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Barbie Dolls or Baby Dolls?

December 15, 1997

Many parents have expressed concern over Barbie-like dolls. Other mothers defend Barbie by pointing out that they enjoyed the dolls without any harm. “It didn’t hurt me,” is the usual reply. I wonder, Mama, if indeed it didn’t hurt you. Do you sometimes have a strange, sexually compelling thought life? I have talked to many women who confess the struggle they have with lustful daydreams, imagining themselves to be sexy, beautiful dolls (a most appropriate word in this case). Yet they confess to not functioning well with their own husbands. What is the root of their problem? What caused make-believe to be more satisfying than the real world? Could it be they were trained from a small child to play make-believe (daydream) when they were given a sexy little doll to dress and undress?

Many would argue that Barbie-type dolls are not sexy, but the real world says something else. It is very common in men’s prisons and military barracks to find Barbie dolls in various stages of undress sitting in prominent places. It is a kind of hands-on pornography which they seem to find very gratifying. Did you know that some of Barbie Dolls’ biggest fans are middle age men?

Somehow, parents are badly deceived, and their children are the victims. Think about it, mother. Would you invite a 20-year-old, over endowed model to come into your daughter’s room to be admired for her body and dress? Would you allow your daughter to help her dress? Strange to even write something like that, yet that’s what Barbie represents.

It is a healthy and natural instinct for little girls to love babies and to imagine themselves in the role of loving mother. Role-playing is real preparation for the future, but there is absolutely no similarity between playing baby dolls and playing Barbie dolls. They are two different kinds of dolls with two different purposes. What are you training your little girl to be? When and how will she finally realize the dreams stimulated by Barbie? Would Jesus give a Barbie doll to a little girl? You have been warned.

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11 comments on “Barbie Dolls or Baby Dolls?”

  1. I was allowed to play with Barbie’s as a child and my play was usually about making the doll as sexy as possible–this at the young age of 7-10!! I will never, never let my little girl play with Barbie’s.

  2. I had barbie dolls as a child, and while I honestly agree with a lot of what was stated about Barbie Doll, a doll does not teach! Parents teach. My mother taught me that Barbie was NOT a real woman, she was make believe and that I was, and always will be more beautiful than some plastic toy. So instead of playing make believe “sexy-girl” with my Barbie, I always wanted the kids and the baby barbie dolls so I could play “house” with my Barbies, and recreate scenes that had happened in my family or in other families.

    Barbie dolls are not harmful in and of themselves. Parents not monitoring their child with Barbie dolls can be very harmful.

  3. The Pearls have some very good ideas on how to incorporate the Bibles success into raising a happy mature child who is a joy to be around ! PS. We love our 4 kids and they are a joy to be around ! Thank you Mike and Debbie Pearl

  4. My 5 year-old daughter has a small collection of Barbies — some of which were MY old Barbies! We discarded immodest outfits and painted on underclothes with nail polish, but still, I am convicted as a mother. I am filled with joy when I see her with a baby doll in her arms, role-playing as a mom or even a Bible story character. I cannot say the same for the times I see her playing barbies. Now…. to remove them from her toy collection —- got any good ideas on how to help her make the break?

  5. After reading this, I spoke with my nine year pld about how much she loves her Barbies, but asked if they prepair her to be a mommy, and her answer was “no”. We spoke about it for only five minutes and she was made an agreement with me that she would pack all her Barbies up, and on my part I would make her a pretty Amish Baby like the little Amish girls have- we live in the city of DC, so this was very moving. I got out my wedding china and told her she could take it to her room and have a tea party with her Life of Faith doll. She huged me and said ” Thank you mommy for being the best mommy in the world” So I will make her the handmade Amish looking baby and my heart is just so overjoyed. I can see that homeschooling my children was only the start of a whole new life, a whole new family. Thank you Michael and Debi

  6. In my childhood I had a very traumatic experience concerning barbie dolls. My friend invited me over to play with her dolls; little did I know that she was in the grip of Satan. She informed me that her barbie dolls didn’t like the man ‘Ken’ doll her mother had got for her, and that they preferred each other’s company. She then proceeded to show me how they showed their ‘love’ for one another in terrible and disgusting ways. I told her that they couldn’t make a baby with another lady barbie and she said ‘that’s ok, some ladies don’t want to have babies.’ It still haunts me to this day.
    So, I think that barbies are a tool of satan.

