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Reject Barbie

The novelist Allison Pearson once attempted to inject some enlightened balance into her daughter's doll collection:

"In an attempt to stem the toxic tide," she recalled, "I brought home a Scandinavian doll which looked like a Barbie designed by a feminist committee: a wholesome small-breasted individual wearing khaki, she clearly worked at something useful in developing countries.

"Alas, this poor social democrat never got to meet the Barbies. 'It's a boy!' my daughter yelled in horror, before dropping the liberal compromise in the bucket her baby brother reserved for drowning snails."

[Number of square feet dedicated to the "pint-sized princess" at a Toys "R" Us store in New York's Times Square? 4,000.]

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