- March 10, 2021 at 9:37 pm #460636ChloeCParticipantRegistered On: November 5, 2019Topics: 15Replies: 781Has thanked: 3113 timesBeen thanked: 3846 times
I was reading the topic about catalogs and got to thinking of other things I did when I was younger. Now of course, appearing as a boy especially in the 1950’s would preclude me from playing with the dolls available, at least openly. But the desire of course still remained. Not until later when my much younger sisters were adolescents did I have a chance (the original Barbie with the molded hair and the zigzag swim suit), but that didn’t stop me from trying.
To keep the charade, I played with military figurines, not GI Joe, he was much later but those about 2″ high, molded, green army characters. Best I had. For my 10th birthday, though, my mother got a bakery store cake with a small rocket and a band of space explorers about 2-3″ high standing on the icing, hard plastic, but different colors, including to my ‘secret’ delight, a young woman in space costume, shorts, torso covering, long gloves, cape, boots, fitted cap over below shoulder length hair which had a slight flip, in a light blue, and with a…figure. I remember that figurine quite vividly. Oh, the imaginations I had, the story lines I worked out. And I could get away with it, because of course, there were 3 or 4 male figurines around, as well as those soldiers and one or two other miniatures of similar sizes.
So did any others here have those secret dolls as a child?
- April 10, 2023 at 11:27 am #731521Samantha RDuchessRegistered On: January 17, 2023Topics: 4Replies: 189Has thanked: 251 timesBeen thanked: 767 times
I didn’t have any sisters, but female cousins. When at my grandmothers, I would play with their paper dolls with all the outfits. And their Barbie Dolls.
We also had a Barbie and Ken at our house but i don’t remember why we would have. I played with them alone in my room.
It was such fun!
- April 5, 2023 at 4:27 am #729858Suzanne MartinHostessRegistered On: January 8, 2020Topics: 8Replies: 707Has thanked: 5462 timesBeen thanked: 3028 times
Having 3 younger sisters I played with them and their dolls quite a bit. I also played with paper dolls and colorforms. Most of the time I was Ken but did get to play Barbie as well. It was fun dressing them in the different outfits and accessories. Would also occasionally play dress up and use make up. My mother was always there when we did and didn’t say anything, don’t know if my father knew but probably didn’t. Most of this was in the winter when getting outside and having friends over wasn’t an option.
- April 4, 2023 at 10:27 pm #729830Wanda OvahearRegistered On: October 19, 2022Topics: 16Replies: 918Has thanked: 1758 timesBeen thanked: 2893 times
I can’t say that dolls held an attraction for me. I might have channeled anything of the sort into female Colorform figures. The other older gals here will remember those. I also had the Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent figure with disguise kit into which I could channel dress up toy urges. I still have Cecil.
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- April 4, 2023 at 5:00 pm #729768Lisa LeighLadyRegistered On: April 20, 2022Topics: 6Replies: 352Has thanked: 1198 timesBeen thanked: 1718 times
Back in the early 1960’s our Neighbors daughter had a set of Barbie dolls. We use to play with them, All the time. I loved dressing the up and changing outfits. My older sister caught me and said that they were for girls and not boys! Why?
Back then we lived in army family housing so the doors were always open and unlocked. Several time I went into MaryJo’s room when she wasn’t home and played with her dolls, until her mother caught me. Good thing they were life long friends of my parents!
I think that was the last time I played with dolls as my father took a belt to my backside for that one! He was a Sergeant Major, so I’m sure a lot of frustration was released that day!
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- April 4, 2023 at 4:32 pm #729762Tracy HLadyRegistered On: August 13, 2022Topics: 4Replies: 19Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 152 times
I had a Big Jim that I use to play with. Lots of different things like his rescue rig and safari set, but when I was alone I discovered that Barbies wedding dress fit him along with a couple of other things.
- April 4, 2023 at 5:03 am #729642Jill LaceyLadyRegistered On: December 25, 2022Topics: 4Replies: 336Has thanked: 404 timesBeen thanked: 1066 times
Barbie dolls? Who could afford them? My father was a Fire Marshall. One day in the late fifties he came home work with a naked doll that had been in a fire. Hair was gone and her skin was all bubbly from the heat. I kept her for me and played for months with her. I suppose I was about five at the time. I named her Bubbles.
