anything-is-possible5 I was always under the mind set that I would raise my little girl away from princesses, pink and probably even Barbie. I, for some reason assumed that I could a) keep all these things out of my house or that my daughter would just naturally not be interested in them. b) the classic more “girly” toys wouldn’t be a great toys for her to play with.

My Mom will probably laugh a little at this post, because I’m pretty sure she laughed at me when I told her my plans for keeping Barbie and all the girly toys, away until Harlow was old enough to decide if she wanted them herself. I honestly do not know the real reason why I was assumed Barbie wouldn’t be a toy I wanted her playing with, I mean I really dug her as a kid – my sister and I would play with our brother’s GI-Joes and Barbies as one big happy family (usually Barbie would boss GI-Joe around after he saved her from some really dangerous situation), it was great. Sure her measurements are a little cartoon-y, and she is never not wearing high heel shoes and make-up and always always with the pink – but she’s a doll! And I guess we can’t all be wearing jeans, grey tees and sneakers all the time. I wasn’t the most girly little girl and I sure didn’t grow up to be affected by a dolls physical appearance, so I’m sure Harlow won’t either. Really she’s a doll, and one that has had tons of careers and a whole isle of diverse friends – really not as bad as adult me had “assumed”.

When Barbie contacted me to partner with them, to be very honest (sorry Barbie) I almost said no. I literally lost sleep over the idea, mostly because it didn’t fall into my “plan” but also because it made me look at why I wasn’t letting Barbie into my house and then I sorta felt a silly.

I tried to stay away from the whole princess thing, but I couldn’t fight it. I tried to stay away from the whole pink thing, but I couldn’t fight it. And well Barbie, I tried to stay away from her too. I tried really hard, I’m embarrassed to say I would say no to book choices in the library, show requests on netflix and toy store requests – all because I thought “I can keep this doll out of her childhood”. But what I was really doing, is not letting her make her own choices. It’s silly, a simple email from a company caused so much turmoil for me because I realized I wasn’t being the parent I always thought I was. I had always said; “wait till she’s older and if she wants these toys, she can have them” but the thing is, she is a older and asking for these toys and I was still saying NO. Not the Mom I thought I was and not part of the parenting “plan” I had set out for myself, at all.

I was nervous signing on to this partnership (so nervous), but the morning after Harlow got her package in the mail. My first words to Chris over coffee were about about how happy I was that I did join. Because it’s not about me, it’s totally all about her. I didn’t say no because of my own plans and hangups, I said yes because I followed her choice. And look at what that got me… anything-is-possible1 anything-is-possible2 I mean the pure happiness, all from a box of toys. A box of toys I might not have gotten her on my own, excuse me while I devour a steaming hot bowl of word soup.

She is a tom boy, and a girly girl, a hilariously, talented, smart, tough little girl. She plays with her Barbies as if they are babies, she mothers them and then later has them kicking bad guys butts beside the super hero’s. She’s well rounded and it’s been pretty fun seeing all of those things come out in her playtime. So far Having Barbie in my home has only brightened Harlow’s days and made play time so much more comedic to listen to (seriously, listening to the kids play is just the best). anything-is-possible4 anything-is-possible7 anything-is-possible6 Also, I’m pretty happy she has someone to test her makeup skills out on, otherwise that could have been me there. How do you feel about Barbie? Does your daughter play with her?

Often the greatest moments of joy and self-discovery take place during everyday playtime. Barbie can be the star of your child’s imaginative stories, the embodiment of her biggest dreams, and the vehicle for conversations and memories. #BarbieProject

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 2.40.44 PM This is part of a group of posts in partnership with #BarbieProject . All words and images are 100% organic and authentic. Thank you, so very much for always supporting our blog and for supporting the sponsors that help support our blog and our household.


    • Nancy says

      I love Barbie dolls and so do my Grand daughters. I get excited every time Allie plays red carpet with the Barbies' I get excited when I buy them a new doll. I get excited when they come out with the most amazing dolls from all eras and the movies.I get upset when they are sold out at where to go. I am 62 years old and I still love Barbie.

