion doll named Nancy (the brand was Famosa) that I got in the mid-70s - my mom still has her! Like Suzanne's comment, I disliked baby dolls - it was also my first inkling that I never wanted kids.

    My real passion as a kid was paper dolls. I had Fashion Plates, and used the outlines to make doll templates, then I would create outfits for them, copying great outfits off the Carol Burnett show (Bob Mackie!), the Love Boat, from my Archie comics (I was a big Betty & Veronica fan). I had hundreds of outfits, that I made myself, all cut out from paper, and coloured with felts and pencil crayons. I wish I still had them!

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    1. Oh yeah, paper dolls, I forgot about those! I never designed paper doll outfits -- so clever of you!

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  7. Being in a family of 4 girls we had lots of dolls. I loved my baby doll which my Mom sent me after my parents got divorced and one of the step-siblings cut her hair off ~I was devastated!!! We used to make our own Ken dolls as if they were around when we were little then they were too expensive for us to own. So poor old Barbie lost her boobs and got a drawn on moustache ... What fun!!!!

    Love Meredith ... she needs a bad-ass leather riding outfit.

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    1. I've heard so many girls say they re-assigned Barbies to play Ken. That's funny.

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  8. I loved dolls.
    In fact I have at least half a dozen of them still.
    Years ago I had Christmas print motive clothes made for them so every month of December they come out of the box and sit nicely dressed in my couch.

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  9. Dolls were not my thing. My only memory is of inventing and knitting an outfit for one of my sister's. My closest doll was a koala with kangaroo fur...so soft! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Do you want to play with my truck? :-)

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  10. I was totally into dolls, my twin sister? Not so much! She got cars and soccer balls for Christmas LOL

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    1. We're all different. What would be nice is if we could all get what we want -- and not what the rules say we're supposed to get.

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    2. It's more acceptable for girls to play with boy toys than for boys to play with girl toys. That has to change.

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  11. Awesome, I love that you bought some for yourself. I didn't have the barbie, instead I had the Sunshine Family... they were so wholesome and there was even a grandma and grandpa and the had a Volkswagen campervan.... I still have them in a box at my moms :)

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  12. That Barbie sure does look like Suzanne! Yes, I did have dolls, barbies, and babies and I played with them up until around age ten. I had some boy's toys too as Sandra, above me said, it was more acceptable. I had a passion for toy cars and my brother kindly gave me some of his which I coveted. I loved the dune buggy and a few of the sedans with doors that opened. I used to buy toy cars for my son and I think I loved them more than he did. I wanted a spud gun but never got one. I did have my own real but small hammer. I played with everything! Enjoy your dolls. I hope you can find that biker jacket for Meredith. xo

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  13. I didn't know about Journey girls. She's prettier than the American Girl dolls. I think I'm going to look into getting one for Cedar!

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    1. They're nice and not expensive. And the range of their looks is wide.

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  14. Great, I'm glad that you bought some dolls for yourself. I used to love dolls in my childhood. We are 4 sisters so we all used to play with doll. My mother used to stitch lovely dresses for our dolls, make jewelries. We used to cook lunch and dinner for them...hahaha.. That days were real fun. Very nice post.
    Have a lovely start week <3
    http://www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com/

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  15. I was never a Doll person, I liked to play with my Brother's toys more together with him. Glad you're claiming your toys... I did that with the one and only Doll I DID like but my Parents could not afford, she had three different faces, a creepy Whimsey Doll, I bought her when I was a Grandparent but for myself! *LOL* Her name is Hedda get Bedda, since one of her faces is a Sick Face. I think the Whimsey Line was always geared towards Doll Collectors rather than kids since they were crazy expensive even in the 60's... I Scored her on E-Bay.

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  16. Barbies! I did my first fashion designs for my Barbies (and friends) and if I remember correctly, I also knitted teeny tiny sweaters. As you know, I eventually worked at Mattel and designed Barbie fashions for real! I think my most ironic designing moment was when I worked on a bride doll while in the midst of a divorce.
    I think I still owe you a Barbie?

    Baby dolls creeped me out, still do. So do real babies. There, I said it.

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    1. I remember your earlier job; so cool.

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  17. I LOVED my dolls. Actually, I loved them most in my early teens! I used to go to my Dad's and sit up in my room playing with them up until I was about 13. I had a massive bag of clothes for my 5 dolls (3 Barbies, 1 Sindy and a Tammy doll, all inherited from relatives) and dressed them up. So many happy hours up there alone playing with them. I never liked any other types of dolls though, not the big ones, just the 'grown up-looking' Barbies! I follow a lovely girl (adult) on Instagram who posts pictures of her Barbies- she has soooooooooooo many!

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  18. I always disliked dolls like on second picture. Ever since I was a kid I feel disturbed next to them.

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  19. OMG she is so cute! You def need to get her a motorcycle outfit. I don't think that it is weird at all. I have a small collection of stuffed animals, they are mostly IHeartGuts organs, a goat, and a red panda and I totally sleep with them. People get enjoyment out of collecting things, and why not enjoy them? I think it is really sweet. You should totally get matching outfits!

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  20. I had barbies (And superhero action figures, ninja turtles, and legos). But honestly I was way happier with a leotard, a tiara or cat ears, and whatever thing my brain cooked up. I remember being way more into Polly Pockets (the teeny ones, not what they make now)

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  21. Forgot to add, my MIL has managed to yard sale two of her 3 American girl dolls. She loves sewing the little clothes, and they are REAL expensive, so most of the things related to them have been homemade.

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  22. A very pretty doll. As a girl, I did not like dolls and did not play with them. I appreciated the beauty of the time, interested in the history of their formation, and while running a blog, they are a curiosity, dolls often have interesting outfits, are interested in fashion, dolls are its complement.

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