Barbie puts on a few pounds

For years, Barbie’s come in different skin tones and hair styles. Now, little girls can play with a “curvy” (overweight) doll, as well as petite and tall models, reports Eliana Dockterman in  Time.

That’s supposed to help girls develop realistic expectations of what the human body looks like. “We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty,” said Evelyn Mazzocco, a Mattel senior vice president and global general manager of Barbie, in a statement.

Will Pudgy Ken be next?

However, Mattel’s tests showed little girls are not leading the fat acceptance movement, writes Dockterman She visited Mattel’s testing center, where a six-year-old girl gave the new Curvy Barbie a voice.

“Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat,”

. . . When an adult comes into the room and asks her if she sees a difference between the dolls’ bodies, she modifies her language. “This one’s a little chubbier,” she says.

. . .  A shy 7-year-old refuses to say the word fat to describe the doll, instead spelling it out, “F, a, t.”

“I don’t want to hurt her feelings,” she says a little desperately.

“We see it a lot. The adult leaves the room and they undress the curvy Barbie and snicker a little bit,” says Tania Missad, who runs the research team for Mattel’s girls portfolio.

Most of the girls Dockterman observed chose their favorite doll based on hair, she writes. “A curvy, blue-haired doll that many girls dub Katy Perry is by far the most popular. But when asked which doll is Barbie, the girls invariably point to a blonde.”

Though she’s a billion-dollar brand, Barbie has been losing market share, writes Dockterman. “Hasbro won the Disney Princess business away from Mattel, just as Elsa from the film Frozen dethroned Barbie as the most popular girl’s toy.”

Elsa is thin — but “she comes with a backstory of strength and sisterhood.” And she’s got her own movie.

Racially diverse dolls in day care

Colorado day-care providers would be required to provide dolls representing at least three races, under a proposal being considered by the Department of Human Services.

In other rule changes: Children over age two must not be served whole milk without a note from a doctor, kids over age one can’t drink more than six ounces of juice per day, TV and computer time will be capped at twenty minutes daily, and staffers must wear clothing that covers the lap and shoulders. (What’s so bad about bare shoulders? Search me.)

That’s why they call it the nanny state.

I’m not sure children that young are conscious of race unless adults work hard to make them think it’s important. We’re visiting the grandkids today in Maryland.  Julia, who’s two, is very fond of Elmo on Sesame Street. He’s red.  Grover is blue. Are they different races? Who cares?

Sexy or silly?

Here’s the perfect gift for the toddler or tot in your life: A T-shirt with nipple tassels. British designer Suzi Warren tells Parent Dish it’s meant to be funny, not sexy, an Objet D’Aft. In an e-mail, Warren wrote she designed the shirt in response to her distaste at seeing sexy clothes on young children.

“There is nothing very sexy about a baggy, lap neck, long sleeved t- shirt for a 6-month-old. So by embellishing this style of garment with printed nipple tassels, the result is not that the baby becomes sexualized by the tassels, but that the tassels are made benign and silly by the baby. In fact the more inert, innocent and unaware the infant is, the more ludicrous the contrast becomes.”

Twisted Twee also offers “alphabet shirts that announce that B is for Beer, C is for Condom and X is apparently for a pig having sexual relations with a duck,” adds Parent Dish.

I bought a white lacy dress for Baby Julia, my step-grandchild, who probably will wear a onesie when she goes off to college. Well, perhaps I’m not on the cutting edge of fashion — nor do I wish Julia to be a posterboard for adult humor.

I’m not planning to buy her a Pole Dance doll either. though that one may be a parody. Or not.

Via Gateway Pundit.

Just a coincidence: Sasha and Malia dolls

New “Sasha” and “Malia” dolls with brown skin aren’t named after the Obama girls, claims Ty, a toy company.

Yeah. Right.

Michelle Obama says it’s “inappropriate” to exploit her children for marketing purposes. Ty claims marketers just happened to think up those names by coincidence.

My brother, David Jacobs, who blogs at Connected World, says he won’t be buying Ty products for awhile. And, as the father of two little girls, he’s the target market.