Barbie and other Fashion Dolls

One of the (many) fun parts of being a parent – is the opportunity to revisit your own childhood when you play with your children. My mother recently brought back my childhood Barbies from storage to give to my 3-year old daughter.

Skipper, 80s Barbie, 90s Barbie and a 90s Prince Charming Doll (whom I bought because he was cuter than Ken)

Until recently, I had only let my daughter play with Kelly (Barbie’s toddler sister) because I thought that Barbie’s figure was too “mature”. However, since getting my Barbies – my daughter is more concerned with brushing their hair than worrying about their curves!

My daughter’s Kelly dolls (the one on the left is a UK doll made by Simba, the floral and gingham dresses were sewn by me!)

When my daughter is a little older, I plan on getting her a Barbie House – and I thought it would be fun for her to have a variety of fashion dolls living there. For now, I’ve picked out some re-issued Sindy dolls (from the UK) and a Licca-chan Takara doll (from Japan). Both these dolls were produced for local markets as an alternative to “sophisticated” Barbie. They replicated teen figures and had softer-looking features.

Re-Issued Sindy’s next to my childhood Barbie. I love their big heads, side-glancing eyes and rosebud mouths.
Licca-chan doll is still in transit. She resembles my 80s Skipper doll.

By the way – is it just me, or has Barbie gotten less cute over the years? They keep making her eyes wider and more made-up, while her features have gotten a bit harsh – and dare I say – chintastic!

Gifts given to my daughter. Stacie and Kelly are cute – but Barbie looks a little severe.

I know there is a lot of controversy about giving Barbies to children and exposing them to unreal body-shape expectations. But I think it’s the parents’ responsibility to teach their children what is unreal (dolls, photo-shopped models etc) and give them healthy role-models to emulate. Let them enjoy fashion dolls for their play value – while understanding that they are not an ideal to measure themselves against.

Did you have any Fashion Dolls as a child? Do you collect any now? I’d love to read about them in the comments.

If you want to learn more about Sindy, check out this informative site.


  1. 3ate4
    August 30, 2010 / 8:52 pm

    I used to have Barbies and of course other dolls, too but I never took notice of their body-shape. I think people are over thinking things a lot these days!

  2. Lindy May
    September 1, 2010 / 12:37 am

    I love your old barbies. 🙂 I never thought I would let my boys play with guns but since they turned all their toys into guns anyway, I decided, why fight it, lol! I've just made that they know the difference between make believe and reality; also, we've discussed they are never allowed to touch someone elses gun (even if they believe it is a toy because you never know if it could be real and loaded). Just keep your little ones grounded and it will all turn out good. BTW, my little T (who will be seven in a few weeks) just recently gave up his baby doll and stroller. He made a mighty fine little play daddy. 😀

  3. Ella Pretty
    September 1, 2010 / 4:12 am

    3ate4 – people DEFINITELY over think these days – have you read about the anti "pink for girls" movement….it's seriously a waste of time and energy…people should just let kids be kids!Lindy May – my natural mothering tendency is to keep my kids bubble-wrapped LOL! But of course I realise that is not healthy – you can't protect them forever – so it is better to teach them the tools they need to live in the real world – rather than living in denial. Bless little T and his little baby doll…my son loves his baby doll, and flies it around in his toy aeroplane (when he's not busy slinging it across his tummy)!

  4. Tali
    September 14, 2010 / 10:47 pm

    I agreee.. much less cute. Although i remember killing my barbies as a kid and ripping their heads off. I now have one and she is in perfect condition! I cant wait to have kids so i can re-discover the world of toys!!

  5. Ella Pretty
    September 15, 2010 / 12:28 am

    I love your mini-me Barbie…I've seen people buy mini designer accessories for theirs (apparently you can get little birkin bags etc!)…I'd rather spend the money on more bags for me LOL!

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