Monday, July 2, 2012

Sindy vs. Barbie

     Today while reading the BBC News I found out a new type of fashion doll I'd never heard of before. Her name is Sindy, and was created as a British answer to Barbie. Unlike Barbie, though, I don't think I've ever seen her sold in any store. However, if you've ever seen those generic dollar store "Barbies", the kind with the hollow legs and plain packaging, you'll notice that their faces look a lot like that of Sindy. They are rounder and more child-like, almost like a baby or toddler doll head on a teen/adult body. One thing for certain, Barbie was/is sexier and more grownup than Sindy was. This is not to say that Barbie is an inappropriate toy, but Sindy was definitely more childish.

     Oddly enough, though, that is/was part of Barbies appeal - the idea of being able to play out the fantasy of being a, or controlling the life and story of, a stunning siren, grownup enough to have a glamourous, slightly out-of-reach and forbidden appeal, but still respectable and accomplished enough to be allowed as one's new toy (and possible role model). Perhaps Sindy would be more appropriate for younger girls just getting their first doll, or those who want a younger sister in their Barbie family.


     There are pros and cons to both styles. The pros of the Barbie style is that she's also a good doll for a teen girl, or even adults who want to make storyboards. I mean, I kind of have a hard time picturing Sindy with the bf they made for her, Paul, who looks like Ken. If she was gonna have a bf, they should've made him more boyish looking, kinda like Barbie's little bro Tommy. I kind of have a hard time imagining her doing or wearing anything too grownup with that childlike face. I saw a Sindy doll for sale on Ebay with a sexy red outfit, and, even though she's almost looked wrong, you know? The P-word almost comes to mind when she's dressed like that. Though I suppose you could pretend she's a young adult with a really young looking face - and if you're a British girl, you might want to be able to get those types of clothes for her sometimes.

     The pros of the Sindy style, though, is that it's a good, simple, respectable character for young girls, and might encourage them not to dress too sexy too soon. I also liked her simple, charming English 60's-70's fashions. I'm sure most of you have seen, heard of, or maybe played a story with Barbies in which there was sexual content (even if it was just mild kissing). Did that happen as often with Sindy dolls? That might make an interesting study.