I am not big on dolls. I mean, I had my fair share of Barbies and Kens as well as baby dolls when I was a kid. But as a parent I don't go out of my way to give my kids dolls. They have some baby dolls, all but one of which were given to Aurelia by others. The one I gave her was the one I loved as a kid. (Aside: I encourage both kids to play with whatever toys we have. If Azrael wants to play with dolls, and Aurelia wants to play with cars, I say, so be it.) We have no Barbies, which I am fine with. In my mind, Barbies don't really send any message I think is valuable. The body shape is completely impracticable and unrealistic. Most dolls are not proportional, this is true. But there are actually women and young girls in the world striving to LOOK like Barbie.That's scary. And while a kid can use their imagination, Barbies have very little to focus on other than appearance. Plus- Barbies come with lots of little accessories. I already step on Legos on a daily basis.
The other day, we were in a Disney store in the mall, just looking around. Both Aurelia and Azrael were playing with toys they saw, but neither were asking to have one for keeps. We saw the wall of dolls for different Disney princesses, some of which Aurelia recognized and pointed out. Disney and their princesses- that's another category I am not crazy about. I saw all the movies and we owned most of them, sure. But I don't want my kids thinking that is how real life works. You don't just wait around biding your time, until your prince charming shows up. We watch Snow White, Cinderella, etc, but I try to encourage children's movies of all genres, and I reach for educational stuff more than anything else.
Then I saw the dolls for Princess Merida and Queen Elinor (and her bear) from the movie Brave. That's a Disney movie we watched recently as a family (probably over a dozen times at this point) that I can get behind. I really love the message. Merida does not want to get married, and in the end she does not have to. She is smart and spunky and brave. The movie is still funny and still has magic, and the music is great.
I am not sure why, but the dolls were on SUPER sale. Queen Elinor and her bear were originally $20 and we got them for $7. Princess Merida was $15 (I think) and it was marked down to $4.
Aurelia has been calling them her "friends." I hear her talking to them and recreating little scenes from the movie or coming up with her own, so I think it was a decent purchase.
Azrael became obsessed with this little Toy Story car, so that's what he came home with. He zips it all over the house, along with his other toy cars. He loves anything with wheels. I guess the kids are meeting some gender stereotype quota, haha.