Leave Barbie & GI Joe Alone

by Alli

I grew up with GI Joe and Barbie. Barbie and I were born the same year, only a few months apart. She’s held up slightly better than I have. In fact, she hasn’t changed that much at all.

My sister, Melinda, and I officiated many secret GI Joe and Barbie weddings when we were little girls. Once our brothers found out what we were doing, GI Joe was called away for active duty to the foxholes my brothers had built in the cow pasture. And I do believe my cousin, Dixie, had the talking, albeit jealous, Ken.

Mom was an excellent seamstress and our Barbies were fashionistas to the max. I wish I still had all those clothes she made for Babs and friends.

Daughters #2 and 3 continued the tradition of Barbie and Ken, collected Christmas editions and  played hair salon by cutting and styling their hair. Ouch. So much for that collection.

Daughter #1 never cared for dolls or frills or hair bows and that was fine by me.

My son and his friend used a few Barbies for target practice with their BB guns before my daughter found out and pitched a hissy fit.

Different groups have been calling foul on poor Barbie, younger sister Skipper and the gang for years. Barbie is too perfect. Barbie sends wrong body images.  Yada, yada, yada.

Now there’s a group calling for us to boycott Barbie, GI Joe and every other gender specific toy. I have one thing to say to this group, “Stop trying to tell parents what their kids should or should not play with. You are not the boss of us!”

Leave Barbie Alone

And give me a Barbie doll break. I’ve never compared my body to Barbie’s. Call me gifted, but I always knew she was made of plastic and was a doll just like Giggles and Go and Betsy Wetsy. Betsy never caused me to want to wet my pants except when Giggles and Go awakened us in the middle of the night giggling like a deranged Chucky.

The thought never crossed my mind nor my kid’s minds to want to look like Barbie. She’s plastic and really, really short. Her feet are tiny. I wear a size 8-1/2 shoe.  Her feet would look ridiculous on my 5’8″ body.

I think kid’s body issues probably come from watching certain TV shows and trying to imitate movie stars, models and, gasp, sometimes their mom. When they hear you complaining about your weight, your looks, etc. they start to believe that maybe there could be something wrong with their looks, too.

GI Joe and Barbie, to me, are just toys, plain and simple, that my siblings and I played with while we were growing up.  We used our imaginations and put those dolls in every made-up situation you could think of and used our minds to get them out of those jams.

And as my grandpa used to say, stop making mountains out of mole hills.

And leave Barbie & GI Joe alone.


Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods December 17, 2014 - 7:53 am

A-to the-MEN!

Our children’s body images come much more from us than they do from Barbie. I try very hard not to say anything bad about myself {or others} in front of my children.

Pinning, sharing, and everything else!
~ Ashley

Alli December 17, 2014 - 7:54 am

Thanks, Ashley! I’m just so tired of reading all the garbage. Let kids be kids. 🙂

Rebekah December 17, 2014 - 8:45 am

Amen! I agree! Leave Barbie and GI Joe alone. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids issues and stop blaming toys. I can’t believe this is even a “real” issue. If some parents would put as much passion into rearing their kids as they do fighting Barbie, Elf on a Shelf and Santa; my what a different world this would be. That’s just my 2 cents. Lol

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:35 pm

If you don’t like Elf, don’t buy him. If you don’t like Barbie, don’t buy her. But leave us alone and stop telling us what to buy. I heart Barbie, Ken, Elf, Santa and Rudolf (and everything associated with Christmas). 🙂

Shirley Wood December 17, 2014 - 9:53 am

Yes, exactly what you said, Alli!!! We grew up just fine playing with Barbie and GI Joe! Good grief. Your said it quite well, so well it is worth repeating!
Don’t make mountains out of mole hills! I wish people would stop allowing the media to make their decisions for them. There are too many media outlets promoting negativity. I appreciate a good honest opinion! I buy Barbie dolls for my grand daughter and will continue to do so!

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:32 pm

I’m with you! I wish people wouldn’t believe everything they see on the news. I’m looking forward to the day when I can buy barbie dolls for my FUTURE granddaughters. 🙂

Logan Can December 17, 2014 - 10:12 am

I completely agree with this! People are so sensitive and always looking for something or someone else to blame for their issues or their children’s issues. Sure, maybe certain TV shows effect the way a young girl looks at herself…every once in a while, but Barbie is classic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a doll. I don’t tend to compare myself to plastic either. lol

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:30 pm

It’s getting ridiculous when people form groups to get rid of Barbie. I mean, let’s work together to get rid of world hunger and eradicate disease.

Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) December 17, 2014 - 10:17 am

I totally agree Alli! I grew up with Barbies (and they played a lot with my brother’s GI Joes) and never compared my body to Barbie’s. My daughter loves to play with Barbies and think it is a great way to let her imagination run.

