An anatomically correct doll on the shelves at Toys R Us is causing quite the outcry. Let’s face it, as kids we’ve all undressed our dolls before – male or female – to see what may be under those Barbie dresses and Ken slacks. And to our disappointment, there was nothing except some rounded, molded plastic. Imagine the shock of parents (and little girls especially) when they took on the task to change their “You & Me Change My Diaper Doll” and there, under the soiled diaper, was a small penis and testicles staring back.
Really folks? How authentic does a doll have to be? Toy companies have been striving to make dolls more life-like decades, but is a set of genitals really necessary? And not only does this doll cry and wet itself, but it will urinate directly from its small plastic penis.
Most shoppers are saying that the anatomically correct doll is simply too “correct” for young kids. Some are saying that the box the doll comes in should at least carry some sort of “warning” to advise parents that there is a real “package” within the package. Others applaud the doll’s makers, saying it’s time that we stop shying away from the facts. The doll can be a “learning experience.”
Monica Beyer, a writer at SheKnows.com, thinks there is entirely too much fuss over the doll. Presented and explained by the parents in the correct way, the doll is an appropriate toy that doesn’t have to be taken in a negative, sexual connotation.
“How on earth is it inappropriate for a child to see a naked baby? What about a baby makes a penis or a vulva dirty or sexual?” Beyer writes.
Her article, entitled Why I’d rather explain a doll penis than a doll with no genitals, calls out parents who cannot explain simple body parts – the same parents who “don’t want their children to see women breastfeeding in public because they don’t want to have to explain ‘that,’” says Beyer.
Really? It’s a penis, it’s a vulva — one on a baby is not going to kill you and it’s definitely not going to turn your child into a pervert. Some people have them, others have something else. Hiding these body parts away is an element of a larger issue — that we are ashamed of our bodies, and that even babies are shameful.
What happens when a child’s mother gives birth to a baby boy? It’s concerning that parents are so uncomfortable explaining a new or different body part that they’d rather keep babies blank or under wraps, and if an anatomically correct doll finds its way into a home, then it suddenly becomes a viral photo shared and re-shared on Facebook.
But shouldn’t these discussions come when a parent is ready to have them? Should they be forced to explain a penis to a young girl because the toy they just bought her has the real deal down below?
Writes OpposingViews.com: “In response to the doll, some Facebook users have called the toy inappropriate and unnecessary for kids. Others have joked that it’s a unique way to end a ‘gender reveal’ party. Some parents simply requested that the manufacturer put a warning label on the box.”
Where do you fall? Would you buy this doll for your child? Sound off below.