With all the new toys out there for the holidays ahead, there is one that is getting lots of press. Berjuan Toys has a doll that makes suckling noises prompted by a halter worn by its young owners. The Breast Milk Baby has received much praise along with an equal amount of critisism. Bill O'Reilly says this kind of doll "sexualizes young girls" while others feel there is a valuable place for this toy in families who have recently acquired a new sibling. It costs $89.00 but has not flown off the shelves here in the U.S. like it has in other countries.
I have an opinion but it isn't mentioned in all the press this doll has generated. I loved dolls when I was young, like many girls, but when it came to the pretend babies' responses, we used our imagination. My sister and friends did not need dolls that had robot reactions, we just pretended whatever it was the moment called for, based on our experiences and age. One time when my family was camping out in the Colorado wilderness, my sister and I pretended that small logs set aside for the fire were baby dolls. They had names and all kinds of characteristics that real babies possess but lacked anything physical that resembled live little ones. And that was ok because we were playing for us, not the benefit of anyone outside the interactions. Our imaginations were exercised in a way that led to creativity and the independent ability to make our own fun. Kids are capable of that when they aren't force-fed alternatives.
I'm sure the debate this toy has stirred up will not be over anytime soon. What do you think?