Years later, the topic of Bubbles came up. My mother said to us all, “ Remember that doll Kev used to play with? My God, I thought maybe he was going a little funny on us!” Little did they know but that was when I was discovering who I was.
- April 4, 2023 at 4:48 am #729636Tommie SullivanDuchessRegistered On: December 21, 2022Topics: 8Replies: 75Has thanked: 46 timesBeen thanked: 465 times
Thanks for starting this topic Chloe, it brings back a vivid memory that is near and dear to my heart. When I was about 5, I had only a couple of girls that lived close to me and were about my age, Sissy and Ginger. We were very good friends and played with each other almost daily. Well one day they were playing with their dolls when I came over and they would not let me play because I did not have a doll. I was heart-broken and ran home in tears. I told my mom what had happened and she fixed it in the best way possible. She loaded me up in the car and took me to the store to pick out a doll for me, along with some clothes and baby accessories. She then dropped me off at Ginger’s house to play. We had a marvelous time as I didn’t get to play dad but I had to be a mom like the other girls. It was wonderful!!! Again thanks Chloe for bringing this memory back.
- April 5, 2021 at 3:03 pm #474116Marie ChandlerBaronessRegistered On: June 29, 2020Topics: 5Replies: 75Has thanked: 271 timesBeen thanked: 383 times
I grew up in the 70s in a house with only boys. Needless to say, we didn’t have any girl dolls. I had a Steve Austin (Six Million Dollar Man) action figure and I always wanted to get the Charlie’s Angels Farrah doll to go with it. Farrah and Lee Majors were married at the time and I thought it would be a legit excuse to get my hands on a girl doll. I was never brave enough to ask, but it probably wouldn’t have been an issue.
- April 2, 2021 at 6:26 am #472526Michaela JaneLadyRegistered On: December 9, 2016Topics: 37Replies: 546Has thanked: 750 timesBeen thanked: 1719 times
- April 1, 2021 at 3:16 pm #472288KristaDuchessRegistered On: January 24, 2017Topics: 10Replies: 737Has thanked: 3369 timesBeen thanked: 3663 times
I grew up in the 1950s well before the time of GI Joe and Hulk Hogan dolls. The local newspaper used to print paper dolls and outfits that the dolls could wear. I would cut the dolls and the outfits out of the paper and hang them on my wall in my bedroom. I’m trying to remember my age, I think I was around 8 or 9 years old. My mother didn’t seem to mind me playing with them. Well, my father saw the dolls and outfits on my wall one day and that was the end of my paper doll collection. I remember another time when we were visiting some friends of my parents who had a daughter a couple years younger than me and I remember playing with her and her dolls. I wish I had a sister but no luck there. I still have a strong attachment to stuffed animals. Sitting on every possible shelf in my bedroom, there are too many stuffed animals to count (dogs and bears are the predominate stuffies). Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Happy Easter, Hugs, Krista.
- April 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm #472276Autumn ValiantDuchessRegistered On: July 14, 2019Topics: 52Replies: 1239Has thanked: 21627 timesBeen thanked: 3859 times
I didn’t have any secret dolls, unfortunately. One of my favorite secret memories was playing barbies with one of the neighbor girls. In her parent’s back yard, well out of sight of the street where the boys of the neighborhood and my brothers couldn’t see me. I grew up in a neighborhood that seemed to have many more boys that girls and we were all sports oriented jocks.
I fondly remember playing dolls/barbies with my daughter when she was a little girl. Not a lot, but wonderful memories.
- April 2, 2021 at 8:43 am #472602KimmieLadyRegistered On: September 27, 2016Topics: 4Replies: 299Has thanked: 207 timesBeen thanked: 1346 times
One of my daughters, the only one who was interested in “Barbie,” (the others had other girly interests) asked me to play Barbies with her once. After a few minutes, she took the Barbie away from me and told me that I “didn’t make the Barbies talk enough.”
- April 5, 2021 at 9:14 am #473976Autumn ValiantDuchessRegistered On: July 14, 2019Topics: 52Replies: 1239Has thanked: 21627 timesBeen thanked: 3859 times
My ex and I got our daughter the Barbie van for Chrismas one year. Putting it together was my job. The stickers were evil. I don’t know what kind of permanent adhesive they used, but if you were a little off in the placement it stayed there for ever. No peeling it off and reapplying. Even if only 1/2 the sticker was down. It would rip before peeling off. That’s my worst Barbie experience. 😉
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Autumn Valiant.
