We have a number of Core Players that Leah nearly always chooses in sets of two. She generally chooses two girls who are always “sisters” in her description. Then she nearly always wants them to fall in love with two guys. From there I am always pushing to go beyond the romance angle by introducing other elements – a lost dog, a fire, a plane trip – whatever I can come up with on the fly.
Over the months Leah has become much more creative and delights me daily with the plot twists and creative ideas she introduces – which is the whole point of playing – to teach her to be creative, develop her social skills, explore her developing social ideas and play out fantasies about her future life.
So here are the girls who almost never change names, constantly change clothes and are almost always at the center of our scenarios.
She is a collector doll created as a tribute to the Alvin Ailey dance troupe. For this reason, some people call her Alvin which is a cute name but we had already taken to calling her Bella by the time we learned of this nickname. We chose the name “Bella” in tribute to her stunning looks.
She is a gorgeous dark-skinned girl with Ebony eyes, natural hair and full articulation right down to her poseable wrists. She also has rooted eyeslashes.
Leah claims her job is “to be a princess” so even when our scenario involves a lunch date at the mall, Bella is always in a full length gown.
This picture does not do her justice – she is a really special doll.
Grace is probably Leah’s second favorite doll. She is nearly always cast as Bella’s sister. I can’t stand to play with dolls who’s knees aren’t fully articulated so I re-bodied her with a Fashionistas Artsy body. The body is slightly lighter than Grace’s head and while that fact can be clearly seen in the picture here, it is barely noticable during play.
LilyTiger is named after my friends Grace and Anthony’s daughter, Tigerlily. Leah came up with the name. I tried shortening it to plain old “Lily” but Leah kept correcting me. For whatever reason, Leah often makes LilyTiger into a boyfriend stealer. Not sure why this is the case, but playing Barbies is just like Role Playing in Therapy, it brings to surface any latent ideas or biases. Maybe it is just a random thing that Leah sees LilyTiger as a boyfriend stealer, but maybe it’s not, and if I keep playing barbies with my daughter I am sure to eventually get to the bottom of it.
I would love to give her a new body with bendable knees but I have never been able to find an articulated body with the light skintone Mattel uses for Asians.
This gorgeous doll is a So-In-Style Trichelle. She’s a real treasure. Given that she resembles my daughter Leah with her Cinnamon skin, Ebony eyes and Rotini hair – I am completely in love with her. She’s been re-bodied on a Fashionistas Artsy (like nearly every other brown doll we have).
This is Kayla. She’s from Texas. I play her with a Texas accent. She has a Fashionista Artsy body just like everyone else. I gave her a boil perm using coffee stirs. I like her more than Leah does and always seem to have to lobby to get her into the scenes. Again, this is probably because she looks like Leah.
Kara is a real cutie. She’s a So-In-Style girl with a haircut and a re-body. Kara is too dark to use an Artsy body so I buy 90’s dolls with full articulation off of ebay to give to her and other girls with pretty chocolate skin. Any 1990’s African American “Barbie” will match Kara close enough. Gymnasts, Ballerinas, Skaters – they are all a nice Chocolate brown color.