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Princess Phone: A chat about why some girls, like Kate Middleton, have all the luck!
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

It was no surprise when my phone rang early this weekend. On the other end of the line was my partner in crime, my brother from anotherPrince William and Dutchess Kate mother, my doll enabler—through and through—otherwise known as Cam. For years now, I have been “Ethel” to his “Lucy.” (Or the other way around, we’ve both been known to make fools of ourselves.)

 

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Imagine That: Are dolls our friends, our possessions, or something entirely else?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Did you have an imaginary friend? I suspect that most of us had that special invisible pal who accompanied us on bike rides, strolls to thejunie_b_jones_big1 park, and kept us occupied during endless family car trips (“Are we there YET? It’s been 30 minutes!”). My daughter has purported to have several incarnations of a make-believe pal, but her roster of fictional friends changes and no one seems to stick around for more than a season or two. However, she’s recently begun to read chapter books on her own—she’s in first grade—and now she has developed a hankering for a new kind of wishful friendship. She’d love for her favorite heroine—Junie B. Jones—to be a real-live girl. She said to me the other day, “Mommy, I wish that Junie and her family could live next door to us, and then I’d be able to know her for real. I know we’d be best friends.”

 

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Puppet Panache: Temperamental stars have to rein it in as they learn to pull each other’s strings.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Back in the 1960s and ’70s, when rally cries were a staple of the protest movements, someone lustily yelled out, “Power to the people.”Puppet Protest And that citizen scream stuck. “Power to the people”: it is concise, easy to remember, and encompasses a lot of situations. All in all, it’s a great catchphrase.

This weekend, I found myself enmeshed in a world where “Puppet Up” was bellowed over and over, and a tiny, furry, loving red beast reduced grown men and women to tears. Yep, I had a “puppet power” marathon. It wasn’t intentional, but its results were inspirational.

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The Hunger Games: Mattel feasts upon a cautionary look at future kids in America.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

I’m not sure if Suzanne Collins was picturing me when she pounded out the “Hunger Games” trilogy. Certainly, I was not who sheThe Hunger Games Books envisioned as one of her youthful, teen warriors, but did she ever imagine that her three books would be adopted as a battle-cry for folks of every age, and every background, who worry about the fate of the United States and what lies in store for us over the next generation? Published by Scholastic—which immediately suggests school book clubs and pre-teen passions—the fictional account of a post-Apocalyptic America is gritty and gruesome and captures the real essence of personal responsibility and grrrrl power!

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Face Time: a charity doll raises awareness and two teen “living dolls” raise eyebrows on the Net.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

This has been an interesting week—seven days filled with dolls that promise to be made in the image of often-overlooked children, while abald-barbie1 pair of children came to the foreground and demanded to be seen, heard, adored and looked at, via YouTube, of course.

After an online campaign, which had launched on Facebook, brought a massive amount of signatures to Mattel’s attention, the California-based toy company conceded to the group’s requests. A “bald Barbie” will be manufactured and distributed to children’s hospitals and alopecia foundations to be given as comforting playthings and as reminders to children with cancer and other health issues that they are not alone.

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American Horror Story: Should a John Wilkes Booth doll light a powder keg of controversy?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

For consistent readers of my blog, you know that I often discover issues concerning dolls in the most unlikely places. This week, I initiallyLincoln-Assassin-Bobble1 came across a story on “The O’Reilly Factor” that had host, Mr. Bill O’Reilly, seeing more red than usual. The FOX News Channel—with its “fair and balanced” tagline—could easily change it to “fairly ball-jointed” because their news anchors do spend hours of airtime covering doll concerns. It is always highly entertaining to watch the FOX “foxes,” the very good-looking women who populate the station, reporting on the latest Barbie ballyhoo or breast-feeding brouhaha.

 

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Lady Luck: RuPaul may be a walking-talking doll, but what happened to the fashion figure?
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

Is it possible to be ahead of one’s time, and then behind one’s moment to shine, followed by the exact moment when the rest of the worldrupauldragrace1 has caught up and all constellations align for perfect acceptance? If that sounds all sort of “touchy/feely” or New Age nonsensical, I apologize. I just don’t know how else to explain the career of RuPaul and his/her emergence as a charismatic and enjoyable television commodity.

 

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China Doll: The forbidden doll photography of Liu Xia strikes a blow for freedom and democracy.
In the Spotlight
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   

A rose is a rose is a rose, but a doll is not always a doll. At least, that’s the guiding force behind the photos of Chinese poet and artist Liudollinculture_NEW Xia. In a society like ours, where every person with a keyboard and a camera phone can become an Internet gadfly—I’m looking in the mirror here—it’s difficult to imagine a culture where access to television, radio, the Web, and public discourse is denied daily. In fact, it’s beyond being denied—it’s squelched, squashed, and declared “a crime against the state.”

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