I can still recall fondly this childhood. Years spent playing with my contrasting dolls and their accessories. Creating imaginary realms of glamor and adventure. My toys were an outlet-as for most little girls opportunities to forage into the social realm with the commun security blanket. A 12 ” blonde-haired perfectly proportioned piece of perfection. Gaggles of females would flock together with their representations connected with themselves in tow. These dolls offered the opportunity to socialize and play in a party setting.
I never gave the guys much thought. Until I had a little boy who all the other day requested a doll. I had constantly thought the boys busied themselves with the trucks and action figures etc . Getting the progressive thinker that I am and also knowing as an educator that all children take dolls as a means to dramatic expression, I actually said “yes”. My husband reluctantly agreed to his or her demands but only when the verbiage has been changed to “action figure”.
Armed with his acceptance, I searched the internet for ‘dolls regarding boys’. Much to my chagrin, there was virtually no dolls and mostly articles speaking about the fear of doll play as a sign to homosexuality. I tried a number of different thoughts including “action figures”, “Ken dolls”, along with sports heroes. I even tried “articulating dolls” in the hopes of making the blasted personal computer understand that I wanted a Barbie doll although one that was male. My search guided me to collectibles, movie icons, in addition to figurines costing well over $50.
What took place to the dolls of yesterday? They were several bucks and children had them from the dozen. Instead of coming away with a doll, I discovered a new prejudice-the anti-male. This is naturally , ironic as I am a feminist as well as applauded the line of Barbies that granted her to “be anything” and “do anything”. But in our quest to show the little girls strength and beauty and provide regarding oodles of confidence, have we canceled out there our male counterpart? This is apparent from your meager selection of ‘boy dolls’. The portrayal of the male ranges from the feminized “boy toy” that Ken has become to figures on steroids.
Sexual connotations abound coming from Ken’s dress to his lack of job. Today’s Ken doll comes equipped with little more compared to a surf board and flip flops. He runs a pink car and I kid happened one of the lines of the doll is called “Hottie” Ken. Need I say more? How satrical that we feminists who were up in arms on the unrealistic representation of Barbie’s figure are usually allowing our male counterpart to be regarded as an effeminate slacker who’s only goals are fashion and the beach. A 12-15 year old nephew of mine offhandedly told me Ken is just one of Barbie’s accessories. Just how astute of that teenager to recognize that for those appearances, Ken was given the same consideration together of Barbie’s handbags or shoes.
To another extreme are the grotesquely muscled “action figures”, who are more like figurines and resemble extraterrestrials or monsters. They are icons of video heroes or rescue heroes etc … rather than one in the slightest resemble any person I know. This is not to say that thousands of children delight in their mock fighting and wicked vs good dramatic play. But my very own child is only 4 and does not relate to often the representations on the movie screen. He nods in recognition at the mention of Batman etc but is not interested in that type of enjoy… not yet.
Where are the toys of yesterday? I distinctly recall cowboys with dark brown horses (not purple glittered My Tiny Pony), Indians, astronauts and The Lone Ordonner. Why can’t Ken come with a basketball or possibly a briefcase, go mountain climbing or ride a motorbike. Be a construction worker, a stockbroker or maybe a chef or drive anything that’s not green?
In short: Have we gone so far one other direction that we have forgotten the male point of view?
If I am in error, please locate me the site or store that I should purchase a male physique doing/wearing and behaving like a regular guy so that I can purchase for my kid his doll. In the meantime Now i’m still searching….