I played with Barbies growing up. I played with them a lot. At one point in our childhood my father had built my sister and I this huge play house for our Barbies. Of course, 'Santa' got us the play house and I believed that until my tween years, when it slipped that dad had made the house for us (yes, I held out on the Santa myth way longer than was probably healthy). I think its safe to say all little girls probably played with a Barbie or two. They weren't by far my favorite toys, but there were always there, among the Lego and the other toys.
I have no issue if my son plays with Barbies. In fact, I think its probably fine for him to play with a combination of boy and girl toys. After all, I played with Hot Wheel cars and loved playing catch with my father in our large back yard growing up. I was told by the lady that looks after Hunter at day care that one of the other slightly older girls there makes him play Barbies with her sometimes. She said he cooperates but you can tell by the look on his face he is not impressed.
I was really surprised, I must say, by the whole nature vs. nurture thing. I never realized how hard wired it was for some boys to play with boy toys, and do 'boy' things. I never grew up around little boys so had no idea it was perfectly normal for my child to sit his cute white, fluffy teddy bear up in the middle of the living room, back up across the room and then take a running tackle at it. I never did that. I've never seen anyone ever do that. You could put a tea set in front of him and a bunch of Hot Wheel cars and I'll be you fifty bucks he'll go towards the cars. So strange how that works.
So back to Barbies. One thing that always freaked me out and I think always will freak me out is the sight of naked Barbies. There is just something so wrong about it. They are, for the most part, anatomically correct, but their lady bits are covered by some strange, flesh colored panty and their ta-tas are completely exposed, yet look completely wrong, lacking any nipple or definition of a real boob. I'm not sure why it bothers me so much to see a pile of naked plastic Barbies piled on top of each other. Usually they look like the victim of a horrible sex crime, all naked with their hair usually matted and/or butchered by some little girl who thinks if she cuts her Barbies hair that it will magically grow back (we've all done this, I know. One of my closes friends when I was young cut all the hair off all her Barbies and stuck them in the closet because she believed if you cut their hair, and shoved them in a closet for four days, it would grow back a different color. After four days, when we carefully opened her closet doors, all we saw were naked, bald Barbies). I always made sure my Barbies were dressed, I always made sure they weren't exposed.
I can sometimes be a bit of a prude. It took me years to get over that when I moved out of the house and started living on my own. I can see now that it all started with how insistent I was that my Barbies be dressed at all times. I get a serious case of the creeps when I go to Value Village and see the pile of naked Barbies for sale.
I suppose we all have our hang ups and we all have our issues. I'm not a prude anymore - far from it. So why does the sight of naked Barbies still give me the willies?
I guess you just never get rid of some things...