Well, it's Christmas week, so I guess talking about toys is semi-timely. This is kind of creepy, though, and certainly not very festive. Sorry about that. I'll do my best to make time for a lovely chatty Christmassy update to make up for it.
Many Girls Hate, Torture Barbie Dolls
Maiming, decapitation and being put in the microwave oven are just some of the tortures that Barbie dolls are subjected to by young girls, say researchers at Bath University in the U.K.
They found that the doll provoked rejection, hatred and violence among many girls, aged seven to 11. The researchers attributed the girls' feelings and actions to the fact that Barbie is a feminine icon, "plastic," and an unwelcome reminder of their childhood, BBC News reports.
"It's as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past," Dr. Agnes Nairn said. "The types of mutilation are varied and creative and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."
The Barbie findings are part of research by Nairn and her colleagues into children's attitudes towards branded goods and marketing. Among their other findings - children seem to be more engaged by celebrities than toys.
"We were surprised to find that the most resonant discussions among the children did not center around toys and games, but on sports celebrities, pop stars and TV shows," Nairn told BBC News.
This is a little disturbing, isn’t it? I’ll admit to performing one Barbie head transplant, but that was just because of a hair-crimping experiment gone terribly wrong. It certainly wasn't a rite of passage with malice aforethought.
And we melted one of my brother’s GI Joes by sitting him on top of a lamp once, but I'm pretty sure that was just because he was mountain climbing, and he was sitting on top of the mountain.
Don’t you think maybe these researchers are reading just a little too much into kids seeing what they can do to their toys before they break?
Are they really "disavowing" anything? Or are they just testing their limits and having fun and learning - which pretty much is the whole point of childhood?