I played w/ Barbie's when I was little. I remember that ALL I wanted, for the longest time, was a Barbie! I was practically too old for them by the time I got my first one, but I was sincere when I responded: Just what I've always wanted! after opening my gift from my aunt.
As a grown woman, I decided Barbie was not an appropriate role model (regardless of what she did for budding feminists in the 1970's! lol) for MY dd. I vowed MY dd would not play w/ Barbies & I made sure, for every gift giving occasion, that family members knew that.
However, when my dd was mearly 1 yo (or so) we were walking through Target, she in the shopping cart, when she saw & somehow recognized Barbie & exclaimed: "I want one!" From that point on....she was lovestruck by Barbie. She would walk up to the displayes & comment how beautiful she was & how she wanted one. I would remind her gently: WE do not like Barbie!
I could see her inner torment.....as we would pass a Barbie display she would then say:" I love Barbie----but I don't like Barbie." OR "I want a Barbie---but I don't like Barbie." To make matters worse...she found half-naked Barbies my SIL had outgrown, in MIL's garage & sought them out almost every time we go over there.
My SIL gave me a Millenium Barbie for Christmas 2000. She is very beautiful. She has a golden dress w/ silver snowflake sequins, a gold tiara & gold ring. I think Barbie is fine to collect & display but not appropriate for young girls as a toy. Well, this Barbie has been in her 'wrapping' (no box) for the past 5 years. She even came w/ an ornament. She has been under my bed for quite some time now.
My dd found her one day & came to me so excited to show me what she found. I explained that it was not a toy. She would hold that Barbie, all wrapped up, & just gaze @ her lovingly until I told her to put Barbie away.
The other day, as I looked @ Barbie sticking out from the edge of my bed for the umpteenth time...I thought---> WHAT the heck am I saving this for? I don't have a 'collection', or the potential for one, not even a display case if I DID have a collection.
I said to myself...WTHeck? & I did the unthinkable....I told my littles...if they cleaned their room (it was a major DISASTER, to put it nicely) I'd give them a surprise when they were finished. What will it be?, they asked. (always wanting to know if it will be worth it or not) I promised a piece of candy for 5.75 yo ds & I told L...I would give her my Barbie!
Ds rushed to start cleaning (remember he IS a candy fiend) & L soon followed. She would stop to come & look @ Barbie. Then ask, "I did a little bit of cleaning, can I have Barbie now?" I would repeat, "No, not until your room is completley finished". She asked that about 3x. lol
Finally, (w/ plenty of help from me, of course) the room was finished. I gave DS his chocolate & presented 3.75 yo dd w/ her first Barbie. I even let her unwrap it, she wasted NO time. lol I think she was awe struck.
I made sure to give her some rules:
1) DON'T make her ugly
2) DON'T make her naked
3) Keep your room clean or I'll take her back. (said w/ a smile)
Sigh....what a mom will do for a clean room, a girl will clean her room for! :o)