Using a doll to explain to kids where babies come from, or what pregnancy is, doesn't seem like a bad idea on paper. But now that the doll has become a reality, parents are kind of wishing a pregnant pseudo-Barbie was never conceived of in the first place.
As an "educational toy," it's not exactly anatomically correct—and we're not just talking about the extremely thin legs. Talk about some serious thigh gap!
Really, all it takes is one look and you'll see what's so creepy about it.
The plastic doll started making waves last week after a photo of it surfaced on a Latest Deals forum, where comments ranged from "that's a bit scary" and "that's horrid, shouldn't be for little kids" to "I'd heard about these but thought they were a joke!"
Pregnant dolls are sold on Amazon U.K. by VWH for only £2.48 ($3.35), available in four different dress colors for Mom, or by Amazon in the U.S. by Mishine for $12.99. Surprisingly, reviews under both sellers have been mostly positive, with several parents and grandparents saying that despite the low quality, the kids they bought it for loved it.
The doll is in no way affiliated with the Mattel brand, the official maker of Barbie, but it doesn't mean Mattel didn't try something similar before. The company had unveiled Pregnant Midge as part of the Happy Family line, in which the teenage-looking Midge had a magnetic removable womb with a tiny baby inside. Midge was meant for kids ages 5 to 8 and as a prop for parents to use to role-play family situations, such as the arrival of a new sibling. The controversial toy was pulled after consumers called it inappropriate for young children and said it "promote(d) teenage pregnancy."
So, does the pregnant doll give away too much or too little? And is an anatomically correct doll really what parents want? It's hard to say if it would sit right with parents, given that people still freak out when kids call a vagina "a vagina" and that a baby doll with a penis had parents up in arms. (Even an anatomically correct horse caused a Twitter meltdown.)
The world just doesn't seem ready to handle "Barbie" beyond, say, a version who gets her period. But hey, at least it's giving some of us a much-needed chuckle.