There will be blood: A doll that gets her period is NBD

Some parents are upset over a new doll that gets her period. But Emma Waverman wonders what is so scary about a doll having pads?

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You’ve probably heard of the Lammily dollalso known as the “normal Barbie.” She has the proportions of your average 19-year old, including a thicker waist and flatter feet than her glam inspiration. She’s so relatable that you can even order sticker packs so she can have cellulite and pimples. And now she has one more thing in common with your average woman: she gets her period.

Well, not literally.

You can now order a “Period Party” accessory kit for your Lammily doll that includes pads that fit into her doll-sized underwear, a period-tracking calendar and a booklet that explains menstruation. There is no simulated period, thankfully.

Nickolay Lamm, the doll’s creator, designed the kit with his mom in the hopes of making periods a less taboo topic for young girls. Yes, it’s a little weird thinking of a doll having her period. But let’s face it, with girls hitting puberty younger and younger, this is a great way to tell them about their period.

As women, periods are one thing we can’t shy away from when it comes to our kids. I can’t be the only one whose kids have used pads and tampons as toys, or who has had a child walk in to the bathroom while I have my period and asked some fairly specific questions about what is going on with my underwear. Cue discussion about menstruation.

The reaction to the period kit has been mixed, with some people’s squeamishness overriding their common sense.

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I don’t understand what is so scary about a doll having pads? This is hardly something to be outraged about.

On the CBS show The Talk, Sharon Osbourne even asked if a masturbating doll was the next thing. As if those two things are at all related.

Her comment highlights that in 2015, many people still think periods are taboo, vaguely sexual and should be managed in secret. (Her comments also reveal how she feels about masturbation, but that’s a different post.)

Teaching young girls and boys about their body parts and menstruation does not ruin their innocence as some critics have said. Nor does it encourage early sexuality. This education simply arms them with important information about a natural process that happens to their body.

I know that talking to my daughter about puberty and menstruation means that the first time she gets her period, she won’t be one of the girls who is crying in the bathroom because she thinks she’s going to die. I don’t feel I need a doll to help me have that discussion, but if I did, then I wouldn’t think twice about it.

Lammily even made a funny YouTube ad to show how even “cool” parents get awkward talking to their kids about the “crimson wave.”

These are teachable moments, and no matter how uncomfortable we are with them, our duty is to teach our kids. I can’t wait to see what Lammily is up to next!

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of them fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.

Read more:
An age-by-age guide to talking to kids about sex>
Talking about menstruation>
Puberty: What to do when it comes early>

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