Dolls for Transgender Children

All children need to play with dolls, no matter their gender identification.

For the youngest children, dolls provide cuddle and comfort. For toddlers, dolls make great ‘security objects’ — that touch of the familiar that they can carry with them as they start to explore the world around them.

But most importantly, dolls help children to learn to nurture; they become your child’s own ‘children’ to love and to care for. It’s one of the first skills a child learns.

Make no mistake — the best mothers and fathers 20 years from now, are the ones learning how to nurture today… by way of doll play.

This is as true for little girls as it is for little boys. Neither nurture nor love is dependent on a child’s ‘gender.’

Fritzi Doll

Fritzi, a gender neutral doll for boys, girls and transgender children.

This is also true for transgender children. Sometimes, God puts the mind and the soul of one gender into the body of the other. Sometimes it is temporary, and you get the ‘tomboy’ girls and the ‘princess’ boys. Sometimes it is permanent and in adulthood they will undertake the transition. But regardless of any label, children need dolls to love and nurture.

Recently we started carrying a new kind of doll. A gender neutral doll. Neither ‘pink aisle’ nor ‘blue aisle,’ Fritzi is the perfect doll for boys, girls, tomboys, princesses, gay, lesbian, or transgender. Whichever gender role that child needs their doll to fill, Fritzi can be that doll. The child can project a gender onto the doll, or leave it ambiguous, or even change it from one to the other as he or she sees fit. The name is gender-neutral, the clothes are gender-neutral, the doll is gender-neutral. Imagination is the key determiner.

Unfortunately, dolls need to be placed in one aisle or another in the toy store. But for the parents who are willing to think outside of the ‘pink aisle is where you find dolls’ mindset, we are happy to present an alternative. A doll that any child can identify as being of the ‘right’ gender.

Anatomically Correct Dolls – 7 Good Reasons

1: So that prudes and reactionaries can have something to complain about.

Anatomically Correct Boy and Girl Dolls

Award Winning Anatomically Correct Soft Sculpt Dolls

2: So that social service agencies can help traumatized children deal with good touch – bad touch issues more comfortably, by moving them from the child to the doll.

Aquini Boy Doll on doll's potty

3: So that boys can be more easily be potty trained. (Try explaining to a two year old boy how to tinkle without one.)

4: So that parents can prepare a ‘new’ big sister for the difference, so that they don’t fixate on ‘that’ part when their new baby brother comes home.

A Princess Boy Doll

Our Jacob doll dressed as a girl

5: So that Princess Boys can have dolls that are just like them.

6: So that the blogosphere can have something to post about.

7: So that pregnant mothers can have an anatomically correct boy doll for their ‘Gender Reveal’ party.

The Pattycake Doll company sells thousands of Boy Dolls every year, and we have had anatomically correct boy dolls with a penis since 2003. Girl dolls with a vulva too. Soft Sculpt Cloth anatomically correct dolls, and molded plastic anatomically correct dolls. So far we have never had an anatomically correct doll come back because it was anatomically correct. Maybe it’s because we’ve always been up front on our product pages – with both the words and the pictures. It would be pretty hard to claim you didn’t know what you were buying.

So yes, this posting is a little tongue-in-cheek, because we were a little surprised that people were making a big deal about it. About five or six years ago we got a few ‘comments’ about our down syndrome dolls. That passed, and this  tempest in a teapot will too. And if not? Good! We always sell more dolls when people are talking about them!

Book Review: Dream Doll

Dream Doll, The Ruth Handler Story is an Autobiography. Ruth Handler is the woman behind the Barbie Doll. What makes this book review a little different, and I hope a bit more interesting, is that I decided that instead of telling you what I thought about the book, that I would instead tell you what Ruth thought about Barbie:

“When we began sculpting Barbie’s face, I insisted it not be too pretty or contain too much personality. I was concerned that if she had too much personality, a little girl might have trouble projecting her own personality on the doll, that she would not be as free to role play or fantasize through Barbie.”

“Unlike play with a baby doll – in which a little girl is pretty much limited to assuming the role of Mommy – Barbie has always represented the fact that a woman has choices.