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:28 pm

My imagination soared while playing with dolls, including Barbie. My sister and I had the Barbie tent, etc. and Barbie and her siblings and friends were such an important part of our childhood. I have great memories of Barbie.

Jennifer December 17, 2014 - 10:18 am

AMEN AND AMEN. I couldn’t agree with you more!! Never have I ever compared or thought I needed to look like or have Barbie’s body – I just wanted to freakin play with her growing up as child!! My own daughter is getting lots of Barbie’s for Christmas and she’s going to be in heaven – not comparing!!

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Exactly! She’s a doll. She’s plastic. Long live Barbie!

Susan the farm quilter December 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Absolutely! It is entirely ridiculous to blame kids’ body image issues on a doll!! Has more to do with the air-brushed images all over print media and the garbage coming out of Hollywood.

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Exactly. Stop the air brushing and put some meat on those model’s bones. A few stretch marks wouldn’t hurt either. Let’s be real. 🙂

aimee fauci December 17, 2014 - 1:08 pm

Oh my goodness, this has been on my mind lately! I was going to post about this but mine was not going to be as sweet. It makes me sick… You did hit it correctly.. Stop telling us how to parent and really!? I’ve never heard a kid call themselves fat because they played with Barbie. It comes from peer pressure and magazines with photoshopped actors and singers. Where do these people come up with this stuff? Do they sit around at 2am writing down how they can mess with our kids and make life not so fun?

Alli December 17, 2014 - 1:25 pm

This made my blood boil when I saw it on TV and I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one. I think it’s time we all spoke up to stop the insanity. I loved your post about Santa today. I’m not too warped from playing with Barbie and believing in Santa. 🙂

Kristen from The Road to Domestication December 17, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Definitely a mountain out of a molehill! I guess most things are in this age of “political correctness” that we live in!

Alli December 17, 2014 - 4:30 pm

You are correct! I don’t normally use my blog to speak out, but if Christians keep standing by and saying nothing more and more junk will be pushed on us.

Amands December 17, 2014 - 4:26 pm

I had a huge collection of Barbies! I had the pool, the car, thee Jeep, the dream house……I spent hours plating with Barbies and I turned out just fine.

I am an only child in a neighborhood full of girls so there were no GI Joe’s around.

And believe it or not Barbie has changed. I picked up one of my granddaughters Barbie dolls and didn’t recognize it as such be as use her assets had shrunk so to speak and her eyes were different. I am not sure if all Barbies are this way, but some as different now.

Alli December 17, 2014 - 4:28 pm

Her assets have probably shrunk because she was not politically correct. :). I loved Barbie and still do.

Zan December 17, 2014 - 5:44 pm

Your posts always have some funny spots in them….lol….But seriously, who is really comparing those toys to humans? That is just ridiculous! I never wished I had a Barbie’s body neither did I know GI Joe was a real toy, either!

Caitlin December 17, 2014 - 9:43 pm

Love it! Wanting to be Barbie never crossed my mind. My Barbie memories are some of the best memories I have! 🙂

Alli December 17, 2014 - 9:53 pm

I know! I loved Barbie when I was growing up and when you were growing up. 🙂

Angela December 18, 2014 - 12:40 am

I totally agree. There was nothing like a Barbie Fashion show!

Crystal December 18, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Amen!!! I grew up on Barbies and so did my two girls. It was all about the fun, dressing them up and the imagination. Such a fun time!

Pascha December 18, 2014 - 9:54 pm

infeel like there’s always some Barbie drama yearly. She’s not going anywhere! LOL

Chrystal @ YUM eating December 19, 2014 - 12:20 pm

My childhood was not good. But, Barbie was my outlet. I never compared myself (my body, hair) to Barbie. If folks want to make a doll that is more ‘life like’ than so be it, but you don’t have to attack Barbie in the process. I made my own clothes and designed their homes. If not for that creative outlet, I wouldn’t have such a love for sewing and decorating. Barbie helped me; she didn’t once hold me back.

Megan Walker December 21, 2014 - 8:57 pm

I agree with you! I played with Barbies growing up, and my body image issues certainly didn’t come from them. It came from middle school, puberty and mean boys! I also feel the same way about Disney princesses. Sometime I feel like people want to take all the magic out of the world.

Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!

perl October 23, 2020 - 4:09 am

When I was a kid I wanted a Barbie but my parents said it was too expensive. I always thought that was just an excuse and they just didn’t want their boy playing with Barbies. But then I also wanted a G.I. Joe and they wouldn’t get me that because it was too expensive. So maybe they were just cheap.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.