This article discusses how girls are giving up dolls at younger and younger ages in favor of online play. So, what do the toy manufacterers do in response? Connect the dolls to the computer. First, we have Dora Links with the tweeny looking Dora that expands her appeal to 6 and yes, even 7 year old girls.

Next, Barbie Video Girl.

A video camera stuck in Barbie’s chest? Yeah, well, whatever.

Now from the article: “Lindsey Peppel, 12, of Phoenixville hasn’t played with the fashionable figures for a while, instead favoring online sites, including Barbie.com, and Barbie video games (when she’s not reading books).” Yay, she’s reading books, too! But, as you see it’s not as if Barbie is going away, she’s just going online.

“I don’t think I’m good at making up imaginary things,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do with dolls.” This makes me kinda sad. But it’s the new reality, I suppose. According to, “Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, who chairs the psychology department at Golden Gate University and wrote the book Gen BuY, agrees that children nowadays need lots of stimulation to keep their interest.”

Is it all bad?  “Maybe,” she argued, “this is preparation for exactly what they need when they grow up. The world these kids are going to be adults in is more souped up.”

A bit more frightening is the rate with which girls are being made to grow up. “After all, 5 is the new 10, and 10 is the new 15.” Ick.

“Often tweens  are pushed to act and look like teens, whether that message comes from the latest Hannah Montana TV shows, outfits at the Limited Too, or virtual playlands. Playing with dollies has little place in this world.”

And the effect? “Transforming the lives of girls to the detriment of self-esteem, with its emphasis on idealized images of beauty.” Seventeen magazine your new readers await.

Anyways…Integrating technology into girls’ lives at a younger age could be a good thing. It takes the foreigness out of technology, but why does it all have to be shrouded in unrealistic, idealized images of girls and women? Because that’s what sells. Yes, I know.

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