“Beginning as early as September 1959, we received hundreds of letters from little girls begging us to make a boyfriend for Barbie. we were scared to death of boy dolls, and so was the rest of the toy trade. Boy dolls had been tried in our industry dozens of times and they’d always flopped.”

vintage-skipper-dolls

Original Skipper Dolls

“In 1964 we also introduced Skipper, Barbie’s little sister. While little girls tended to perceive Barbie as being six or seven years older than themselves, they saw Skipper as close to their own age.”

“In 1967…we brought out a Black version of Francie. …It was a dud….Was America not ready for a Black fashion doll? …research soon told us. Francie’s looks and personality were already well established in our young consumer’s minds – to them a Black Francie wasn’t Francie. The next year, having learned our lesson we brought out a completely new Black doll, Christie, and she was overwhelmingly accepted. In fact Christie stayed in the Barbie line for 17 years, till 1985.”

That’s all for this post… I only quoted some of the Barbie and other doll stuff… remember, the book is ruth Handler’s autobiography… it’s not just about Barbie or Mattel.

Princess Boy’s Dolls

A Princess Boy Doll

Our Jacob doll dressed as a girl

We think it’s OK for little girls to be Tomboys, and little boys to be Princess Boys.

As the child of doll store owners my daughter had her choice of thousands of dolls to play with. But as the fates would have it, my daughter was a tomboy and never really played with dolls. She loved her ‘Cowbear’ to sleep with, but her idea of a good time was to roam the woods and turn over logs looking for salamanders, or swing from tree to tree like Tarzan on the wild grape vines hanging from our trees. Doll play bored her to tears. So our daughter wore suitable ‘boy’s clothes’ to roam the woods in. Jeans and shirts. No one ever said a word.

Dressing her in boy’s clothes and letting her be a tomboy did not make her a boy, nor gay. She is now happily married, quite feminine and pretty, and there’s nothing ‘tomboyish’ about her.

So I find it hard to believe that letting a Princess boy wear pink and sparkly girl’s clothes and play with dolls is any different.

I have a friend to whom God gave a man’s body with a woman’s mind and soul inside. I met him when he was Michael, and wore men’s clothes, and watched over several years as she became Jackie and wore women’s clothes. I can assure you, it wasn’t the clothes that changed Michael to Jackie!

We sell boy’s dolls and girl’s dolls at The Pattycake Doll Company, and boy doll clothing and girl doll clothing as well. So I guess you could say we not only sell dolls for boys and girls, we also sell dolls for Tomboys and dolls for Princess boys. Because just like clothes and doll play won’t change the child inside, neither will the gender or clothes of the doll.

Boy Dolls vs. Dolls for Boys

A Boy's Doll

Here is a non-gendered ‘Boy Doll,’ with short hair and dressed in a baseball uniform.

We get this asked a lot: “Why does The Pattycake Doll Company differentiate between Boy Dolls and Dolls for Boys?”

Like… “What’s the difference?”

The practical answer is: ” There is none.”

To clarify: there are definitely ‘Boy Dolls.’ There are non-gendered dolls that are dressed as boys, (non-gendered meaning that the body is basically a cloth bag with stuffing or smooth plastic) and there are anatomically correct dolls formed like boys.

But there is no such thing as ‘dolls for boys.’ All dolls can be ‘dolls for boys.’ Boys will nurture a non-gendered doll, a Teddy Bear, or a baby girl doll just as readily as they will nurture a ‘boy doll.’

So why do we do it?

Because it’s a ‘search term.’ It is the words that people have in their minds when they go looking on the internet for a doll for a boy.

Here’s an example: Little Johnny is three years old, and his mother and father have just brought home a new baby. Johnny is fascinated by that baby… he wants to help feed it and bathe it and touch it and watch it sleep. He loves his new baby with all of his heart. But Mommy and Daddy are not quite ready for his ‘help!’ So someone gets the idea to give Johnny his own baby to take care of. So they go to Google or Amazon or Walmart.com and they type in the words: “Dolls for Boys.”

As an e-commerce store, we need to help potential customers find our store’s selection, so we use that search term too.

Looking for ‘Boy Dolls?’ We have that. Looking for ‘Dolls for Boys?’ We have those too!