According to the makers of the extremely unsettling Breast Milk Baby doll, "little girls need to learn to breastfeed." This questionable maxim got us thinking about what other bodily processes you're never too young to learn about, and how they could be illustrated with dolls.
First, have you watched the above video? Did you notice the creepy little garment that can only be described as a "training nursing bra," which has little flowers where the girl's nipples are? As though perhaps this doll-and-bra set is meant to teach breastfeeding technique to someone who cannot yet find her own nipples? No matter, she can still "express [her] love and affection in the most natural way possible, just like mommy!" But why stop with breastfeeding? Surely our seven-year-old mom-to-be can learn other facts of life from her inanimate friends! Maybe Mommy should buy her...
Childbirth Education Doll
Okay, so this is real. It is a crocheted mom doll that a baby doll comes out of (spoiler: it's a boy). It also has a placenta and umbilical cord. To anyone who thinks this is a little bit gross, its creator says:
They are coming from a place of ignorance. A new life coming into this world is a beautiful thing especially when the birth is natural, without any drugs or intervention. It is a rite of passage that our pharmaceutically-centered society has devalued.
She also notes that the doll is mostly used as an educational tool for midwives and "I am not aware of any parents who have bought the dolls for their kids."
The Clawdeen Wolf doll sparked some hysteria recently because her bio reads, "My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial and that's just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full time job but that's a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous." However, this appears to be just a joke (Clawdeen is a werewolf, so she is hairy). She does not actually have growing, shaveable leg hair. So the market niche for this remains wide open. Girls need a doll they can clumsily shave in the bathtub, causing her to bleed from twenty to forty tiny yet extremely painful cuts, which require her to use up all the bandaids in the house and then sit on the bathroom floor for an hour to combat light-headedness. Shaving your doll is the most natural way to express love and affection! Except maybe for waxing her.
It's pretty amazing that no one has made this yet (although there are frightening instructions for menstruation-enabling your Barbie). I mean, a seven-year-old hopefully has many years before she has to breastfeed — and she might not do it ever — but chances are pretty good she's going to bleed in the next three to five. Why not give her a doll that teaches her the basics? Like: you have to remember to give Period Doll a panty-liner on the fifteenth of every month, or she'll ruin another pair of doll panties. Except sometimes her period comes early and she ruins them anyway. Maybe for verisimilitude the doll could not bleed for the first few months you have her (making her an adolescent in doll years), and then suddenly she's going biking or whatever and when she comes inside her panties are smeared with brown goo, and she thinks she's dying and has to have an uncomfortable conversation with her mom (which is you). Then you can show her how to put in a tampon. I actually think this last part would be really good practice.
Who are we kidding? Shaving, menstruating, childbirth, breastfeeding — all are just steps on the way to your inevitable death. Why not make that awkward "where do people go when they die" talk easier with a Death Doll? She's super-fun for a couple of years, with her built-in voicebox and battery-operated Walking Action. But one day her batteries run down and she just lies there like, well, a corpse. Then you hold a funeral, and, depending on your religion, you can buy her a Doll Heaven Playset so she can frolic for eternity. Or, if you're like my mom, you can just put Death Doll in the closet because "when you die, it's just blackness, forever" (note: my mom swears she never said this). No matter what your belief system, real death will be way easier to handle when you've already practiced with something that was never really alive in the first place.
Breast Milk Baby Doll Teaches Young Girls How To Breastfeed [NY Daily News]