Popular doll for kids can now get her period just like real girls

Sep 23, 2015 at 11:59 a.m. ET
Image: Lammily

The Lammily doll took the Internet by storm after its wildly successful 2014 crowdfunding effort. Often called the "real Barbie," the doll line has been celebrated for its realistic body shape and an accessory sticker pack that allows children to make the dolls look more like themselves, with freckles, scars, acne and more.

Now kids can help their Lammily dolls prepare for a period with a Period Party accessory pack, which comes with a pamphlet, doll-size undies and reusable stickers in the shapes of pads and liners. Don't worry — these period packs, which will start shipping in November, don't cause the dolls to actually have periods (can you imagine trying to scrub that out of your carpet?), but instead it provides kids with the tools to understand the natural process of menstruation.

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Do you think period packs for fashion dolls are unnecessary? Weird? Gross? Well, you're probably (and unfortunately) not alone. Menstruation is still a strangely taboo topic that women grow up taking great pains to hide from everyone despite the fact that nearly every person who is born a female eventually experiences it on a regular basis.

In some areas of the world, girls on their periods are routinely shunned, some can't attend school during their periods because they don't have proper supplies, and even in the U.S., teens are told their periods are disgusting and unclean, which gives them a regrettable sense of shame about something that is healthy and normal. Even adult women, who have been menstruating for years, might feel uncomfortable walking up to a counter at Walmart with a package of tampons or pads in hand.

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Teaching a girl about periods, in the home, well before she starts menstruating, is key. While many parents can rely on their child's school to go over the basics when she gets to be 8 or 9, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing it yourself at home well before that — and it can actually be better that way so it's not a completely weird and foreign idea when it's brought up in health class. And while the average age of menarche (a girl's first period) is around 12 in the U.S., it can happen far earlier, even as young as 9, so preparing early is not a terrible idea.

MoreMenstruation-shaming has to end. Period.

Presenting period facts in a nonchalant, non-shaming way can go a long way toward helping your daughter grow up to not be totally embarrassed about being a girl. We as a society have a very long way to go toward improving attitudes toward menstruation (of particular note, remember the outright hostility and outrage a marathon runner who bled freely during a race received?), but teaching a child at a young age about periods will make a definite improvement in her life. And if you have sons, should you hide your daughter's period doll? Nope. They should be raised to understand that periods are a part of life, and period supplies don't necessarily need to be hidden or put away when they're around.

And as for Lammily, this groundbreaking fashion doll continues to destroy conventions, and we can't wait to see what they come up with next.