So a timely post… World Doll Day seems to be today!
The Little Beanie’s birthday is now fast approaching and we’ve been looking at some gift ideas. Aside from the obvious hand-made little bits and pieces (perhaps a new personalised superhero cape might be in order as she’s really grown since the last one! [also watch this space for news on these returning to Bow Beanie’s shop in an all-new format]) the Little Beanie herself has been asking for a Barbie doll.
The specific doll she is after is the Barbie Rainbow Makeover Hair (thanks to the unrelenting advertising on Channel Five!) but Mr Beanie has put his foot down against any doll that pigeon-holes women into both unrealistic body expectations or stereotyped ‘female-only’ career options. His main objection is that women should look slender, pretty and not think too hard.
After trawling the web he found some wonderful positive role model Barbie alternatives for little girls with BIG ideas.
First is Lammily
Lammily is based on the actual body size of an average woman and while she seems to be fashion conscious, with clothing packs sold separately, none of these offer any restrictive definition of her as a woman.
She comes with optional ‘accessories’…
Cellulite, Stretch marks, Freckles, Acne, Glasses, Adhesive bandages, Moles, Temporary Tattoo, Stitches, Scrapes and Scratches, Bruises, A Fracture Cast, Scars, Mosquito Bites and Grass and Dirt Stains.
How more real can you get?!
Then there’s Lottie
A collection of ethnically diverse, stereotype bridging, physically average nine year old girls. They’re into fashion, but they’re also into hard graft and outdoor adventures.
Both of the above dolls, Lottie and Lammily are available to buy now, but there’s a couple of others that are coming soon or limited release that look to be interesting!
For now, there’s only the Marie Curie doll available in this range of child-versions of famous female figures.
Eventually, however, they plan to add more, including Ava Lovelace and Bessie Coleman
And then there’s Ember
She’s not available yet, but you can sign-up on their website for when she is. She’s like a grown-up version of the little girl many of us used to be and she still likes to climb trees and get dirty.
My personal favourite is the Lammily doll, which absolutely embraces real bodies and rejects any notion of body-shaming with it’s stretch mark accessory pack. I love it!
Mr Beanie, on the other hand, prefers the Ember World idea, though the doll is still not for sale. He also liked the Miss Possible, he is especially excited for the seven-year-old Ada Lovelace (brilliant!) He also asked that I mention the I Am Elemental range of super heroes.
Female super hero alternatives to the DC and women of Marvel that are strong, powerful and fully dressed. Powerful in their own right, not because of the man they’re attached to or the distractive quality of their costumes or bodily endowments.
So if you’ve got a little one who loves dolls too, why not have a look. If you know of any others that you’ve personally loved, leave a comment and I might make a follow-up post to update the list!
(some of the images in this post may be copyrighted; where this has been clear, I have tried to retain that attribution)