Oh, childhood – a time for innocent playing, pretending and nonchalantly eating things that are technically classified as poisonous. But the general consensus is that this current generation of kids are losing interest in the things that really matter, like caring for the children they're going to have in 25 years and, more importantly, feeding those children through their nipples.
Remember those cute, little dolls you'd spoon-feed with sweet-smelling plastic cherries? I guess they were a half-acceptable middle-ground between infancy and motherhood – a sufficient way to satisfy that need little girls have for looking after children – but someone's finally come up with a way to skip out that delicious-smelling middleman (and puberty, sex, pregnancy and childbirth) by releasing a doll that will suckle directly at the (stick-on) nipple of your child.
The infant human wears a "fashionable bib" (puke) with two flowers replacing the nipples and the baby goes to town on her prepubescent chest (double puke). A toy encouraging the idea that young girls have active sexual organs sounds a bit like teaching them to own and love their pubic hair or forcing them to listen to you explain how to insert a tampon. Really gross and distressing, basically. To discover the reasoning behind why anyone would make a toy that allows children to mock-lactate, I called up Berjuan Toys, the makers of the doll, and talked to an anonymous spokesman. Turns out they think we're the creepy ones.
VICE: Hey, Mr Breastmilk Baby. What the fuck is your doll all about?
Breastmilk Baby Spokesman: Our doll promotes the idea that the healthy, natural way to feed a baby is through breastfeeding and it’s important that everybody knows that from the earliest point in life. Making it a normal part of the everyday experience will help banish the taboo, which will be good for future generations of babies. It’ll be good for mums and it’ll be good for society.
Why do they need to make that disturbing slurping noise?
Well, little girls see their mums breastfeeding their siblings and they imitate that noise anyway. It’s not like this is a new behaviour, it’s just this toy makes that behaviour more exciting and fun. They’re beautiful baby dolls that serve a really important function. Why would you make little girls wait to learn about breastfeeding? You don't want them to think that it's a shameful thing. It’s just the correct way to feed a baby, so why would you want to hide that from your daughter?
This is starting to sound like a reaction to some anti-breastfeeding conspiracy. Is there any proof that the toy's actively going to change how kids behave in later life?
We’ve had Doctor Toy, who’s one of the leading experts in toys, really endorse the product. We’ve won the Mom’s Choice Award, organisations all over the world are really happy with the product and we’ve had thousands of testimonies saying, "Wow, this is great." I think it’s just the initial surprise for some people. Experts, doctors and breastfeeding organisations are 100 percent supportive of our product. The only people who don’t really agree with it are the people who haven’t really thought about it.
Fair enough. It still seems kinda unnecessary, though.
You need to understand that there are little girls who breastfeed their babies all the time – there’s nothing new here. Little boys breastfeed their fire trucks, too.
Is it a bit inappropriate for children to simulate having fully developed lactating breasticles?
To be perfectly honest, I think that Barbie dolls sexualise little girls far more than our dolls. I think that anybody who thinks like that is probably preconditioned by the stigma surrounding it. There’s nothing sexual about breastfeeding. I think we need to get over that. The woman breastfeeding isn’t the problem; it’s the person with the problem that’s the problem.
Oh right. Thanks, anon!
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @chloecrossx
More creepy dolls:
Watch - Tokyo Lazy Doll