Thursday, March 03, 2005

I'm a Gali Girl, Living in a Gali World

I know I'm supposed to make fun of this. I know that the idea of frum dolls, complete with long skirts, Shabbat candles, and shule outfits is supposed to make me gag and scream "what? now the toys have to frum out?"

That was the gist of the post about these dolls on some other blog (I don't remember which now. Dov Bear? Allison? I can't remember) a couple weeks ago, and it's the gist of this post over at Town Crier.

And it's how I felt when I first heard about them. The 32-year-old in me thought "Time to put the finger down the throat."

Then I went to the site and saw the dolls.

And you know what my inner five-year-old little girl (of whom I take especial care) thought when she saw those dolls? This was the immediate reaction of Little Sarah:

"Those dolls are so cute, Mommy. Look, there are three. And three outfits. Can I have three, Mommy? During the week I'll dress them for school and they'll have school on my bed, and on Shabbos I'll change them into their Shabbos clothes and they'll play Shabbos groups and I'll invite over my friends and their Gali dolls and we'll all play Shabbos group, OK? Can you sew a flower in my skirt, Mommy? I want a blue skirt like that with a flower, just like that one. And when you light Shabbos candles, my doll will light them too, OK Mommy? And when we have Shabbos meals, Gali Girl will sit with us at the table in a special seat and SHE'LL make hamotzi TOO! Just like me! I'm going to wear my Gali Girl bracelet every day, and on Purim I'll be Queen Esther and my doll will be Queen Esther, and we'll go around and give out mishloach manot and everyone will see!"

In other words, if I were five, I'd be coveting these dolls, the way I used to covet Barbies.

And why not? Why not let little girls play with dolls who dress like they do and have activities like they do?

You know what my friend and I used to do with our Barbie dolls? Granted I was a little older, like eight -- which these days is too old for Barbie, who caters more to the 3-5 set. I used to go on Shabbos afternoons to visit a friend who was lucky enough to have TWO Barbie dolls and a Ken. Sometimes we'd play Fashion Show. But more often, we enacted stories -- week after week-- in which Ken was married or engaged to one of the Barbies, and having an affair with the other. Most weeks, one or both of the Barbies was pregnant, and either miscarried or went into labor when she heard that Ken was sleeping with someone else. I was eight. And this was back in 1980, before Monica Lewinsky. Before little girls started wearing skin-tight leggings and bare midriffs and halter tops that say "Juicy," before the standard age to start giving boys oral sex was twelve.

If there are little girls out there who want to dress up a little-girl doll in little-girl clothes -- one set of outfits for weekdays and one for Shabbos-- and play Purim and Birthday Party or whatever, and have their dolls wear matching Magen David bracelets, then I say: Bless you, little ones.

Enjoy your childhood while you still have it. Chayyei Sarah will not make fun of you for it. In fact, scoot over. I know a five-year-old who wants to play.

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