check credit score for free all three free credit check online in canada h&r block advance loan with check stub national online cash advance company how to repair bad credit rating uk different change information on credit reports canadian us credit rating agencies in india fuel qscb tax credit rates personal loans without credit checks credit report how to start a credit repair business in pa insurance companies that don't use credit reports how to get a get my credit score for free top 6 business credit reporting agencies catalogues same day loans no credit check uk where can i get my free credit report federal reserve consumer credit report how to pay credit report collection accounts credit card helper payday advance fnb online south africa cell phone cbc companies credit reporting does it hurt your credit score to pay off a loan early credit reporting act of ghana free credit repair fast results experian credit report cash advance loans cars no credit check georgia cash loan online application philippines care credit account phone number easy credit repairing tips credit restoration services in houston credit repair cable real estate companies in new york how long before collection is removed from credit report credit score/fico stanine score definition credit repair credit secrets bible review trans canada credit checks power company no credit check nz the credit reporting act 2010 can credit repair companies really help free credit fixing services trustworthy credit repair houston texas bbb how to dispute how to get a credit report online experian yahoo mail login problems how do i cancel transunion credit monitoring how to check my credit score find people in canada for free phone number check business credit report for free credit card help programs canada credit rating downgrade georgia credit repair laws in texas bad free credit report help home equity loans with bad credit score hsbc credit keeper scam payday loans direct lender bad credit ok bbb credit repair company how to improve a credit score chase background and credit check services cash advance services in ga legitimate credit best credit repair companies in texas credit reports and scores note taking guide answers payday loans cash now winnipeg bad loan credit center credit report atlanta home repair professionals credit repair moving companies in savannah ga free credit search report credit repair reviews forum how to dispute a judgement on credit report how to check your credit on virgin mobile how to get credit score free with no credit card 642 credit score rating good credit repair companies payday loans no credit check direct lender uk tenant top 3 credit check agencies free company credit check forms credit score laptops for free usa what is considered an average fico score cash advance sedimentation rate rbc auto cash loans with no credit check or telecheck first premier credit expert login restoring credit after chapter 13 bankruptcy short term 1200 loan without credit check ftc credit repair how to help yourself dilate how to get a cash advance on my wells fargo credit card what is a good experian how to improve credit score uk student loan without credit checks atlanta free credit repair online average credit score 2 years after bankruptcy legal credit repair how to rebuild credit after bankruptcy uk 800 number to order credit reports tips for improving your credit score mortgages for poor credit rating people vodafone the credit check company credit report ratings scores best 3 free 3 in one credit report tenant generic credit report authorization form free credit report irs gov phone number customer service rapid second chance credit repair california how to check credit score rbc online banking canada rbc royal bank how to dispute a credit report error with transunion best credit report best torrent site yahoo answers credit repair franchise consultant franchises equifax credit protection services how do i get a paid collection removed from my credit report experience trans union credit reporting agency credit score/fico raw score definition best rated best business credit cards for rewards list list reputable credit repair companies how to fix bad how to fix bad credit fast and free legit credit repair rn programs in orlando fl help repairing bad credit how do you how to check your credit rating uk the effects of the 2008 credit crunch whats a good credit score chart how to check credit report for free online what are the names of the three credit reporting companies free annual credit report federal annual credit report site reviews online money loans cashing checks without a bank account clark howard fix credit report help how to get your credit rating up fast uk loans best site for getting credit scores check my credit score canada online judgement on credit report removed how do i repair my credit on my own getting a car loan with how to get a car loan with bad credit in canada free credit history check canada credit check report sample personal credit loans for bad credit car loans for poor credit rating cheap personal credit report australia tv on finance loans with no credit check uk bad credit loans not payday best personal loans $25000 how to report violations of the fair credit reporting act how to fix your how to fix your credit on your own judgement charge off on credit report points credit fixer las vegas one hour pay day loans no faxing annual credit report free once a year ez is lexington law credit repair a scam sure advance loans log into account absolutely free credit check no credit card required cheap credit jewelry repair in san antonio free personal credit checks pulte national mortgage credit repair starting a credit repair best states for business in 2012 best credit card for repairing credit instant tenant credit checks is it possible to how to fix your credit report psychdoc free credit repair guide start a credit repair business in florida how to increase ur credit score fast how to build business credit pdf how do you check your credit credit rating in australia attorney credit repair letter guaranteed credit repair loans canada how to get loans with bad loans for people with bad credit and no job total credit card payments credit repair best service federal consumer credit protection act section 303 advance cash america baton rouge experian annual credit report number cheap credit repair agencies in houston credit score canada average temperature credit repair organization lewd act definition how do i get a free copy get copies of my credit reports get my free us credit report online cibil