Thursday, April 26, 2007

Not 'My Scene'

Have you ever heard the criticisms about Barbie dolls? That they give girls unrealistic body expectations? Or that Barbie is so drastically anatomically dysfunctional that an actual woman with Barbie’s figure wouldn’t even be able to stand up?

Barbie has been under fire since her debut in 1959 and the criticism only escalated with every generation of thinking women that followed. While Barbie does indeed perpetuate the blonde-bombshell stereotype that has unquestionably contributed to countless eating disorders, low self-esteem complexes, and the objectifying societal view of women, it is time to turn our objections towards a much worse adversary.

The My Scene dolls (also a Mattel product) and the Bratz dolls have taken the image of the female gender to an all time low. These dolls, which are targeted to females in the “tween” category (the age between children and teenagers), not only blatantly glorify the notion of women as nothing more than sex vehicles, but contribute to the ever-increasing sexualizing of younger and younger females.

Marketed to preteens under the guise of being “trendy” and possessing a “passion for fashion,” these dolls are decked out in nothing more than lewd hooker getups, complete with see-through fishnet tanks, thigh-high boots, mini-skirts barely covering their privates and gaudy makeup that would even make a porn star think twice. Girls traveling through the awkward process of puberty are too vulnerable and buckled down with uncertainty and self-consciousness to grasp the detrimental message hidden beneath their scantily-clad playmates.

While Barbie may promote unachievable beauty standards, My Scene and Bratz dolls encourage the outright sexualizing of preteen girls. If it is acceptable for My Scene and Bratz dolls produced for children to wear skimpy, suggestive outfits, then why would the girls who own them think twice about wearing such outfits?

These dolls only further the awakening of a distorted awareness of sexuality in girls who are neither old enough nor responsible enough to deal with the consequences that come from emulating the clothing, makeup, or mindset of this brand of demeaning trash. Innocence and naivety are already stolen from children too often as a result of premature exposure to media and products aimed toward adults; must we directly taint them with toys designed for their entertainment and admiration?

These irresponsible money-hungry companies display no concern for the marketing of superficial stereotypes and the degradation of women. My Scene and Bratz dolls just further spoon feed these damaging lies to yet another generation of young girls.


DeeAnn said...

I'll never forget the time when Emily was 5 and got a Bratz doll in her Happy meal (not common either) and it was wearing a tube top and some Daisy Duke shorts. She said, "Mommy, this Barbie is wearing high-heel shoes with her bathing suit!" It's sad when the real clothes are mistaken for swimwear. I'm not a total prude mom, but it could be why the 12-year-olds are so scantally dressed at the mall on Sunday afternoons.

gordo said...

I don't know much about psychology, but anthropologically speaking, childrens dolls have historically served as a sort of "training aid". "Back in the day" to use the vernacular, young girls were given dolls when they were very young to teach then some of the principles they would need to be effective mothers later in life.
Anyone here with a young (7 and under) daughter can attest to the fact that if you give a young girl a doll, she will most likely pretend to do three things with it. 1)feed it, 2)change it's diaper (wether or not it came with one and 3) put it to bed for a nap.

Give em a doll that's dressed like a tramp...what do you think they're going to learn? Don't worry though, the government has taken care of the problem!...she'll get free condoms in High School.