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- March 12, 2021 at 9:09 pm #462960Beth GreenLadyRegistered On: February 24, 2021Topics: 31Replies: 592Has thanked: 7467 timesBeen thanked: 3232 times
I purchased and secretly played with Barbie dolls and all of her friends and family when I was in college. Oh my, the pink fog is setting in. I’m going to have to get a collection of Barbie dolls again.
Update: I ordered my first new Barbie and some outfits. How terribly expensive she has become! It will take some time to build a new collection. Just think, I can get matching outfits for us! When I get a Ken doll he will of course HAVE to be a cd. Can he join CDH also?
- April 1, 2021 at 3:03 pm #472283Laura LovettLadyRegistered On: March 26, 2020Topics: 39Replies: 1540Has thanked: 5096 timesBeen thanked: 7614 times
I always wondered about Ken – after all, “his” downstairs was the same as Barbie’s…
He must be mid transition, so he probably belongs here 😁
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- March 12, 2021 at 10:12 pm #462962AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
- March 12, 2021 at 10:14 pm #462963
- March 11, 2021 at 11:55 pm #462437Cynthia DuboisLadyRegistered On: August 17, 2017Topics: 13Replies: 75Has thanked: 74 timesBeen thanked: 393 times
My first toy was a Raggedy Ann doll. I have no idea how I got it, or why it was given to me (I wasn’t even old enough for school at the time). I must have badgered my mother until she got it for me at the store at some point. For some reason I had one though, and my mother said it was my favorite toy at the time.
- March 11, 2021 at 5:49 pm #461106
- March 11, 2021 at 4:04 pm #461075Deborah SullivanLadyRegistered On: February 27, 2020Topics: 3Replies: 1202Has thanked: 6025 timesBeen thanked: 5440 times
Amazing how many of us did this. I had lots of stuffed animals as a child but by 8 I was drawn to my sisters Barbie collection. I would love dressing up her different Barbies in fashion clothes and even the Ken doll when we were together and mother never said a thing. I knew then I wanted to be just like Barbie
- March 11, 2021 at 2:30 pm #461020AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
During my teen years, there was a comic strip, Dixie Dugan, which asked readers to submit their fashion designs for Dixie to wear; I recall playing around with them. My only “doll” was a stuffed rabbit I had from about age 6 until it was lost during a move from Dallas to Los Angeles. Except at school, I was never without it.
Another “femme” item from my past, long-forgotten until my memory was jogged by you lovely girls here at CDH.
- March 11, 2021 at 1:19 pm #460978Bridgette VonSmirffLadyRegistered On: October 18, 2020Topics: 49Replies: 1373Has thanked: 19862 timesBeen thanked: 5685 times
I asked for, and Mom bought for me a set of paper dolls that I was so happy playing with… until dad made it clear his disapproval. He didn’t say anything to me, but I could hear him talking to mom. I never played with them again after that, and hoped for approval of what else I might do. They’re both gone now, and I miss them. Bridgette turned up long after they left, so they never knew her…I think Mom would have been ok with it. Dad… not so much.
- March 11, 2021 at 2:03 pm #461010ChloeCDuchessRegistered On: November 5, 2019Topics: 15Replies: 781Has thanked: 3113 timesBeen thanked: 3846 times
I have loved reading all of these, because they touch on how I felt, but it also reminded me that yes, I also played with paper dolls. The big city (Chicago Trib) Sunday comics had a panel for a few years where you cut out outfits (which had the tabs) which I did, on the sly.
- March 11, 2021 at 6:53 am #460822
- March 11, 2021 at 6:02 am #460795Cassie JaysonDuchessRegistered On: September 29, 2019Topics: 84Replies: 1358Has thanked: 3135 timesBeen thanked: 6359 times
My time with dolls is a little different than others here. I am the oldest of 5 boys. When I was about 8 or 9 we found one of my mothers old baby dolls. Of and on for about a year I played babies daddy, pretending to feed baby at the table, changing diapers and dressing baby for the day. I was neither encouraged or discouraged by my parents, but mother did help provide the diapers and clothing for baby. After a couple of months this went by the wayside as other interests took over.
