Every time we go to my Mum's house, my girls love playing with the dolls that my sister and I used to play with when we were children. They are old and battered through years of play but the old Barbies and Sindys are still popular. There is even an ancient one that has no legs and a hole in the back of its head but is still deemed worthy of being played with and dressed up. I never thought about it when I was growing up but now as a mother to two girls, I am very conscious of the rise of social and mainstream media portrayals of how women should look like. I am very uncomfortable in encouraging my girls to play with dolls that are based on hugely unrealistic images of women which is why so far I have not bought them their own such dolls to play with. I need to tread carefully and be aware with both of them even when they are so young and protect them from such damaging portrayals all around them and educate them with more positive ideals. My eldest daughter at the age of just seven is already very conscious of what she looks like and this can affect her confidence so I have started to introduce strong female role models to her from an early age through her family connections, books and toys and will continue to do so.
When I saw Lottie Dolls I was really impressed and pleased that at last here was a realistic doll that my girls could play with. Lottie Dolls are based on a nine year old child, with no make up, jewellery or high heels, not a fully grown woman and are so much more relatable to young girls because of this. When my daughter received her Lottie Doll it was love at first sight and she has barely let it go since! The various dolls are based on ideas by real children and aim to empower children and encourage their imagination.
My little girl loves this doll as she loves going walking and exploring in the autumn and will be taking her doll everywhere she goes this year. When she's at school it sits patiently waiting on her pillow for her to return! It is so important now to find positive and empowering images and role models for children to emphasise that it is not what you look like that is important, but how you behave and treat others and that you should be yourself rather than aspiring to look like a false representation of an adult. Lottie Dolls are a step in the right direction and I am happy for my girls to play with them for years to come. I think my eldest is already saving up her pocket money for the next one she has her eye on and her sister is not far behind!