My 5 year old has a ton of Barbies, hand me downs from J's cousin. In theory, I dislike all that she represents. Her unrealistic proportions, skimpy clothes, and nappy blonde hair. But at our house Miriam's friend Miles plays with them too. Miriam puts them in two little family groups. The daddies and mommies in their finery and the little girl and little boy (mike, j's dad's name) dressed to the nines as well. Yesterday, mommy went to church in her strapless fairy costume. And today they sat in a nice row with all her stuffed animals while they were in school.
I could worry that she'll create a role model figure out of Barbie. But if she keeps her blonde hair, gets my mom's figure, and the height genes hanging around my dad's family, she could very well look like beach barbie.