  1. Nicole says

    Oh my gosh! Look at that smile!! She is amazing! I never played with Barbie or dolls, always ponies! So glad it makes her so happy! I love the Barbie/Superman photo!

  2. says

    I have a friend that was the same way, and always 'bugged' me about my girly girls. That is, until she had a girl and tried to keep her away but couldn't. They will be princesses whether you resist or not so let them be, them! Great post!

  3. Kate says

    This is really topical for me. I too have a son first (Tiger) and then a daughter (Penn) and I’m struggling with the Pink Thing as I call it: the notion that little girls love pink and purple and sparkles and dolls and makeup. But guess what, despite being the toughest little tomboy around, Penn does love pink and purple and sparkles and dolls. And makeup. At 20 months old, her favourite things are dolls, cleaning and makeup. How can this be? But more importantly, why do I care? It’s her, purely her, and I have to step aside and let her be herself… But there will still be a lot of blue and grey and converse shoes while I’m in charge of buying clothes!!!

    • Heart and Habit says

      Thank you for your comment! I agree, why do I even care it's not me! I can't help but influence but I have to let her take the lead a little more! :)

    • Nancy says

      John and I have been friends for 33 years. When I first met him he had a pink polo shirt and his socks were pink. I thought he was adorable and even now that he is a royal pain in the ass he is still adorable. We still talk about how his socks matched his shirt. Barbie dolls are fashion for little girls. People freak out because she is anatomically correct but little girls don't even realize it's a sexual thing. Pink is not my color but I love Pink!

      • Heart and Habit says

        It's true, only us adults over analyze – to little girls they are fun toys. I'm not sure how I forgot that, but I'm so glad I was reminded that Barbie is just a toy and a great toy for that matter!

  4. Mónica says

    If we can not say this because you will not drink water and you drown insurance.
    A pink for my girls do not like … and it's my daughter's favorite color, and Barbis they made me not very funny … we'll see in a year. Kisses and happy last Wednesday morning Friday.

  5. joyandjammies says

    I can totally relate to avoiding Barbie in our household. I loved Barbie as a kid. They were super cool. I think years ago seeing pregnant Barbie, Bratz dolls and all these over the top high maintenance over revealing Barbies frighten the heck out of me. Lilly recently seen her cousin with a Barbie and really wanted one, so I've been collecting Barbies from the 60's,70's 80's, and 90's. They seem a little more classy haha

    I'm totally digging Harlow's new barbies especially the astronaut one! She's one lucky good:)

    • Heart and Habit says

      Oh I really like that idea, I should see if my Mom still has some of mine…if they still have hair. :) The astronaut one is pretty cool!

  6. Sivielruy says

    Oh my! What a happy girl;-)

