News + Culture
By Carla Mundwiler
Recently, this photo has been making the rounds on the internets, suggesting that Barbie is some sort of Chelsea Handler type who lies about her age and bathes in make-up to cover up the truth. I wasn’t really into it.
Artist Nickolay Lamm wasn’t either. He decided to remove the make-up from the dolls faces in order to make the point that the dolls were already attractive to begin with. The finished result raises a good question: why do these dolls need make-up in the first place?
Lamm worked with artist Nikolett Mérész to remove mascara, lipstick and eye shadow via Photoshop.
Here’s what they look like, post make-under.
source: BUST + Nickolay Lamm
Polish artist Ilona Szwarc was immediately taken by American girls’ fascination with American Girl dolls
We don’t see or hear as much about American Girl dolls in Canada as Americans do south of the border, for obvious reasons. And yet somehow without necessarily even seeing any of the dolls up close, we know that they all come with elaborate back stories, have their own hospital (should your girl’s dolls lose an arm or something) and have a large collection of clothes and furniture you can outfit them with. Young Polish artist Ilona Szwarc has created a series of portraits of American girls with their American Girl dolls.
“When I first came to the US the phenomenon of the American Girl doll immediately caught my eye. Photographically it was a beautiful image — girls with their sculptural representatives, their twins, their avatars.”
Here are some of Szwarc’s portaits: Read more...
Queer as Moms
Meri Perra blogs about the challenges she and her partner face in trying to raise their girls with feminist values
This must be what it feels like to be stuck in a time loop. Last week, two more chapters were added to the saga of Facebook versus the breastfeeding moms.
In a story that got less of attention this side of the pond, the social networking site apologized to a U.K. breastfeeding supply company, Express Yourself Mums, for shutting down their page because of
a “policy violation”. The violation: pictures of children play-breastfeeding dolls.
Like many parents, Express Yourself Mums co-owner Sharon Blackstone couldn’t resist posting a picture of her daughter, Maya, to Facebook. After giving her doll a naming ceremony, Maya announced her baby was hungry. Acting just like her mom, Maya began to “breastfeed” her doll. What’s a mom who runs a breastfeeding supply company to do other than take out her phone, snap a picture and post it to Facebook? It was like Maya was doing the marketing for her mom’s company. Read more...
We came across this awesome tutorial on Black Girl with Long Hair
For almost as long as there have been Barbies, there have been Barbie’s friends. You know, Midge, Kid Sister Skipper, Teresa, Christie, etc. But aside from changing their hair colour and flattening Skipper’s chest, the dolls all basically look the same. But if Christie, Midge, Teresa and various other Barbie pals were created so black, ginger and Hispanic kids had a doll that better resembled them, why stop at hair colour?
Then we came across this post on Black Girl with Long Hair, who in turn got her tutorial from Beads, Braids & Beyond. Turns out, sisters are doing it for themselves. How cool are these dolls?
So sure, we could have just linked to their awesome results, but it looked like fun so we made our own natural hair doll following their tips. First, we acquired a dark-skinned Barbie. Read more...
What we’re reading today:
1. Nostalgia time! Did you go to sleepaway camp when you were a kid? Here’s what your summer camp experience says about you.
2. Breastfeeding controversies! A doll you can nurse and outrage at Ruby Tuesdays.
3. Can your toddler identify a sphere, cube and trapezoid? If not, better get them some tutoring.
4. How important is your kids’ appearance to you? Do you let them out of the house with messy hair and toothpaste-stained and/or mismatched clothes?
5. David Beckham admitted that the real reason his baby daughter Harper Seven is so named is because author Harper Lee is Victoria’s favourite. Sales of To Kill A Mockingbird have gone through the roof. And Prince Charles was worried that people would stop reading now that Harry Potter’s done.
Photo by friskytuna via Flickr
What we’re reading today:
1. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Kids learn through play. (Parents holding their kids back from preschool but feel torn/stressed because of competitive parents teaching their kids to read and write at a super early age.)