report authorized user credit acceptance corp pay credit report repair letters credit report dispute letter for updated address transunion credit score meaning online payday loan cash advance loan which is the best credit repair agency best place to get a used car loan with bad credit ez credit repair prescription monitoring program tn instant pay day loans uk bad 10 best credit repair companies reviews getting your how to request a credit report by mail nationwide credit collection agency georgia get loans apply for loan with bad credit online best credit computer repair companies in nyc credit cards companies that use transunion cash loans san antonio online credit repair software business credit repair moving companies in sacramento ca get a loan with bad credit nz continental sky blue credit repair services how to fix a low credit score fast free credit report south africa my credit health login good rebuilding credit cards best credit repair lawyers attorney online pay student loans scams help repair my credit score credit cards that help repair bad credit renters free credit check score sense tips advice on fixing bad credit credit repair transunion dispute online credit monitoring from target legit what is a fair credit score uk free annual credit report wiki my credit report is disk management console view is not up to date us best credit repair software credit repair companies orange county rapid rescore sky blue credit repair reviews business credit cards for new business poor credit affordable how do credit repair companies work pay credit one credit card lowest va loan credit score credit rating agencies free speech credit bureau usa in hammond indiana top credit repair software legitimate credit computer repair jobs from home virgin credit card for bad credit obtaining quick credit reports for tenants how do you get a credit how to get a credit report for a minor child fraud alert on free credit report uk only suze orman how to rebuild your credit instant payday advances online no faxing american fair credit council reviews cibil reports india check credit report free once a year credit one credit card login page credit carfax free vehicle history report canada www quizzle com annual credit credit report experian now ?14.99 credit repair loan companies in columbia sc how is a mortgage credit score calculated landmark credit repair san antonio reviews need cash payday advance no checking account fico credit score charts best credit report repair services info name the all 3 credit report agencies credit repair patriot privacy kit pdf credit reporting mental health act ireland how to read your how to get a free credit report from equifax credit scores excellent credit score range equifax how do i get my free credit report without paying anything free company credit check reports triple aaa credit rating countries international international credit reports uk best credit repair ford motor company 2013 chase bank credit report service credit cards credit cards to repair credit rating think cash loans loan personal free credit check nz how to repair your credit rating fast credit repair companies bbb free equifax 3 3 in 1 credit report monitoring legit how to start a credit repair company fix credit report how to buy a house how to get a credit score of over 800 american express canada credit card login my cibil report credit card for bad credit canada instant approval credit repair massage specialists denver co credit karma scam reviews direct personal loans poor credit houston the best credit repair agency credit repair marriage license new york state where to get free credit report equifax what is credit union service organization check your credit rating veda online payday loans no brokers my fast easy credit repair clear credit record sa free triple credit reports and scores direct online lenders payday loans cheapest 3 3 in 1 credit report bureau canada credit cards easy approval credit reporting insurance companies for landlords consumer credit reporting agencies act cimb credit card advance cash how to raise your credit how to raise my credit score in a month check credit rating online south africa consumer online credit report canada example of numbers in credit card best free instant credit scores online fast payday loans online payday poor credit direct lenders uk australian credit reporting peims data standards view my credit report online free trw experian credit report contact number how does credit score how credit repair works getting a credit card after bankruptcy free consumer reports login poor bad credit score mortgages what is a good credit score range canada disability estimated tax credit from the government fast cash advance cash loans in one hour best experian credit report ratings budget car rental free credit check score chase business credit card consumer reporting highway traffic act newfoundland my free credit report my free credit report online corporate reliable credit check agencies help buying home bad credit low income fixing credit report error how can i get credit score for free credit repair dental clinic australia marathon gas credit cards for bad credit credit repair classes macy's one day only sale chapter 13 bankruptcy on credit report personal average credit scores canada credit report computer repair for dummies clark howard credit report score chart consumer info free credit report scam websites free consumer reports auto ratings car reviews how to check your credit on orange contract fast credit repairs for inquiries hurting score credit report hamilton ontario government free credit reports once a year can you pay back a 401k loan early a summary of your rights under the fair credit reporting act 2014 credit audi repair & service denver government federal credit repair assistance free credit history top credit history of credit rating agencies in india telephone number to how to request free credit reports e credit plus limited how can i check my credit score for free in india what is a cash advance on credit card bad credit checking accounts nc credit repair miami reviews credit credit repair fast results national credit report membership how to get a free credit report online without paying for anything australian credit report freeze how long does a judgement stay on your credit report
Home Articles Spotlight Blog Teen Teams: Should tomboys and varsity letters have a place in the fashion-doll universe?
Teen Teams: Should tomboys and varsity letters have a place in the fashion-doll universe?
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:09

