October 14, 2008

Another Doll story

I do not like the assumption that girls play only with dolls and would not be interested in vehicles or other such " traditional male domains". Especially from educated otherwise progressive people.

If books are unisex then why not toys/ dolls? One would think the toy manufacturers had placed blue and pink dots along side the reccomended age to indicate which gender should opt for it .

I never assume that a boy cannot/ will not play with a doll or a kitchen set. I just Pooh Pooh these notions.

And a doll can mean anything from Noddy to Raggedy Andy to Teletubbies to Hanuman right?

For further clarity look at how a doll is defined-
A doll is an object that represents a baby or other human being, but also includes likenesses of animals and imaginary creatures. Dolls have been around since the dawn of human civilization, and have been fashioned from a vast array of materials, ranging from stone, clay, wood, bone, cloth and paper, to porcelain, china, rubber and plastic.

So the next time you tell me that girls are into dolls and the assumption is that your boy is not- think twice- by the above definition even a plastic GI Joe is also a doll.

And in case anyone is curious, Anush does not have a Barbie. Nor does she have a GI Joe.

On to elaborate on choxbox's query on the "Marapaachi Bommai "- they are made of a certain wood - marapaachi ( Red sanders?) near Sri Kalahasti in Madhavamala ( near Tirupathi) and are a must in golus. They are usually gifted at the wedding by the bride's parents. Possibly seen to promote fertility ( like a totem). More about them here


The Kid said...

Since you have a masters in business management, let me ask you this question. Can you put a business plan with a revenue driver based on selling dolls to boys? Do you think it is sustainable? Or better yet, would you be willing to invest in such a company?

Next is a genuine (less rhetorical) question:

what would your marketing strategy be for such a company?

btw, why are the most popular dolls (Barbie and GIjoe) American figures? Isn't there anyone in India to idolize ?

apu said...

nice post! good to see such non-judgemental parents... I think all kids should be encouraged to play with any toys that they enjoy, provided they are not harmful in any way and fit the parent's budget :)

Artnavy said...

noddy/ pooh dolls are all popular with boys as well - so u shld check on their business plan :- ))

i do not think gi joe is too popular here. of the Indian icons Gatothkaj, Hanuman and Ganesha are hugely popular and all have enough of a franchise around them

in chennai it is Dora( a mexican cartoon character)popular among both girls and boys

strange- after all most boys grow up to look only at the bips and deepikas of the world and girls end up usually looking at the imrans and the ranbirs- well...


apu- i knew this would strike a chord with you

Choxbox said...

hey thanks for the gyaan, will pass it on to n3 (she is terribly interested in golus - spent almost an hour in each house checking out minute details and giving a running commentary on which particular mythogical event was being depicted etc, thanks to amar chitra kathas :) )

totally with you on gender stereotyping of toys and you know my opinion of barbies and such like.

Artnavy said...

anytime choxbox-ACK rocks- anush knows the pandavas' names, nost of teh dashavataars and the story of prahlad ....

on barbie- that one is meant for boys- big frustrated boys i think

Mama - Mia said...

true! true! true!

its all just perceptions and age old prejudices! and though i loved barbie as a kid, i find them so silly these days!

id rather buy Cubby interesting wooden toys that are made around here! :D



ps: love the header!! anush looks adorable like always!

Artnavy said...


pl visit this link - interesting perspective

Choxbox said...

art my only gripe with all this mythology is that i have to answer Qs like - mamma, why do all kings do sacrifices only to get a son? etc :(

Rohini said...

A slept with his Noddy doll till a month ago. Didn't bother me in the least

starry said...

nice post I have to agree with you.my son carried around an elmo doll everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I never played with dolls. Once I was given a doll as a present but the doll looked like some old lady and I put some make up on her using sharpies. She looked scary and the make up didn't come off and I never played with her again.

Jayashree said...

My little girl loves dolls of all kinds - Hanuman, Barbie...give her any of those and she's a happy camper. She also loves cars and trains. So to heck with gender stereotyping and the boys will be boys attitude.

Artnavy said...

ro/ starry / jaya- tahnks for the vote

agnes- that is really sad

chox- yes and also we tell our kids not to fight/ and to share and here even the Gods dont do it