By Todd E. Brady
Assistant Professor of Ministry and Vice President for University Ministries, Union University
In 1949, George Lemer invented the Mr. Potato Head doll — a plastic body of a spud that could be decorated with various interchangeable parts like ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth. As a kid, I had a Mr. Potato Head. My kids have a Mr. Potato Head. It’s funny to design silly faces with different pieces. Lemer, who died in 1995 probably never imagined that people would be picking and choosing preferential parts and specially-designing their own human being dolls. If he were alive, he’d probably laugh that there are actually people who are serious about this.
With Mattel’s latest line of dolls called Creatable World, that seems to be exactly what is happening. Mattel once divided the doll world into Kens and Barbies, but now they are putting forth gender-neutral dolls for “boys, girls and children in between.” These dolls are “designed specifically to have a youthful gender neutral appearance.” [Read more…]