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Friday, October 14, 2005


The question occurred to me the other day, as we sat in a family-style restaurant observing one of the staff's daughters and her friend waiting for the mom's shift to be over. The girls were tucked into a booth and occupying their time playing dolls.

I thought about the role dolls play in girls' lives.

Little girls have played with dolls for eons. Whether made of porcelain, corn husks, or sticks and clay, they've been dragged around and loved, training little girls for the day when they would be real mommies.

Then along came Barbie. Women were liberated. Barbie could be anything: A ballet dancer! A stewardess! A nurse! A bride... Oh, well, but she had really stylish clothes and drove a sportscar! She was showing girls the possibilities, the potential they had to be anything. She was training little girls to be career women.

I watched the two prepubescents deeply engrossed in dressing, undressing, and redressing their dolls in preparation for a big night out in the party bus and wondered, what exactly are Bratz dolls training our daughters to be?

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