    I'm 35 and I still play with barbies! Lol (with good reason)
    As a girl I played with barbies/baby dolls/she-rah and anything girly, I also played with GI-Joes/he-mans/hotwheels/thundercats/etc ….for some people I was either to girly/prissy and to others I was tomboyish! I was then and still currently a high spirited person and basically living life to the beat of my own drum and surely not someone else's idea., with that said I've never stopped loving barbie and her trend settings and endless empowering jobs….this is one fierce chick!
    Looking back throughout the years, I've realized I've never stopped playing with barbies or loving her trend settings throughout the years. As a kid I played with her with my bro's whom always found it funny to blow her heads off…lol, as a teen I enjoyed playing with her with my lil sister, and as an adult I started collecting her waiting the day that I would share my love for barbie/baby dolls/toys in general with my daughter, and then I had a son, you can safely say I continued collecting barbies and having endless play times with my son and his GI joes/dc toys/marvel toys/Disney toys/hotwheels, tonka,matchbox/Pokemon/and Star Wars toys amongst others, he's now going onto thirteen and he has his action figures all displayed just like he saw me display my dolls, now my son at a young age would help me find those DOTW as so did his dad, and the thrill of enjoying helping me collect barbies didn't make him any less of a boy!
    Now the day finally arrived when I had a daughter (my son is 10yrs and 6 days older than her) I had warned the boys thru out my pregnancy that they would have to start participating in girly like activities when such time came…they were not so thrilled but have been good sports…lol
    Well my little "princess barbie Nathalie" as she calls herself had her first barbie encounter at age one, her eyes were wide opened from fascination and she couldn't make up her mind on which to pick, surely if I had it my way she would get them all…lol (at this point all my babies that I collected thru the years were all stored away in bins) so imagine when I decided to take them out of their deep slumber and display them at home (this occurred several months ago when she turned two and a half) gesh at first all was well after setting ground rules in not touching mommies barbies unless I give to her to open, things went rather good and every time I opened a bin she would be amazed and wow them all, she helped me display them (I guess this was our first major barbie moment) lol, now I'm sure you all may have been thinking "wait till she gets her hands on them" well in fact she did! Ugh! Yes I must admit I was rather upset that she went on an opening rampage, but just then I realized why would I have all these dolls to just look at and not play with? Looking thru my daughters eyes I saw the joy of being a kid again and what it meant to just play! And so I helped her, yes, we managed to open at least 50 dolls in jan/feb of this year. and opened a few their after….;-)
    I currently have a 7 month old boy whom loves his toys and his diverse girlfriends (barbie dolls that is) when his sister leaves them at arms reach or hands him one to play with…lol Personally I don't see the harm in letting kids play with gender directed toys or for girls to play with barbie dolls, it irritates me to hear grown ups use the mere body image of a doll as an excuse to be band or to try and justify anorexia, plastic surgery, etc….as a kid I didn't see barbie as a negative roll play model, in fact she's the face of empowering woman from many parts of the world, however the spotlight may gleam.
    My soon to be three "princess barbie Nathalie" loves her dolls/toys as much as she loves nature/reading/playing with her siblings/enjoying the beach/watching her Disney & nick jr shows/endlessly learning and talking along the way. She's my little fierce chick and in no way does barbie or any other Mattel doll such as monster high play a negative roll in her life, in fact she has her own beat of drum to call her own.

    (My story is rather long but couldn't resist on sharing it)

  7. Reinier Keith Valerio says

    I also love Barbie! I am 37 and just now started to collect some. I love to make barbie clothes as well such as gowns, casual dress, skirts, and even swimwears. But the problem is I don’t have any sewing machine and can’t afford to buy sewing machine. I just stitched it by my hand. Dreaming someday i would be one of the barbied clothes designer. Hahaha. I’m from Philippines but I’m working here in Saudi Arabia. Funny thing when I was a kid, everytime my grandfather, grandmother, uncle saw me playing with barbie, they always hit me and I told to myself when I grow up I will buy my own barbie dolls and no one can ever stop me playing with it. I have 7 Barbie Fashionistas, 4 Glam Barbies and 1 Barbie with a Laundry set. Wish to find a Ken Doll here in Saudi Arabia. :-)

  8. Melanie says

    Thanks for this post. I don't think it's bad that you were trying to shield her from Barbie/princess stuff for awhile. While Barbie is obviously not the sole cause of body image issues for girls, there is some research that suggests exposure to Barbie may make girls feel bad about their own bodies. I have a boy (2 1/2) and now a girl (6 months) myself and neither has shown an interest in Barbie yet, but I'm honestly not sure what I'll do if / when that day comes. And if I let them have Barbies, what about Bratz dolls (which are arguably worse)? Do I expose them to everything and just try to educate them or do I limit their exposure to things? It's tough to know what the "right" thing to do is.

    • Heart and Habit says

      After all my excessive think about the topic (I really thought way too much), I realized that I played with Barbies and did not grow up with any body issue because of her. I think it's us adults to tend to over analyze her because of the way she looks, I mean she's just a doll of course she's not going to look real. So far, Harlow hasn't noticed a thing about her physical appearance and I'm not sure she will I don't think I ever did. Personally I'm just going to follow her lead and make sure I set good examples for her to follow. So far Barbie has been such a great tool for imaginative play and I can't see any way that could be bad. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! :)


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