Last year, I received a call from a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer looking for a media quote. She was writing an article on an international controversy: the breastfeeding doll for young girls. Say what? Thousands of baby and Mom product reviewed, yet I had no idea what she was talking about. She quickly emailed me some info about it and called me a few days later for a quote.
I remember I spent a few days torn about what to say. I’m a product reviewer. I breastfed one of my children and I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate after having that experience. I’m appalled every time I hear a story about a mother who is shunned in public for breastfeeding her child.
My reaction to this doll both times I heard about it was to feel uncomfortable. It’s not so much the idea that it’s a breastfeeding doll that bothers me – it’s the accessories that come with it. The little girl straps on a halter and puts little flowers over her nipples so she can imitate breastfeeding by holding the baby up to these flower nipples.
Just typing it out gives me the heebie jeebies. Flower nipples? For real?
Most people I’ve spoken have the same initial reaction. I can’t say that I think it will do all that well in the US, but who knows, maybe I’m wrong? Apparently the doll has sold millions over in Europe.
I applaud the company for trying to increase breastfeeding awareness… but. Yah, I’m just gonna go with the but.
What do you think? What’s your reaction to this doll?