Formula fed babies are fatty bunters, and a doll on the market aims to capitalise on this obesity epidemic. Resembling mini sumo-wrestlers, “Lots to Love Babies” are morbidly obese baby dolls with multiple skin folds, chunky thighs and an impressive set of moobs. The dolls perpetuate the myth that ‘babies are supposed to be fat’. This myth undermines breastfeeding because as formula fed babies gain weight more rapidly overall, breastfeeding mothers often worry that their babies don’t measure up. This commonly leads to nursing mums questioning “is my baby getting enough?” as well as other people misinterpreting the breastfed baby’s lean physique.
The “Lots to Love” baby dolls come with extra large babygro (to incorporate all those tires of fat), a dummy (to pacify him between meals), a bottle (of course), a bib (for premature weaning), and curiously a potty (kid looks a little too young for that?) It is perhaps no coincidence that the doll’s brand name “Lots to Love” sounds an awful lot like the mantra of the fat acceptance movement: “more to love”.
The slogan on the box reads: “It’s just baby fat!”, almost as if the infant has to apologetically justify their bulk.
Bottle-feeding babies can set them up for a lifetime of heart disease and obesity. Accordingly, the manufacturer of these dolls didn’t stick with babies. They have also produced a line of obese toddlers that share similar impressive skin folds and moobs.
What’s my opinion on the dolls? Well, if companies insist on including bottles as prerequisite accessories for baby dolls, it’s only right that they show the realistic consequences of bottle-use.
UPDATE (Feb 2013): I have now produced an update to this post, to counter the critics. You can view it here.