Stretch marks included:
Even the Guardian’s über-feminist hag Jessica Valenti is disturbed.
When I was growing up, I had a doll that cried fake tears, a doll that drank milk and a doll that “peed” in her diaper. (I was not a fan of that last one – I still hate diapers.) Their purpose, I suppose, was to teach little girls about taking care of babies – along with the play kitchen and cradle, dolls like this are just another way we slickly introduce domesticity into girls’ lives. Given that, I probably should be excited about the prospect of a more “empowering” doll – one whose fake bodily function is something girls actually need to learn about. But the reality of it leaves me… moody.
Yes, I’m talking about a period doll.
The Lammily doll, with more realistic body proportions than Disney and Barbie-fied alternatives, now comes with a “period party pack,” which the company touts as “the fun way to explain the menstrual cycle to kids”. I guess throwing a heating pad and some tampons at your mortified kid when she hits puberty isn’t considered ‘fun’ anymore, who knew.
I imagine the doll is meant for girls younger than those getting their periods, as I don’t see anyone post-10 years old playing with a politically correct Barbie. And demystifying periods for young girls is a nice idea. As the doll’s website points out, “this perfectly healthy natural process is still surrounded with taboos…let’s start an open and positive conversation about our periods.”
For some girls, pretending your doll gets her period might a fun and educational way to learn about menstruation. It’s certainly a better choice than the options of yore. But surely the easiest and best way to teach our daughters about menstruation is to, well, talk to them.