Well my friends- the turkey has been carved; the gifts unwrapped; and sadly, the once magically whirring little flecks of gold have all but fallen to the bottom of my champagne flute..
Christmas is over for yet another season- and now all that remains is a food hangover, a feeling of anti-climax, and if you (like me) are currently cohabiting with a 7 year old- lots and lots of really annoying toys.
A laser operated race car; an Ipod Touch (I KNOW); a Nintendo DS with exceptionally powerful speakers- it’s all enough to make you go a little crazy.
But by far the worst offender of all is a seemingly innocuous little doll known as Baby Alive.
Now, I’m not much of a doll person in general (I always preferred Barbie and her self-esteem destroying unrealistic body proportions) and most of my niece Lola’s many dolls freak the hell out of me… but this one takes the cake. On a scale from 1 to Creepy, I give this thing a “really f**king creepy”. Not only does it look like the exponentially more terrifying lovechild of Chucky and his Bride and have the voice of a demon-possessed Care Bear, it also eats, drinks, and (wait for it) goes #2 in its diaper.
Yep. You heard me correctly.You feed it this disgusting green concoction, followed by several bottles of water (is this starting to sound like “Baby Eating Disorder” to anyone else??) and then watch as the miracle of digestion unfolds. I took pictures…but because I like you guys, I’m not gonna show them to you. Instead, I’ll just give you the official description from Hasbro’s website:
For real mommy moments, MY BABY ALIVE gives girls the experience of taking care of their very own baby. She says more than 30 phrases, including “I love you Mommy!” When she says, “I’m hungry,” your little girl will know it’s time to mix up a bowl of her special doll food and spoon-feed her. After she drinks a bottle of water to wash it all down, it’s time for a new diaper! She’ll even let your little girl know when she’s sleepy, and close her eyes when she goes down for a nap. Just sit her upright and she’ll open her eyes to play all over again!
My first thought on seeing this doll in action (besides, someone better short circuit that motherf**kers wiring before I lose my shit up in here) was… how is this an acceptable toy for children?? My mind went back to all of the controversy this summer surrounding that Breastfeeding Doll that simulates the act of nursing. Critics said that doll went too far- how is this is any different? Isn’t this a pretty open and shut case of TMI?
I did some research, and as it turns out, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Both the Breastfeeding Doll and Baby Alive have been criticized for `giving kids more details than they are ready for`, and focusing on `too much information, and not enough imagination`. The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has also boycotted the doll on the grounds that it ruins children’s creativity` and makes the child the prop, rather than the toy.
Hmm. this was an angle I hadn`t really considered before…and as I looked over at Alyssa (Baby Alive`s name.. duh), who is currently wearing Lola`s Skull Candy headphones and listening to St. Jude`s Bear Hospital on a portable DVD player while Lola scrolls through music on her iPod touch and plays her Nintendo DS, I can’t really decide whether I agree or disagree with this hypothesis.
The counter-argument here is that more information may not be such a bad thing. Take MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, for example. Initially criticized for “glamourizing teenage pregnancy”, since the show debuted in 2009, it has been credited with the largest decline in teen pregnancy rates in the United States in 10 years. Apparently seeing Macy have to quit the dance squad and Jenelle get into brawls with other bitches on her front lawn turned teens off the idea of having babies. (Guess they didn’t stay tuned long enough to see the boob job Farrah’s stint on Teen Mom paid for… oops better keep my mouth shut lest she diss me on twitter)
Anyway-it`s true that since getting Alyssa, I`ve already heard Lola utter such phrases as `”wow- she`s a lot of work” and “ewwwwww” a number of times… but where do we draw the line? Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for giving kids a healthy dose of reality (which is why my future child will exclusively watch E! and Bravo based programming) but is birth control really necessary for 7 years olds? and if it is, then we`ve got a much bigger problem on our hands, here. (Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Baby Alive is actually sponsored by Orthotricyclin…. or the underlord of my own, personal hell. Definitely one of the two).
I guess as with everything there is a fine line- and I should probably just suck it up and spend my time focusing on what lipstick I`m going to wear on New Years Eve (I’m thinking Mac’s “Lady Danger” .. but it’s early days yet) rather than the pros and cons of the Baby Alive doll. Hey- after all, at least is not a Reborn.
Sweet dreams, bloggies. Muhahahaha