- March 11, 2021 at 5:36 am #460782Polly StewartLadyRegistered On: January 2, 2021Topics: 13Replies: 963Has thanked: 1492 timesBeen thanked: 3303 times
Ohh, yes! Not secret though… with Mother and Grandmother living together I had dolls to play with a porcelain one and a plastic Maori girl with traditional grass skirt etc.
But my absolute favourite thing was playing with the cutout dolls! All the film stars of old and the comic book characters… and their divine clothes! Even pasting the cutouts of sewing pattern figures to cardboard to add to my collection!
A heavenly pastime for a five year-old and that continued up until I was maybe ten. Then it was time for model soldiers both lead and paper types. The plastic ones came later.
Even now I have a collection of paper dolls on my Pinterest account!
Papered Polly ❤️
- March 11, 2021 at 5:36 am #460781Polly StewartLadyRegistered On: January 2, 2021Topics: 13Replies: 963Has thanked: 1492 timesBeen thanked: 3303 times
Duh, sorry for the double post!
I have a Teddy Bear called Archibald who is the same age as I down to the very day of birth! I made him his very own passport so he could travel around the world with me!
I also have a very non-pc Gollywog! Also the same age as me! He’s always been called Golly but he had to stay home! Poor thing…
PC Polly… not! 🌸🌺🌼🌻
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Polly Stewart.
- March 11, 2021 at 5:29 am #460776AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
My sister is 4.5 years older than I am and had a nice Barbie collection. I quite simply wore her out begging to play Barbie all the time — all those clothes and accessories…heaven. She outgrew them before I did — wait, HAVE I outgrown them? Lol. Nobody ever gave me a hard time about it that I can remember other than my sister being generally sick of her little brother asking to play all the time. Those times were when Stephanie started to have some of her first awakenings, I would say.
I had what I also think was the largest collection of plastic green Army men in world’s history. Some archaeologist is going to unearth them from that little house in Ohio someday and wonder what the heck happened! I had massive war games with my neighbor best friend.
Great thread; thanks.
- March 11, 2021 at 4:41 am #460754Rachel HayesLadyRegistered On: January 20, 2021Topics: 19Replies: 150Has thanked: 833 timesBeen thanked: 954 times
I had a lovely little (well, about 12 inches tall) pink teddy called Dana.
Apparently, it’s well known throughout the family that I wouldn’t ever put her down and caused chaos on my first day at school as I wasn’t allowed to take her with me *giggles*
Had her all the way until the ripe old age of 29 when I moved in with gf (now wife) who thought it was ‘sad’ and binned her without telling me. That was a tearful day let me tell you!
- March 11, 2021 at 4:22 am #460749
- March 11, 2021 at 1:47 am #460699Paula FRegistered On: August 7, 2019Topics: 17Replies: 1551Has thanked: 30616 timesBeen thanked: 6428 times
The apartment complex we lived in when I was 5 was HUD funded, for single mom’s and some elderly folks. Since my sister and I were pretty much on our own while mom worked, I was her shadow.
She would take me around with her and let me stick around. I loved the days her friends played with their Barbies and would also let me join them. A new girl showed up one day, her mom had just moved them from Oregon or Washington, and she brought up the subject of boys playing with dolls.
This girl had friend from where they moved from, who had cousin who’s dad was a policeman and he told her that if a boy got caught playing with dolls, he could be sent to reform school to be made a boy again. In 1965, we ALL knew that reform school was a bad place to go. My sister and her friend Stephanie took me back to our apartment and dressed me as her little sister so I could still play with the group.
No one said anything me not being one of the girls again, and sis would get me one of her old dresses and a pair of panties to wear when it was Barbie day, and I could not have been happier either.
That was my start down this road, and I do remember how much fun I had being just like sister and her friends. Of course, sis made me play with the brunette Barbie, while she got the blonde.
- March 11, 2021 at 1:42 am #460697AnonymousLadyTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
I played with dolls at a neighbor girls house when I visited. I lived in a somewhat rural area so friends were far apart so we naturally visited each other often. She did dress me up in one of her dresses sometimes when we played. She never made fun of me in a dress while playing with her dolls and I enjoyed every minute of her friendship. One thing that I remember was the Sears Roebuck catalogues that would come in the mail once in a while. I used to spend hours and hours looking at the women’s clothes, bras and panties. I wanted everything I saw.
