A set of dolls have been created that are designed to challenge gender stereotypes.
Lottie dolls are shaped like real children, they have hobbies that defy typical gender roles, and help to stimulate the imaginations of children. They cost £16.99 ($19.95).
The dolls have been created with the help of parents, children, psychologists, experts in the toy industry and child nutrition experts. They have managed to incorporate over 100 action points, including factors such as:
- The dolls do not wear make-up
- They stand on their own two feet
- They are based on the proportions of a 9 year-old
- They are activity-based
- They have a useful life skill
Most studies have shown that children love to learn through play, and the type of toys they play with are of utmost importance.
They can help to shape our identities, give us pointers as to what careers we want to pursue, and even give us confidence and help to build our self-esteem.
Some of the Lottie Dolls have been specifically designed with past heroines in mind, for instance, there is the Pirate Queen Lottie, who is based on Grace O’Malley. Grace lived in the 16th century in Ireland and rejected the typical feminine roles of women and rode the high seas as a pirate.
Amongst the Lottie Dolls range are Robot Girl Lottie, inspired by an eight-year-old girl from the US called Allie Weber. Allie made a robot from recycled household items for her school’s spring fair.
There is also Kawaii Karate Lottie who loves marital arts and encourages girls to be active and bold. Her inspiration was Sensei Debi Steven, the founder of PeeWee Karate in London. Sensei Debi was the founder of an enterprise that sought to offer free self-defence classes to women and girls in India who otherwise would not have been able to afford them.
Butterfly Protector Lottie loves the environment and would probably love to go on to become a conservationist.
Stargazer Lottie loves nothing better than waiting up until the skies are pitch black so that she can see the stars and maybe even a comet.
The Lottie Dolls are the inspiration of Ian Harkin and Lucie Follett, who together founded the company Arklu. Their first foray into doll making came about in the shape of a Kate Middleton doll and Prince William Royal Wedding pair of dolls.
When they proved to be popular they realised that there was a market for alternative dolls and started researching before launching the Lottie Dolls. Since then they have gained a huge following and a few celebrity fans, including Britain’s Got Talent judge, Amanda Holden. She said:
“My daughter (and I!) love her – we’re huge fans of her. It’s a brilliant idea to create a positive doll.”
And industry expert MP Jo Swinson, co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, is equally pleased:
“I welcome this venture which will enable parents to provide their kids with dolls created with positive body image in mind, and the message that it’s not all about looks,” she said.
For more information visit lottie.com