My Vagina? A deeper look at the bizarre names of 1980s Cabbage Patch Dolls
The recent viral TikTok video showcasing an 1980s Cabbage Patch Doll named "My Vagina" shined a light on just how strange some of the names given to these classic toys could be. But what led toy makers at Coleco to bestow such bizarre monikers on their fabric creations? And what does this odd naming convention say about toys, children and culture in the 1980s?
The cultural phenomenon of Cabbage Patch Kids
When Cabbage Patch Kids first hit shelves in the early 1980s, America was gripped by "cabbage patch fever". These plump-faced, yarn-haired dolls with unique names and adoption paperwork allowing children to feel as if they had "adopted" their doll from the Cabbage Patch captured hearts and imaginations. Production couldn't keep up with demand. By Christmas 1982, Cabbage Patch riots had broken out in stores as scuffles broke over the remaining dolls.
Part of the dolls' appeal was their hand-crafted appearance and sense of uniqueness. While some names like "Samantha" or "Emily" were quite typical, others strayed much further from the conventional. The random naming traditions helped foster that special bond between child and doll by giving each one a specially chosen name.
Loose standards and looser naming conventions
The strange names didn't come out of nowhere. Experts point to looser cultural standards of the 1980s as a contributing factor. With free-spirited attitudes prevailing, names like "Dolly Babs" or "Crystal Meth" seemed more amusing oddities than anything concerning. Meanwhile, overworked toy employees churning out dolls likely embraced the chance to flex their creativity, or lack thereof, with names.
With millions of dolls to name and pressure to ramp up production, quality control and naming oversight slipped through the cracks. Someone at Coleco clearly felt having a doll named "My Vagina" was acceptable - perhaps a drunk or disgruntled employee as speculated. Their lapse shows just how casual things were behind the scenes of toy factories in the 1980s.
A product of the times or just plain strange?
Were these bizarre names truly a sign that cultural standards had loosened, allowing for risqué or nonsensical names? Or was it simply indicative of slacker oversight in the crazy world of 1980s doll manufacturing? While attitudes were certainly freer in the era, naming a children's toy "My Vagina" seems to cross a line. Still, the name garnered chuckles rather than outrage at the time.
Whatever the reasons behind them, the wacky names gave the dolls charm and memorability. Even if some names like "My Vagina" push boundaries, they illustrate a bygone era when childhood was less scripted and toys were imbued with whimsy. They remind us that cultural norms are constantly evolving - just as those factory workers' naming standards clearly were too.
A look back with amusement and intrigue
As this viral TikTok shows, people can look back on oddities like the strange Cabbage Patch names with amusement rather than anger. It sparks fun conversations about the carefree 1980s era. While toys today have more oversight on content, there was a charming quirkiness back then seeing what creative - or questionable - names employees chose. Even if some make you laugh and scratch your head in disbelief, they remain an enduring artifact of the times.
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