The holiday season is approaching, which means it’s time to roll out more products to help our little girls feel very bad about their bodies. (That, or pregnant). Over the years, toy-makers have boldly invented new mechanisms by which they can make money off of the body consciousness of young girls. Below, inventors push girls to look simultaenously curvier (grow boobs already!), skinnier (but make sure to lose your baby weight!), sexily reproductive (be six years old AND skinny AND pregnant!) and matronly (breastfeed babies with the boobs you don’t have!).
The Weight Loss Doll, 1991
Perfect for: The girl who’s just entering the “I’m fat” phase, but hasn’t yet abandoned the “plays with dolls” phase.
How it works: This doll provides dieters “a friend, a companion in the weight-loss process” who gains and loses weight along with you. Or, more accurately, loses its skin. “Layers of ‘skin’ made of stretchable synthetic material, such as vinyl, are added or removed from the doll each time the doll’s owner gains or loses one weight increment, respectively. Each layer represents a particular predetermined weight increment, which may be determined by the doll’s owner. The doll may be male or female, preferably includes jointed body parts, and may be dressed, such as in a running suit which fits over the layers of skin.”
The Magical Boob Growth Doll, 1976.
Perfect for: The prepubescent girl who wishes she could lose her baby-fat belly and magically grow a rack, all in one upward motion!
How it works: You crank the weight from your stomach to your boobs. “Lower torso member includes a waist member having a lower portion of a first girth and an upper portion of a second, lesser girth so that pliable, rubber-like upper torso waist member may be slid from lower portion of lower torso waist member where it simulates waist of pudgy pre-teenager to upper portion of lower torso waist member where it simulates trim waist of a teenager while simulated breasts are simultaneously pressed outwardly against upper torso member causing bulging of the rubber-like material to form a simulated bustline.”
The Pregnant Doll, 1989 Perfect For: Little girls who yearn to play act an “attractively svelte” baby-maker, without all the icky scientific accuracy.
How it works: “When the baby is in the pocket of the mother, it bulges the pocket and the mother appears pregnant; when the baby is removed the mother appears attractively svelte . . . The baby is preferably placed upside down in the pouch; but the pouch may be sized to receive the baby doll in other positions since young children are not likely to be biologically precise about this.”
The Breastfeeding Doll, 1981.
Perfect for: The little girl who is into all that icky scientific accuracy. How it works: “the mouth of the baby doll can be fastened to the breast pf the mother doll to simulate breastfeeding.” But why? “It is old and well known in the art to produce dolls resembling a mature woman as well as to produce baby dolls. It is also old and well known to provide humanoid dolls which are capable of simulating certin human functions such as crying, taking nourishment from a bottle, wetting and the like. [But] with respect to a simulated nursing operation between a mother and her young, the only known representations involve animals.”
The Diet Aid Doll, 1990.
Perfect For: Any kid who eats food. This human-pig hybrid doll is not made specifically for the children. But the fat-shaming figure sticks right on the family refrigerator, so your growing girl will get the hint every time she descends to the kitchen for a midnight snack.
How it works: “When a person presses the nose of the pig doll, a portion of the doll is inflated to a greater size. This expansion of the pig doll is to visually remind people that their own bodys will expand in size when they continually over-eat. . . . When the person sees that the body of the doll has expanded, this reminds the person that his or her , own body can expand by over eating and look unappealing.”