STEP 1: Get a Bavatarbie

What’s a Bavatarbie? It’s a barbie you use as your Avatar. It’s the doll you pretend is YOU when you play.

The first step toward playing with barbies is to get yourself a doll that you love. One that you love becoming each time you play.

If you are an adult, the doll can look almost any way you choose. You could choose to be Lucille Ball, Halle Berry or Joan Jett. You could choose a male doll even though you are a woman. You could choose a female doll even though you are a man. The possibilities are endless.

The possibilites at Target or Toys R Us right this minute, are pretty limited. For this reason, I have tried to do profiles of all the diversity that is possible by showcasing Asian dolls and other variations including Indian and Arab Muslim. I plan in the future to showcase Latinos, full-figured dolls and LGBTs.

One World Prettie Girl Kimani 

If you are getting a doll for a child for whom you will be the Barbie-Playing-Mentor I recommend seeking a doll that will help that child celebrate their own beauty and uniqueness. In other words, try to get a doll that looks like the child.

One World Dolls, makes a line of dolls called the Prettie Girls. The dolls are four different shades of brown. They work well with barbie-sized clothes, cars, homes, food, etc.


The primary dolls in my daughter’s collection are from the So In Style line.

Much like my daughter, SIS Trichelle has light brown skin and curly dark hair. Trichelle doesn’t have beautiful Ebony eyes like my daughter, but hey, that’s what Sharpies are for

Be relentless in your pursuit of the primary doll in any collection you are helping to build.

Check online sites for collector’s dolls that you can de-box and change into some jeans. Mattel’s Celebrity Dolls often have the most interesting face and head shapes. I was able to use a Barbra Streisand head to approximate my own head.

Don’t be afraid to cut their hair and re-style it.

You should definitely check out eBay as well, since there is a thriving second-hand barbie market on eBay and you can save substantial money buying dolls there.

Simply put in “AA Barbie” if you are looking for a brown-skinned doll or “Red Hair Barbie” or any other combination of attributes.

If you find that a vintage doll would be a great Bavatarbie for someone, be willing to spend the two to three times what you would spend for the standard, stock choices at the local toy store. (Around $30)

If you are blessed with a supremely unique child, consider purchasing or even commissioning a supremely unique Bavatarbie from an OOAK artist.

As your collection grows you might find yourself playing with different dolls all the time. Soon, the degree to which a single doll represents you, or your child, as your Bavatarbie will become less important.

In the beginning though, I believe it is essential that you have interesting dolls (not BBBBarbies) that suggest complex personalities because interesting “people” inspire interesting scenarios.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Danielle says:

    Great Avatars, I mean Bavatarbies! I love that Trichelle doll. Your family is so cute!

    1. Isn’t it amazing how much Bab’s head on a Get Real Girl’s body looks like me? Well the body you wouldn’t know for sure but I could be called “Chubby”

      1. Shelley greenaway says:

        this whole bavatarbie concept? i mean, can your bavatarbie have a different hair colour to yours? say have brown hair if you’re blond, have red hair if you have black and so on? as much as i’d like the bavatarbie to be a mini – me, i won’t mind the mini me having the red/pink hair i like

        1. Shelley – I haven’t posted in a long time mainly bc I am going through a bit of a crisis of conscience about this very entry. when I first started this blog I was trying to use the bavatarbie concept as a way to say “Dont buy your mixed race daughter a blonde barbie” – or for that matter, don’t buy any young child a doll that doesn’t make her proud to be who she is.

          I ended up spending a lot of money on dolls and accessories and I was proud of what I achieved but in the end I could see that I wasn’t really offering real people practical advice.

          I’ve been working on a pretty significant departure from the direction the blog had been going and the start of that is to get dolls at thrift stores and dye their hair. Well dying barbie hair is next to impossible. I have spent a ton of money and many hours trying different combinations but I am closing in on a solution (I can feel it!!) Once I find the method, this entry will die.

          Another reason it will die is because I have found over the years that my daughter and I both prefer to change characters often and we never play ourselves!!! So this entry is pretty worthless in my eyes. what do you think?

          1. Shelley greenaway says:

            i guess so- but thanks anyway!

          2. Shelley greenaway says:

            i’m really sorry i guess it does seem stupid now, but thanks anyway!

  2. Shelley greenaway says:

    this whole bavatarbie concept? i mean, can your bavatarbie have a different hair colour to yours? say have brown hair if you’re blond, have red hair if you have black and so on?

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