  7. My daughter is 4-years-old and loves to play with Barbies (all of which have been passed down from me). However I have recently been convicted about this as I have noticed that when she plays with Barbies (as opposed to baby dolls) her play is much more provocative and adult in nature. I played with Barbies as a child and recall the same characteristics of my play with them being the same in nature as hers. Thank you for writing an honest about this unpopular view.

  8. I played with Barbies back in the ’70s. Our Barbies were married to GI Joes & had a ton of kids (we used Kiddles & other little dolls for children) & if we didn’t have enough GI Joes on hand for all the Barbies we pretended that those husbands were on deployment overseas. My daughter’s inherited my dolls and acquired cool mini vans with car seats for her families to ride around in. It’s all a matter of what you do with tools and play things.

  9. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments on this issue! My daughter is seven and I have never let her own Barbie dolls though at one time or another she experiences interest in them, especially if a friend has them. I’m wondering if you have any advice about how to communicate the issues of Barbie with a little girl without using such explicit language as you did in your letter to us moms? How did you communicate to your own daughters about Barbie?

    I’d love to hear more on this!!


  10. I praise the Lord for reading this article because since my now 14 yro daughter was given some Barbie dolls when she was about 5 by my very well intended sister I got a feeling of righteous indignation which haunted me for a long time because I really did not know where it came from at that moment. I felt guilty for reacting that way. I thought I was being so old fashioned, but little by little I realized that without really knowing why, I didn’t want my daughter to play with naked grown up women’s bodies. I am sure the Holy Spirit led me to explain to her that barbie dolls would not help her see herself as a creation from God and because those barbie dolls are so “perfectly shaped and ´beautiful´” she would get a very distorted idea of what real beauty was. God defines beauty not man. And God’s definition of beauty is VERY different from man’s. I told her that I wanted to give her the great gift of learning to be content with how God created her. Her beautiful eyes, skin color, hair, facial features and all were fashioned by God and God does all things well and that He wants her to use what He has given her for His glory, honor and pleasure. I have continued repeating the same line over and over and believe it or not, she is getting it. It doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have desires, but she is learning to make choices. The children understand pretty deep stuff at a very young age because they have not been shaped by the world’s views.

    By encouraging to play with baby dolls, she then she wanted to sew clothes for them, then she wanted to learn to crochet, then she started trying to sew her own clothes. It has been a good exchange, I would say and she didn´t miss out in ANYTHING by not playing with barbie dolls.

    Many times I have wondered if the anorexic/bulimic dear girls are striving to fit the barbie dolls “beauty”. Look at the movie stars and those considered “beautiful”. Everything is a mask. See them without make up and those “beautiful” dresses, hair dos and shoes and what do you get? Reality!!! And since they cannot handle reality, they continue living a masked life (dragging many with their standards and fashions) a life of illusion that they look “beautiful”. 🙁

    Also those girls playing with barbie dolls have brothers who are also seeing those naked bodies and whether we want it or not, they are shaping their minds and affections. 🙁 Parental supervision? How can we read what is in their mind? We can tell them whatever we want, but we cannot see what is going on in their mind. The more we instill the good, the pure, the noble, etc of Philipians 4:8, the more possibility we have to make an impact in their young mind while they are being bombarded by the world’s standards and definition of “beauty”, no matter how much we control the exposure to it. Oh Lord Jesus COME!!!

    My intention is not to offend/insult anybody. I am just sharing my very inadequate opinion and I pray that at least one person will be blessed by something of what I am sharing here.

  11. This is so true. I remember playing with Barbie and it would always end in kissing or getting married and kissing. And it was quite sexually charged. That’s so weird. I never really thought about it but it was an uncomfortable memory. I blamed perhaps soap operas where they would kiss etc but never thought that actually the beautiful womanly doll Barbie is could naturally result in girls playing make believe in an adult way. Mind blown ?