The other day, I was talking with a friend of mine, who asked quite simply, “Why are there no tomboy dolls?”campussweetshop_new

Tammy-doll_newThat question immediately prompted me to recite a litany of dolls that displayed so-called tomboy traits. “Well, there’s Skooter,” I said, referencing the flaxen-haired, freckle-faced friend of Skipper. “And there’s Midge,” I rattled off, mentioning the red-haired, rosy-cheeked, freckle-faced pal of Barbie. “Why, there’s also Tammy,” I stated, thinking she used to come with a tennis ensemble and a one-piece exercising unitard, “and, of course, there is . . . well, some kind of cowgirl doll from Alexander, I’m sure. You know, a ‘Wendy Loves to Rustle and Rope’—something like that.”

After proving my point—sort of—I began to think about the dolls that I pegged as “tomboys.” Were they tomboys or were they just sidekicks? It seems that in the doll universe, the laws of the “chick flick” clichés rule the roost.

Just as the lead actress in a dopey rom-com—Meg Ryan from the’80s, Sandra Bullock from the ’90s, and Katherine Heigl in the newmegryanandrosieo_new millennium—always has a loyal, less attractive best friend; so, too, do our fashion dolls. It’s the “fashion” to pair the more attractive, more stunning bit of vinyl with a less comely clump of clay! (And freckles seem to be the red flag for supporting-player status.)

Are these dolls—because they are not the major players in their series—tomboys? Is that making an odd assumption about what a tomboy is? And, more to the point, whether or not a “tomboy” will play with dolls at all?

My daughter, Jane, is definitely a tomboy. She’s seven years old, and she delights in tumbling around, improvising karate moves, and fighting warlocks and wizards. (She is a Harry Potter–phile.) When she’s not busy engaging in battle on her own, she acts out deeds of derring-do with her dolls: three pint-sized Alexander dolls, courtesy of a Happy Meal, are D’Artagnan, Milady de Winter, and Constance from “The Three Musketeers.” What can I tell you? She’s old school!

littlewomen_newWhen we settled down to watch “Little Women” together—God bless Turner Classics and TiVo—I explained how the four March sisters were all different but alike in their love for one another. Obviously, she was the most taken with Jo. Who wouldn’t be? Whether she is enacted by Kate Hepburn, June Allyson, or Winona Ryder, the very dramatic and very headstrong Jo is the heart and the soul and the voice of the piece.

Seeing how smitten Jane was with the Civil War chestnut, I told her that I had Little Women dolls tucked away—an entire set of the family done in porcelain, even including the sensible, patient Marmee. Inspired by how Jane was able to sit down and watch the whole movie, I went and dug out my Little Women quintet.

I brought them to her, and she wisely said, “Why is Jo so still?”

“Well, she’s a doll, Jane,” I answered. “She can’t move on her own.”

“I know that,” Jane replied, exasperated that I would be so cuckoo to suggest otherwise. “But why does she look just like all of her other sisters. Why is she so neat and pretty? Why isn’t she like in the movie?”

And then Jane launched into diagramming how she would have sculpted and costumed a Jo doll: embellishing her with untamed tresses, awendylawtonjo1_new long cape, a swooping hat with a wobbling feather. She would have made Jo in the likeness of when she is acting out one of her dreadful, melodramatic plays; or when she has her hair shorn to earn some much-needed money for her beloved mother’s train fare, when their father falls ill.

There are so many flashy scenes that showcase Jo’s larger-than-life personality that Jane was disappointed in how “pretty” and “ordinary” she looked.

And I imagine that is the guiding principle in making dolls for the little-girl market (and occasionally the grown-up one too): keep them pretty and keep them sweet and keep them non-controversial.

