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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time to gripe: seriously?


I've nurtured a love-hate relationship with the Lammily dolls for the past...oh heck, when was my first post regarding the dolls?  Oh yeah, it was a year and a half ago.  I think the doll has a cute face and cute clothes, but as I've said before, I think that making a doll with a thick waist is the wrong way to build a child's self esteem.  That's supposed to be the job of Mama, Daddy, or whoever is doing the child-rearing.

Guess what?  Lammily is taking it a step further with...y'all ready for this?  Period party packs!!!  Yessiree, this accessory set comes with doll-sized underpants, a booklet on menstruation entitled "Period Party!", a doll-sized period tracker, and what else?  Doll-sized sanitary napkins!  These, of course, are little stickers that go in the crotch of the doll's undies.  Some have wings and some don't, and they're all done up in cutesy little colors and patterns...patterns that REAL sanitary napkins never have!  Y'all think I'm playing?  I kid you not.  Today and People have both run stories online about this.

Online response to this has been mixed, with some lauding the idea and others decrying it.  I personally think this is going too far.  Yeah, menstruation is a natural, normal thing for girls and women...so why make a big deal about it???  If people make something out to be a big deal, kids are going to think it IS a big deal, and they're going to get more nervous about it, not less.  That goes for menstruation or any other big change that occurs in a child's life.  Yes, it IS important to teach girls about what goes on in their bodies as they grow out of the "little girl" stage, but again, that's supposed to be the job of us adults.  Mom, Dad, Auntie, the school nurse, the P.E. teacher, ANYONE!!!  We're supposed to do the job of educating kids about their bodies, not some hunk of plastic with funny little stickers.  The book that comes with the set is a step in the right direction; body books like that are usually interesting and educational, and sometimes they're even funny.  I wish Mr. Lamm had just stuck with the book and let that be that...or he could've just left the idea alone.  There are plenty of other body books in this world, after all; my sister and I both liked "The Care and Keeping of You," which American Girl released in the mid-nineties.  "The Care and Keeping of You" discussed EVERYTHING, not just menstruation, but tips on eating habits, acne, breast development, hygiene, and just about anything else that a pubescent girl could want to know about.  If that's not your cup of tea, Amazon has plenty of other options.  Just type in "body book for..." and type in the age group or gender that you want.  Sorry, progressives...gender neutrality won't work this time!

In short, the book that Lammily produced is along the lines of something I'd expect for kids.  Even stubborn readers will read something like that if they're not getting their curiosity satisfied elsewhere.  But a doll that actually gets her period?  That seems a bit sophomoric to me, like something you might get a girl as a not-very-nice gag gift.  I hope that in the future Lammily will stick to cellulite and zit stickers, because for me, this is entirely too much.

Yours truly,

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A brief chat about My Twinn

I'm not sure how American Girl found out that our household had children, but when I was about nine the first catalog came to our household.  Not long after that came catalogs from a pair of companies that we weren't as familiar with.  One was from Stardust Classics, which is no longer in existence, and the other was from My Twinn.  My Twinn, as the name suggests, had the ability to customize a doll to look like its child owner.  I remember being enthralled with the My Twinn dolls; having a doll that looked like me was certainly an enticing prospect.  However, the customization process was complex and the dolls were pricey, so I just leafed through the catalog, said "Those are cute," and went on with my life.

Fast forward to 2015.  My Twinn had gone under at least once, and possibly more than just once (I forget), so imagine my surprise when I learned that the company was still alive and kicking!  Sometime during all this turmoil My Twinn decided to phase out their original dolls (23 inches with internal armature) and start releasing 18-inch dolls instead.  Miss Emily shared her experiences with the current company (the first of her My Twinn-related posts is here), and through her I learned that it's possible to obtain a My Twinn doll without going through the customization process, or wading through price-gougers on eBay.  Enter the Adopt A Friend option...and the rows of little dolly faces begging "Take me home!"
Basically these dolls are like high-end Cabbage Patch Kids.  They're one of a kind and were assembled from parts that were judged slightly defective.  Usually they're worth about ninety bucks, but every now and then they go on sale.  Miss Emily got her first doll during one of these sales (a 23-inch doll that she named Kalliope), and mine will be another one of these sale dolls.  This is her.
Those eyebrows certainly look interesting; I've noticed in pictures that these dolls' eyebrows can be very hit-and-miss, so it'll be fun to see what these are like.  I have no idea when she'll get here, but when she does...well, y'all know what I plan on doing.

Happy Saturday,