At what age do we realize that we are too old for dolls? For me, it was not so much that I was too old, but rather I was ostracized by fellow peers for my interest in playing with dolls.

I was in the fifth grade.

Barbie dolls were my favorite toy, due to the immense amount of accessibility I had to them and the sheer quantity in which I had, this being a total of three boxes. Not small boxes either, I am talking three storage boxes full to the brim, as well as two cars, a large doll house, and a separate smaller doll house. This is probably because I was raised as a girly-girl; my collection came from my mother who had already collected a large amount and I was, and am, her only daughter. Therefore, the Barbies were passed onto me. I must have been given the Barbie loving gene.

I created complex stories with my dolls, each had their own backstory and occupation, their own set of special attributes. They had different voices and of course each had their own closet. I did not have many friends, so my obsession with Barbie dolls and their lives only grew. They became my outlet for friendship. If I had a rough day at school, I would reenact my day through dolls, but instead of ending in hurtfulness they ended happy and when it was time for dinner.

One day I had brought a ‘friend’ home with me after school. She lived across the street and was nice to me at school. I thought, finally I have someone to play dolls with. When we went into my room she was immediately entranced by my setup and we played dolls all afternoon. I was so excited. I got to school the next day, only to find out that she told everyone in our grade that I still played with dolls and they all laughed at me. I was called a baby, stupid, immature, and so on. I wanted to brush it off, think that it did not matter, but it did.

It was in fifth grade, after being humiliated in school, that I decided I was too old for dolls. Sure, I would pull them out and set up the house every now and then, but once it was ready I tore it all down. I could no longer create stories for these dolls, they were lifeless boring forms, and I turned primarily to reading. Why is it, that people decided you become too old to enjoy a toy? Why is it bad for a fifth grader to like Barbies?


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