Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So Long, Barbie

Do you ever get mad at society in general at something that really is rather pointless? I'm not talking about the big issues, but small things that, in the grand scheme of life, amounts to very little?

Well, I'm in that boat right now. And I suppose part of this is because my daughter is getting old enough to make frequent visits to the "pink aisle" in the toy stores. It used to be I'd follow my sons down row after row of action figures and light sabers and Legos. But now, I have to throw in dolls, and doll furniture, and doll books, and clothes that you can dress up in to make you look like your doll.

And it is there, in the pink aisle, where society has gone inexplicitly wrong. Okay, so it was a bit upsetting to learn that Barbie and Ken broke up a couple years ago. What's up with that? Isn't there commitment? Why couldn't Ken just pop the question?

But it isn't Barbie that I'm concerned about. Barbie is old-school. I'm talking about Barbie's commercial nemesis, the Bratz dolls.

I'm sure you must be aware of them. They are everywhere, even popping up on t-shirts these days. Where there used to be a rull row of Barbies, you now have Bratz.

The name alone infuriates me. Who, in their right mind, would want their daughters owning a doll that seems to glorify "brat-dom"? But, no, that's not bad enough.

Remember all the complaints about Barbie? About her impossibly perfect figure? Well, magnify that with Bratz, with a figure that is downright insulting. And the clothing? We might as well start teaching our girls the art of becoming a prostitute! Dress like a slut, live like a brat. It is the "me" generation, and this doll...

Okay, calming down. See, it truly does infuriate me. But I'm not just mad at the sick minds that decided Bratz was a good idea. They, at least, had the almighty dollar influencing them. What really makes me mad is that the public seems to be rewarding that decision. Bratz are enormously successful, and that only happens because people are buying them!

Can't people see the problem with these Bratz? It is instilling a mindset in young girls about how they should dress. And the clothes they, themselves, dress in follows. I, frankly, can't believe the clothes young girls are wearing these days.

Where are the protests? I would think both the conservative Christian as well as ultra-liberal feminist, and everyone in between, would be outraged at these things. Sexualizing girls like this. It is crazy!

And so what does this mean for Barbie, who I always felt dressed a bit too provocatively anyhow? It means she is losing ground. So, what does Mattel do? They come out with a new Barbie that looks suspiciously like a Bratz doll!

Well, so long, Barbie. Your days are numbered. Bratz are planning to take over the world. God help us all.

4 comments:

Megan said...

Ryan, I couldn't agree with you more. Bratz dolls annoy me to no end.

Keith said...

Ryan:
It's funny that my youngest son used to avoid the "pink aisle" like the plague... and we used to use the exact same term to describe it.

I also agree with your assessment of Bratz dolls... why parents would encourage this behavior is beyond me.

I was with my oldest son on his college campus earlier this week. Some (thankfully, not all) of the girls have definately learned the art of dressing like a prostitute.

Good luck raising good morale kids in this environment. It's definately doable, but requires ALOT of work.

Minnesota Nice said...

When I was shopping for b'day gifts for my 5 year old niece, her mother had said "anything but Bratz dolls" and I had no idea what they were. They are hideous.
(I settled for the PlayDough Fun Factory instead).

Lexie Ward said...

Hey, you will be encouraged to know that longer shirts are coming back in vogue. I was so relieved to see this when I took my teen and pre-teen daughter shopping before school started. And believe it or not, so were they. It had gotten almost impossible to find a shirt that covered the belly without going a size too large.