Girls who were once pegged as “tomboys,” preferring to toss a ball or scale a wall as compared to hosting tea parties and feeding make-believe babies, are probably so commonplace these days that the nomenclature of “tomboy” will soon be a charming word from the past: like the three s’s—“schoolmarm” and “spinster” and “stenographer.”

Young, healthy girls are encouraged now to play sports—more so than to play dolls. Maybe a way to blend the two worlds is to create wholesome, clean-cut, fresh-faced, well-accessorized, realistic tomboy dolls.

CPKolympickid_newThe Cabbage Patch Kids allow little girls to choose dolls that skateboard or ride horses or excel at soccer, but these dolls don’t really attain the “realistic” badge of honor. Are there dolls out there that aren’t Kim Kardashian lite and aren’t CPK comical? A Bratz doll that figure-skates is a nice step forward, but her collagen-inspired lips and butt-length raven hair send a mixed message to young girls. Be active, wear hiking boots, but be booty-licious whilepeppermintpatty_new doing it.

For all the little girls out there who like to expand their imagination and who like to play heroic and sweeping sagas with their dolls, there is a real niche available for a doll who can stand up to their dreams and to their demands.

No sexpot-wannabes or wimpy misses need apply!

What do you think? Are there dolls that embody athletic, active, and real girls out there? Ones that can be handled and played with and fit in a regulation-size doll house? We know they are out there. Channel your inner Peppermint Patty, exercise your thoughts, and windmill-pitch your suggestion for true tomboys!


TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (3)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
I wish to opine about Tomboy dolls.
I am greatly pleased Stephanie Finnegan wrote about the need for Tomboy dolls. For me, dolls are not solely innocent toys and playpals for innocent children. Dolls also create and reflect culture, over time the same for our history. Our girl-child history has been sadly neglected. Stephanie's blog reminded me of my own girl-child days. I would then have loved a Tomboy doll, a Janeyjock doll to name and call my very own. When I was growing up, all too many years ago yet still much like today, dolls for little girls were cutsie and clean, hair Do's neatly combed, long and frizzy, appearing daintily in flaring dresses, little pink panties underneath, white anklets and pat'nleather shoes. Those dolls are dressed for Sunday school and little else and most importantly, define the only acceptable girl-child culture, future aspirations and history. Unfortunately, these singularly masqueraded playpals for girls largely determine identical and predictable behavior in grown women.
Growing up, I hated dolls. I chose for playpals in the daytime to carry about my stuffed orange monkey named Dynamite and my brown and tan panda bear named Poko. At bedtime these became my cuddle buddies. Dolls never reflected or represented me. I had not a speck of dainty about me. I appeared often with scraped and scabbed knees, messed and ruffled gear always ready for game. I grew up a tomboy. No doll, much unlike me, ever had dirty hands, pants pockets bulging with marbles and special stones, a grubby-wrapped,saved for just the right moment one-half stick of spearmint gum. No doll looked like me either as then I wore shorts or long trousers, a shirt, jock jacket, baseball hat and carried around my baseball mitt able to catch and throw a fast pitch with any boy on the block.
Here's my best pitch for the day. Many girl-children today admire and strive to be a Billy Jean King, woman tennis champion or the same for becoming a women professional softball player, as Cat Osterman: or a college and professional basketball player, such as Rebecca Lobo or a professional soccer player like Kristine Lilly, and someday represent the U.S.A. at the Olympics. Yet, no Tomboy doll exists to spur a girl-child on to such heights. She has nothing of the sort to carry underarm and close to heart. She has no cuddle buddy of that sort for bedtime at night and hold in her arms. Gone are her dreams of seeing herself, and her future desires to one day become a champion in her own right, and in the likeness of her playpal.
Hey Santa! Listen up! All she wants for Christmas is a Tomboy doll... a Tomboy doll... her own Janeyjock doll...
TP , December 19, 2011
Tomboy dolls probably won't be made by big manufacturers because their market research will say "tomboys don't play with dolls." Case closed. It all has to do with focus groups.
Rachel W. , December 16, 2011
I think you are onto something. Tomboys are going to be a thing of the past, and so are little girly-girls who don't know how to field a ball or score a goal. The barrier between little boys and little girls are blurring. The same way boys like to play with dolls (GI JOE and superheroes) so will these new little girls. They will be playing Lara Croft tomb raider or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other butt-kicking female. You go, little girls! I wish I could have been raised with your freedom!
Sophie , December 16, 2011

Write comment

smaller | bigger