2. This Arizona mom is climbing through fastfood playlands and is disgusted by what she sees. She’s combined her playland investigation with a cross-country roadtrip to check out McDonalds, Burger Kings, Chuck E Cheeses and Chick-fil-As all across America. (A note to Americans and those traveling in the States: She says Chick-fil-A has been the most helpful)
3. Check out different herbal teas when you’re pregnant. Mint, ginger, rooibos, red raspberry leaf, lemon balm and others can help various ailments during your pregnancy like nausea, heartburn, inflammation and calming nerves.
4. Colorado daycare centres now have to provide dolls that represent at least three different races. Read more...
Have you seen our new party blog? The following post was originally published on Today’s Parent:
Bunchland.com ‘s Creative Director Rebecca Brown has a daughter named Rose. She loves princesses and dolls. Following a trip to the emergency room with a cut finger, she’s also fixated on hospitals. For Rose’s third birthday, her parents wanted to create a memorable experience for Rose and her friends that incorporated all of Rose’s interests. They came up with a concept and a totally doable way to execute their idea. So if you have a princess baby doll lover in your family, this party might work for you, too.
The Big Idea:
Princesses + Baby Dolls + Hospitals = The Princess Rosie Doll Hospital.
What we’re reading today:
1. The people who get mad about stuff are mad that there’s a breastfeeding doll. Via BoingBoing
2. You might have heard about a teen who faked pregnancy in her last year of high school for a final independent social studies project. Today, she was on Today talking about her experience. She said she was terrified of the big reveal at a school assembly after hearing nasty rumours and such, but her news was greeted with applause. Via Jezebel
3. GeekDad shows you how to create an heirloom toy for your kid, instead of shelling out $350.
4. In super-excellent news, some midwives in Zambia received proper training, the result of which being many babies were saved. How much did this crazy scheme cost? Just over $200 per baby. Basically, they doubled the number of babies who survive their first week. So can we get this project some more money please? Read more...
What we’re reading today:
1. Would you buy your kid a Bratz-looking doll whose character description says, “plucking and shaving is a full-time job” like that of Monster High’s Clawdeen Wolf? NB: The doll is werewolf, but still! On the other hand, who reads character descriptions? Via Jezebel
2. Just who was St. Patrick and why does everyone kinda claim them as their own? (Obviously he’s Ireland’s saint, but Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Mormons and Gay Rights Activists all say he supports them — busy guy!)
3. Two upcoming studies suggest that super-duper early teacher-instructed learning maybe isn’t the best thing for your toddler. “While learning from a teacher may help children get to a specific answer more quickly, it also makes them less likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution.” — Slate Read more...
What we’re reading on the blogs today:
As you might have noticed, we’re big vegetable fans here. So much so, we get rather peeved when someone tries to hide them away. That’s why we were delighted to see George Ball of the Wall Street Journal declare 2011 to be the Year of the Vegetable! Ball takes his cue from Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! initiative. In order to fight childhood obesity, Ball says we need to teach by example — adults also need to eat more vegetables and the tomato slice on a burger doesn’t count. Interestingly (but not surprisingly) he says that kids get pretty excited about the vegetables they grown themselves. His answer: more community gardens! Now where is Margaret Atwood? Read more...
We came across these dolls thanks to a Twitter tip from reader Amanda. MamAmor dolls are handcrafted in Canada and meant to depict the natural activities that are part of motherhood, including breastfeeding and giving birth. That red fabric circle you see up there? That’s supposed to be a placenta. The metal snap where the baby’s mouth should be attaches to the mother doll’s metal snap nipple. And the baby doll can be stuffed inside the mother doll and be birthed via an opening in the crotch area. (You can also order custom dolls and accessories, like diaper bags and slings).
What do you guys think? We admit when we first laid eyes on the site, the office was filled with grossed-out squeals of horror. But on closer reflection, we’re starting to feel like MamAmor dolls really are the educational tools they’re intended to be. The questions is: would you buy one? Read more...