While I am biased against Barbie for a different reason — their competitor, Integrity Toys, is my client and maker of my own Carol Roth entrepreneur action figure / fashion doll (see photos below) — I want to tell you and other parents out there that you are completely misguided regarding any doll’s effect on a girl’s self-image and success.
See, kids are smarter than many adults give them credit for. They understand that a toy and plaything is not reality. No toy will have anywhere near the effect of shaping your daughters’ futures as you potentially can.
I played with many dolls growing up — and having my own, I guess I still do. They allowed me and my friends to create a variety of scenarios that stretched our imaginations and cultivated creativity. I can never remember even one time that I or any of my friends thought that the doll was a representation of how we should look.
It was very clear, even at a young age, that the doll proportions were just that, and it never made me want or expect to grow up with a deformed waist or other unrealistic body proportions, since I interacted with real people all day long and knew the difference.
Similarly, my friends who played with baby dolls never tried to immediately go out and get pregnant, nor did my friends who played with Star Wars figures worry that they would end up covered in hair like Chewbacca.