Friday, February 23, 2007

On sexualizing girls

I'm against it, of course. I thought toe-nail polish was a sexual thing, but every other woman in my world did not and several painted my daughter's toes before she was four, so I couldn't hold that one back.

I am trying to stave off the Bratz, which have caught her attention. She knows I frown upon them--they're dolls with toddler bodies but teen heads, made up so that their eyelids are heavily painted and lips mimic botox-injected movie stars' lips, lined and darkly painted. They also wear clothes better left to post-pubescence. We can fight over clothes like that in a few more years. Her father has already ruled out gym shorts with a word in all-caps written over both cheeks.

Ooh, here's what the maker of Bratz says,
Isaac Larian, whose company makes the large-eyed, pouty-lipped Bratz dolls, says, "Kids are very smart and know right from wrong." What's more, his testing indicates that girls want Bratz "because they are fun, beautiful and inspirational," he wrote in an e-mail. "Not once have we ever heard one of our consumers call Bratz 'sexy.' " Some adults "have a twisted sense of what they see in the product," Larian says.
Well, parents who criticize your dolls as sexy probably aren't your customers! So, anyway, Bratz are on the low shelf at SuperTarget and it's birthday season, but I try to keep her eyes on other toys for gift purchases, like Doodle Bears. Now that's not controversial at all. Nobody ever called a Doodle Bear sexy.

Except maybe another Doodle Bear.

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

I totally agree on the gym shorts with words! There's no point other than to draw attention to perky little butts.

As for Bratz, I think the issue is that they very accurately immitate the sexualized pre-teens that abound everywhere these days. I can see the argument that they're designed to be cute and trendy alternatives to Barbie that won't inspire little girls to start a breast implant fund (Bratz were praised for their bodies when they first came out). But to claim they're not sexy is pretty dang blind...

When I have kids, I dread that stage. :(

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone is making a fortune from selling Bratz then their opinion isn't worth spit...and when that someone, Isaac Larian, says, "Some adults "have a twisted sense of what they see in the product..." I know for sure he is not only an idiot but also a person who has successfuly justified not only his bad taste but his part in ratcheting up the sexualizing of little girls another notch.


8:03 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Bratz were praised for their bodies when they first came out

That's very interesting. I see the point about regular girl bodies, but from my probably late-to-the-debate perspective, they immediately struck me as sexualized toddlers, ala JonBenet Ramsey.

Got my invite and it is so cool!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I'm glad you liked the invitation! They're printed on 100% recycled materials, which I think is the coolest part. It was hard to find a company that offered that without hiking the price up through the roof.

8:36 PM  

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