Barbie and Ken, their sought-after Bratz successor, every ethnicity of wholesome American girl doll, and any other staple child’s collectible will soon make way on the shelves for a toy that really sucks. Forget the days when dolls in the hands of imaginative and creative little girls used to have their arms twisted, hair tweaked, and baby-sized attired re-styled to no end. With the “Breast Milk Baby” entering U.S. stores soon, little fun-having princesses and novel mothers alike will be nourishing newborns and exploring the most natural process of life.
After breaking the bank overseas, Spain-based Berjuan Toys has decided to try their hand in amusing America’s youth with their lifelike ” Breast Milk Baby.” The aim of introducing the authentic play-thing to kids ages two and up is to expose them to the facts of life which include the plain and mundane human procedures we often overlook. Ultimately, breast-feeding is a completely natural means of nurturing a baby that the toy market finds imperative to situate in a child’s psyche.
When we say ‘child’, we don’t actually mean ‘girl’…we use the genderless term with intention because in creating the breast-feeding babe, toy makers purposed for the milk-fed bundle to be coddled by both playful princesses and daring little dudes. Spokesman Denis Lewis said to Forbes of the intersex toy, “Although we usually only think about little girls playing with dolls, the truth is that boys need to acquire healthy nurturing skills as well.” Perhaps the creators believe that even though boys won’t grow up to feed and sustain a baby in this way that only a woman can, exposure to a little suckling at such a young age will influence their decision to make healthy post-natal choices with their future partner. Lewis articulated this aim to Forbes, “Children learn by playing, and if they learn that the best way to feed a baby is by breast-feeding, it will be an easy, natural choice for them when they grow up. What could possibly be wrong about a child learning this from an early age?”
Premises and intentions aside, there is one commonplace concern here: giving a nursing newborn to a toddler or young child who hasn’t even developed the necessary body parts to breast-feed seems…creepy and a bit untimely. Why sexualize a young girl’s body, making her afternoon play about a bodily process she can’t realistically fulfill, rather than allowing her to accessorize Malibu Barbie for her pool-side picnic with Ken? From a feminist frame of reference, is familiarizing little girls with breast-feeding so early depicting it as a womanly duty that takes precedent over her diverse array of other life choices or obligations? While the doll was a definite was a hit overseas, our American breeding ground for women’s autonomy may see the toy’s implications as suggestive of antiquated gender roles we’ve thrown out the window.
Parents left undisturbed by the doll that many find perverted can feel free to drop $100 on the plastic babe with a built-in sucking mechanism. The company behind the “Breast Milk Baby” would really like to stress the naturalness behind their product, and behind the intuitive carnal practice that society has turned into a forbidden subject, “As an American, I find it hard to believe that we are letting a silly misconception about something as wholesome as breast-feeding be turned into a taboo subject”, Lewis told Forbes. “Breast-feeding was a normal part of life before a few greedy pharmaceutical companies tried to make it rich selling artificial milk.” Only time will tell if America is ready to bid Barabie farewell to let a needy newborn latch on to their little ones.