- March 11, 2021 at 1:02 am #460690LadyRegistered On: March 26, 2020Topics: 39Replies: 1540Has thanked: 5096 timesBeen thanked: 7614 times
I used to play with my younger sister, and she loved playing with dolls.
One birthday, possibly her 5th, making me 7, she got a doll which walked when you pressed some “bubbles” on a kind of control pad.
It was very simple – the plastic “bubbles” sent a jet of air down a plastic tube, and made the legs move with the power of compressed air.
It was a lovely summer day – her birthday is in August, and we played in the front garden.
She had difficulty making the doll walk, with her pudgy 5 year old fingers, so asked me to show her how it was done.
I was more than happy to oblige, and pumped the bubbles, making the doll walk down our garden path. She squeaked with delight – it was wonderful to see her so happy.
Then the postman arrived.
He took one look at me and almost shouted “Haha, look at the little sissy boy, playing with his sister’s dolls.”
I have never forgotten the humiliation I felt, like a massive dark cloud descending.
I never played dolls again with my sister after that, and hated the postman with a venom beyond my years.
I hated that the world saw me as sissy, and started bottling everything that seemed girly to me, and tried really hard to be more boyish – something that I was terrible at, and got into fights quite regularly, which I would always lose, as it’s true, I was a total sissy boy. I wanted to be my sister’s sister – although my mother banned me from playing dress up with my sister around the same time, and there the suppression started.
Never tell anyone your feelings, because they are wrong.
That was my takeaway.
If only I could go back to that little boy and tell him that it’ll all work out fine.
You’ll have the fights anyway, so it might as well be a fight for yourself, instead of a fight to be something you’re not.
But it is what it is, so here I am, playing dress up, creating and being my own “doll”, discovering who I really am, with a huge bunch of lovely, like-minded sisters, and loving it!
- March 11, 2021 at 8:16 pm #461880AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
Thank you for sharing you story with us Laura, your evil postman is an example of the person I most dislike in this world, one who has to run his mouth off and say whatever they think of someone no matter who it hurts, he would undoubtedly have been very pleased with himself to know he had hurt you.
Happily you are now amongst friends and that jerk will hopefully one day find himself sent to dog heaven (due to a clerical error) and be tormented on his rounds by packs of ravening dogs for all eternity.
- March 11, 2021 at 5:22 am #460773AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
Quite simply, that story made me cry for several reasons. What a beautiful moment between brother and sister that was ruined (and future moments too). What you missed out on; what your SISTER missed out on…smh… How cruel for an adult to treat a child like that. A child he didn’t even know. I’m so sorry.
If it makes you feel any better, knowing stuff we know now, I betcha he went home with a couple of stolen Sears catalogs and dressed up in his mother’s clothes (where he undoubtedly still lived) and fantasized about all the things he could buy for himself in the catalog!
- March 11, 2021 at 12:00 am #460670Beth GreenLadyRegistered On: February 24, 2021Topics: 31Replies: 592Has thanked: 7467 timesBeen thanked: 3232 times
- March 11, 2021 at 9:38 pm #462422Paula FRegistered On: August 7, 2019Topics: 17Replies: 1551Has thanked: 30616 timesBeen thanked: 6428 times
Gen, I don’t think that an adult really told her that. I was 5, and the girls all ranged from 4 to 7 or 8. She was new to Texas, new to our group, and just wanting to show what she thought she knew, like most children do before they become teenagers and know absolutely everything, LOL.
In her 6 or 7 year old mind, she probably had put snippets of a lot of things together so they almost made sense to her. It wasn’t bad what she said, but that all of us in the group believed it. But that led to my own discovery of a truth that has taken a long, long time to bring to fruition.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by Paula F.
- March 11, 2021 at 5:34 pm #461102AnonymousTopics: 0Replies: 0Has thanked: 0 timesBeen thanked: 0 times
A horrible thing to say, but not far from the truth at one time. “Unmanly” behavior meant you were presumed gay, which was both a criminal activity and in medical journals as a mental disease. Hard to imagine for the younger generation, but that’s how it was.
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