Issue 35, Final Fringe

My Little Stripper: Your Child's Very Own Pole Dancer Doll

by Jill D'Urso 09.04.2009


Move over Bratz–there’s a new wildly inappropriate toy in town. This little missy comes equipped with her own disco ball, flashing strobe light, and yep, you guessed it–a stripper pole. True, pole dancing is gaining popularity as a tongue-in-cheek way for women to have fun at the gym or bachelorette parties. And yes, this doll is apparently sold only in Asia to off-price retailers (translation:sketchtastic). But this, combined with other disturbing trends among young girls, points to a more and more sexualized childhood experience.

Surprisingly, this isn’t even the first time this has happened–back in 2006, British retailers Tesco sold a product called “My First Stripper Pole”–an actual Stripper Pole How-To Kit for little girls. Here’s a blurb from their marketing materials:”Unleash the sex kitten inside…simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!” Seriously, Tesco? The product was quickly taken off the shelves after an angry backlash from parents, but clearly, the world still has a yen for teaching tots how to strip. Disgusting.

When I was a kid, the most popular dolls on the market looked like this:
cabbage patch

Somehow, we’ve gotten to this:


Women have their whole lives to feel inadequate for not being thin enough, tan enough, or pretty enough–why start them off before they’re too young to realize how f’ed up it is?

Jill D'Urso

Jill D'Urso

Blog Editor Emerita

Jill is an editor and book enthusiast who lives in Brooklyn. She also can be found at Looks & Books, a literary style blog.

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Comments Feed5 comments
  • Abhilasha Friday, September 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Seriously crazy doll-makers. They think by launching something shocking they will be able to create a market for ugly things like a pole-dancing doll.

  • lindsey Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:36 am

    that’s seriously disturbing!

  • Sam Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I think the Cabbage Patch Doll was the most popular doll on the market for a certain age group, but I think a different segment would totally ditch that over a full collection of Barbies, which to me are practically interchangeable with the new dolls (yeah, they’re sluttier in appearance, but then, Elvis was once too). While I think Barbies are a pretty sick toy to throw at young impressionable girls, they exist for the same reason that movies that you and I pay to see are almost completely littered with beautiful people – because it’s a fantasy escape from the norm, we want to temporarily live and play in a world where “perfection” reigns. Yeah, it’s a fucked up view of perfection, but one of the things that creeps me out is that even the most openly self-proclaimed angry feminists of my friends still have fond memories of playing with Barbies, and would not have removed them from their childhood for anything. Ha, then again, I grew up playing with ridiculously muscled He-Man action figures, and there’s no way I care that I’m quite far from that standard!

  • Kris Wood Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Great, now I’ll never get the mental image of He-Man pole dancing out of my head. Thanks a lot Sam!

  • poledancinglessons Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Amazing how this took off.

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