You've probably seen it or heard about it somewhere. The Breast Milk Baby doll. And people are fired up over it! The "ladies" of The View are talking about it. Good Morning America is talking about it. The Washington Post is talking about it. Who knew a simple thing could cause such a stir. Even Mr. Bill O'Reilly himself felt compelled to toss in his overblown, self-indulgent 2 cents on the issue.
It's a doll. Which little girls can pretend to breastfeed. GASP!! Yes, that's right. Imagine... little girls pretending to feed a pretend baby in the NORMAL way. The way a woman's body is designed to work. Shocking isn't it? (please insert the proper sarcastic tones as you read those last few lines and imagine me rolling my eyes here)
Personally, I don't understand the fuss. My favorite argument is that it pushes little girls to grow up too fast. It's a doll!! Pretending to feed a doll is forcing our daughters to act too grown up too soon? By that argument we should banish all dolls. The doll is just one more way for children to imitate the behaviour of adults they see around them. Just like little boys pretend to shave like daddy. Or how we have little child sized kitchen sets for kids to play with. How is play acting nursing a doll any different from pretending to bottle feed a doll? Or change a doll's diapers?
Oh right... it involves (whisper the word) Breasts! How dare we start teaching little girls what breasts are really meant for? Why that's just "gross", right?! Something that might show them that breasts are more than the silicone enhanced things they see on the cover of magazines while at the grocery store with mom, or on billboards selling beer while driving down the road in the family car, or bouncing around while some curvy blond runs across the screen of a TV show or movie?
News flash!! Breasts are on the female body as a way to nurture our young. It's a biological fact. It's not gross. It's not freaky or unusual. It's NORMAL. And children who regularly see women breastfeeding learn this. Do they need a special doll? No, not really. Little girls (and some little boys too for that matter) have been sitting next to mom while she feeds the new baby and putting their dolls, their stuffed animals, and even Elmo toys up to their chest and pretending to feed them for years and years. It's innocent. And in my opinion - it's adorable.
I like how one child psychologist put it - the only way this doll is going to do harm to children is if you beat them over the head with it. For all those people worried about this doll forcing kids to grow up too soon. Maybe that's exactly what they need to do - GROW UP!