I don’t know who invented the first doll. But I am guessing that a concerned mother somewhere in the very distant past saw her daughter playing and decided to help direct that play into something creative and productive. She probably wadded up some rags, maybe dabbed some ink on the front to simulate a face and handed her daughter a “baby to care for.” She probably knew that playing mommy would help develop the nurturing instinct that God put into the heart of every woman.
Flash forward to when I was a little girl and now the range of available dolls has widened considerably. Though my personal favorite was a traditional baby doll complete with receiving blanket and a fake bottle, by 1959 Mattel introduced the “Barbie Doll.” Ruth Handler invented that 11 ½ inch plastic “young woman” and named her after her own daughter. Since then, Barbie has had some 43 different pets and about 80 careers, ranging from astronaut to paleontologist. She was even a Presidential candidate twice! And that Barbie doll is now marketed in 150 countries around the globe.
This brings me to an article I saw in the LA Times this week. It seems that Mattel is coming out with a new line of fashion dolls called “Monster High.” There is one called, “Draculaura” who only eats vegetables and faints at the sight of blood. There is “Clawdeen Wolf” whose dad is a Werewolf. And there is Frankie Stein who apparently likes to shop “for scary clothes that are absolutely to die for.”
The Times article makes it clear that “with its lineup of creepy characters, Mattel is capitalizing on the vampire and werewolf obsession that has infiltrated books, movies, TV shows and magazines in recent years…”
Is that really what we want our daughters to become? Werewolves and Dracula “wannabees”? Is this the Biblical pattern for our young children? Is this how we want them to be raised?
Consider the description given to the young boy Samuel in I Samuel 2:26: “And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.” Parallel those thoughts with Luke 2:40 where the young boy, Jesus is described, “And the child grew and became strong, he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon Him.”
The scripture outlines the role of a Godly parent very clearly. Deuteronomy 6 is a great template to consider. Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train up a child in the way he (or she) should go. And, I am betting that does not include acting out the life style of werewolves.
Maybe this week, Moms and Dads should take a long look at what and how their children are playing. What kind of role playing is taking place? Will the games they play help or hurt them to become full of wisdom? Will their toys encourage them as they grow in favor with God and men?
If not, maybe it’s time for some “fall cleaning” of the toy chest! And feel free to drop Mattel a line and let them know that they really aren’t helping us.