My gut reaction is that this doll is creepy. But I have a nagging feeling there's a politically correct reason for why I should embrace this doll and not be bothered by little girls wearing bras and pasties.
The TV commercial features closeups of real babies breastfeeding on real breasts, so if you work at a company that would find that objectionable, don't click the link.
In the 1960s, when I was a kid, it was still legal for advertisers to target children directly. Most toy commercials ended with the voiceover suggesting something like, "Ask mom and dad to buy you one."
Some think advertising today surreptitiously targets kids. Well, it kind of does.
I once worked on some ads selling children's books based on Disney characters. The ads were most definitely targeting parents. However, we made sure that the look of the ads would appeal to children.
The thinking was, parents who were impressed with the ads would likely show them to their toddlers and ask, "Honey, would you like these books?" Making sure Junior loved what he saw was certainly one of our objectives.
I didn't consider that unethical in the least. What do you think?
The following Play-Doh ads are obviously targeting parents and their grownup sense of humor. Some parents will never-the-less find them inappropriate. And although they cracked me up, I would agree.
In Sunday's Boston Globe circular, I discovered the existence of the Potty Dance. So, off to Pull-ups.com I went.
I was expecting a video as appealing as a poopy diaper. Sure enough, the video made both my eyes and ears hurt.
I have to give Pull-ups a lot of credit, though. The music, lyrics and casting of the video are exactly what kids of potty-training age love to watch. And if that results in a few minutes of uninterrupted me-time for their parents, they'll love it, too.
And the Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia dolls that maker Ty swears have nothing to do with Sasha and Malia Obama.
According to a Ty PR flack:
[We] chose the dolls’ names because 'they are beautiful names,' not because of any resemblance to President Obama’s daughters, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen. “There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls,” Lundeen said. “It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not.”
My husband and I spent Sunday going through our house, gathering up all the stuff we no longer need and packing it up for Goodwill. Somewhere in the back of an upstairs closet, my husband found some of my stepdaughter's old Barbie dolls.
As would be the case with almost any woman of my generation, there was a moment of temptation, a longing to comb each doll's hair and redress it in something pretty. Then reality set in and I saw Barbie for what she has become: tarted-up trailer trash in cheap synthetic clothing.
It made me sad. And mad. Mad as hell, in fact, that Mattel destroyed what was once a beloved brand.
Unless you're a boomer, you never played with Barbie when she was a stylish, sophisticated, impeccably dressed woman. Her hairdos were smart bobs, pageboys and those bubble cuts that Barbie somehow made look chic. Her clothes were tailored, the seams finished. The Barbie I grew up with wore dresses and heels. And when we stopped playing with her, it was because we were too old and not because she looked tattered, used and ready to turn a few more tricks on the seedy side of town.
When I was young, getting a new Barbie was a big deal. We may have inherited Barbies from relatives (thank you, Dora!) but most of us received only two or three brand-new Barbies in our entire childhoods. Mattel hadn't yet started making that loathesome cheap-o line of Barbies you can get for a few bucks at season's end at the drug store. As a result, today's little girls, even those with miserly parents, still end up with dozens of Barbies. And we all know what happens when a kid gets a lot of anything; the kid gets quickly bored and wants something else.
I've no doubt that recreating the quality of vintage Barbie clothes
would be cost-prohibitive in today's world, but why did Mattel change Barbie's clothing style from fashion-forward glamor to toddler-iffic neon and stretch nylon? Watch a little girl dress a Barbie today. She tugs and pulls so hard on the clothing you can hear the threads ripping. And why should she bother to take care with Barbie's clothes? They're cheap. And they're plentiful. What was I just saying about children's attitude toward abundance?
Then there's the hair. The combing and styling of Barbie's hair was one of the most enjoyable ways to kill an hour when I was a child. So Mattel went and gave all Barbies the same ankle-length hair. I can understand why they thought that would make Barbie more fun. What I can't understand is why they didn't quickly realize that freakishly long doll hair is perpetually unkempt hair, making today's Barbie look a mess 24/7.
Mattel took away everything that was special and magical about the Barbie doll and turned it into just another of the ratty toys that sit discarded and forgotten at the bottom of a box in the back of a closet.
If I've made you sad, too, allow me to make it up to you. Here are a few paintings by Judy Ragagli, an artist known for her amazing oil paintings of Barbies from 1959 - 1971. All but the first image are available for purchase at Picasso Mio. Enjoy.