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10 Most Controversial Baby Dolls

 

By now you must have heard about the wildly controversial Breast Milk Baby that’s heading to the States after a successful run overseas. Major news networks and blogs are sounding off on the topic, but controversial dolls are nothing new. And in comparison to the others, is the Breast Milk Baby really that shocking?

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most controversial baby dolls, including the newest Breast Milk Baby:

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  • The Breast Milk Baby 1 of 10
    The Breast Milk Baby
    The hoopla surrounding this doll is everywhere: is it inappropriate or healthy? While toddlers have been feeding their baby dolls with bottles for decades, this is the first time children are encouraged to wear a special halter top with appropriately placed flowers and hold up an audibly suckling (and burping) baby. Berjuan Toys (the manufacturer) says that it's promoting "the most loving, healthy practice for a mother and her infant," but people have said that it's inappropriate for a young girl's age. In fact, the majority of the public have deemed it "creepy." But is it? In a world of baby string bikinis and pooping dolls? Is there something wrong with little girls growing up thinking that breasts have another, bigger, purpose? Is breastfeeding "taboo"? Or should they wait until they actually have breasts to think about breast-related activities?
  • Reborn Baby Dolls 2 of 10
    Reborn Baby Dolls
    These super realistic baby dolls (including veins, nails, eyelashes and even a little saliva at the corner of their mouths) are becoming more popular for grieving women who recently lost their babies. According to one of the doll makers, she's seen women keep them in cradles and "take them on holiday, where no one knew them." A BBC documentary in 2008 spoke to a woman who had a Reborn Baby because she wanted a baby but was too busy to commit to one. The article even cites police officers smashing car windows to rescue these life-like infants strapped into baby seats.
  • Baby Alive Learns to Potty 3 of 10
    Baby Alive Learns to Potty
    Hasbro's Baby Alive dolls aren't new to controversy, but this one especially irked parents. Not only does the baby talk and eat, but it actually "digests" and expels it into a diaper or potty. Parents have complained about the mess and pricey replacement parts (like diapers!), as well as the overall "ick" factor.
  • 2001 Little Mommy Doll 4 of 10
    2001 Little Mommy Doll
    As soon as this doll was previewed at this year's Toy Fair in New York, the Internet was buzzing, deeming Mattel's newest doll "the creepeist doll ever." Not only is it the strict gender norms and talking that freaked out Toy Fair visitors (because, really, that's nothing new), it's the motion and touch sensors, the eerie robotic responses and the lack of overall imagination needed. It tells you what it wants, what it needs, and then laughs "I'm just kidding."
  • Pregnant Midge 5 of 10
    Pregnant Midge
    Do you remember the big Pregnant Midge controversy about 10 years ago? Wal Mart ended up pulling the visibly pregnant Midge (part of the "Happy Family" line) after customers complained -- mostly because they thought it promoted teenage pregnancy (even though Midge was wearing a wedding ring).
  • Childbirth Education Doll 6 of 10
    Childbirth Education Doll
    Warning: If you hated Pregnant Midge, your head might explode with this one. Sharon Coleman created the Childbirth Education Doll as a tool for her 3-year-old daughter who was going to be present at her little sister's home birth. She told ParentDish that while many in the natural birthing community love the doll, she's also heard a lot of "creepy" and "gross" comments -- which she believes come from a place of ignorance.
  • Down Syndrome Doll 7 of 10
    Down Syndrome Doll
    While the down syndrome doll isn't the only doll out there to normalize disabilities (there are chemotherapy dolls, cerebral palsy dolls, etc.), they're extremely controversial. Parents of disabled kids say that their kids want to feel accepted and normal, rather than be singled out and stereotyped. It just shows their physical characteristics rather than all of the funny, sweet, warm aspects that make them so much like normally developed kids. Yet other parents say that these dolls give their child something to identify with -- similar to multi-racial dolls.
  • Pole Dancing Doll 8 of 10
    Pole Dancing Doll
    Complete with a disco ball, blinking lights and rotating pole. (See a video of the doll in action below.)
  • Monster High/Bratz 9 of 10
    Monster High/Bratz
    This Monster High Clawdeen doll ($17.99) struts around in a micro-mini skirt, belly shirt, knee-high boots and a face full of makeup. Similar outcries can be heard about the Bratz doll franchise, although both sets of dolls are mind-blowingly popular among tween-age girls.
  • Barbie 10 of 10
    Barbie
    Ah, Barbie. The original controversial doll. Although the most common criticism is her completely unrealistic body measurements and standards for little girls to look up to (prompting some mothers to ban Barbie altogether), she's seen criticism in countless other areas as well -- from her African American counterpart being called "unrealistic" to a recent lower-back tattoo uproar. Despite her rocky past, she's one of the most iconic girl's toys of all-time -- spawning other characters, endless merchandise, books, movies and even her very own Twitter page.

1. The Breast Milk Baby ($89)

2. Reborn Baby Dolls (selling for thousands on Ebay) via Daily Mail

3. Baby Alive Learns to Potty ($150)

4. 2001 Little Mommy Doll

5. Pregnant Midge (Selling for $100 on Amazon)

6. Childbirth Education Doll by Cozy Coleman, $160 (interview via ParentDish)

7. Down Syndrome Doll

8. Pole Dancing Doll (see a video of the doll.)

9. Monster High Clawdeen doll ($17.99)

10. Barbie: (Barbie photo via Smithsonian Mag)

Controversy loves company: check out the top parenting news and scandals of June 2011!

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