Mum creates breastfeeding Barbie dolls and they’re awesome
One Australian mum is erasing the stigma from breastfeeding and educating kids with her custom-made breastfeeding Barbie dolls.
Breastfeeding advocates and organisations have long been espousing the benefits of breastfeeding, and yet there is still a lot of stigma and ignorance around the practice. That’s why Betty Strachan’s dolls are so great—they normalise breastfeeding and educate young girls at the same time.
Betty Strachan is an artist who creates custom dolls by painting Barbies. The 28-year-old mother of two started customising dolls after she had her kids and started thinking about toys’ effects on children.
“Growing up, it always struck me as odd that there wasn't as much diversity in the doll world as there could or should be. Not every child is born with blonde hair and blue eyes. Some have freckles, some have gaps in their teeth,” Strachan told Independent.
"Educating children is the way to erase the stigma behind it"
“I noticed that the lack of diversity could be potentially damaging psychologically. A girl with brown skin and dark eyes may look at a light skinned doll and wonder why it's classed as beautiful and she is not,” she continued.
She calls her new breastfeeding doll the “Mamas Worldwide Barbie”. Unlike generic Barbie dolls, Strachan hand-paints each face to give them a unique character. Her breastfeeding dolls show how positive is a breastfeeding yet exhausting experience—each doll is shown smiling serenely, but not without puffy and tired eyes. Talk about realism!
On the next page: read more about why Strachan decided to make a breastfeeding doll.
“The decision to make a breastfeeding doll didn’t come consciously,” Strachan told Huffington Post. “I’m a member of a mothers’ group that’s comprised of very lovely and supportive women. I remember one day, I was drawing the new face on a Barbie doll, and she just seemed to be the embodiment of the entire group.”
In the past, she also made pregnant dolls. The response to her dolls was overwhelmingly positive, and the first batch sold out quickly on her Etsy shop.
"Everyone in my mother’s group thought it was great, so I posted [Mamas Worldwide Barbie] on my Instagram page," she said. "After that, I received a few requests to make more, and I realised that it was really something that should be available―because, like most things that society deems unacceptable, educating children is the way to erase the stigma behind it.”
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