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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Bratz and Barbie (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Bratz and Barbie
-Lauren-
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I haven't seen this topic posted anywhere here, so I guess I'll give this a go.

Is ANYBODY besides me disgusted at the toys and dolls being marketed to young girls? I remember back when I was 6 or 7 and there was debate over Barbie dolls contributing to unrealistic views of the female body. Now they come out with these.. oh, how can I describe them? They market these super-skinny, Angelina-Jolie-lipped dolls now, which makes barbie look healthy. They have a TV show for said dolls that condone 9-10 year old girls to wear skimpy clothes and flirt! I really can't even voice how disgusted I am, really.

So I leave it up to you, ladies. What do you think of the over-sexation of products aimed towards our nation's girls?

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KittenGoddess
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quote:
Originally posted by Miss Lauren:
So I leave it up to you, ladies.

And everybody...because we've got folks of all sorts here.

(On perhaps a related issue, I'm quite freaked out by these large headed dolls that seem to be all the rage lately. I'm not sure what message we're trying to spend with those, but they look really really bizarre.)

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kitka
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Cripes! Those dolls' skirts are really short.

I'm in total agreement with you, Lauren.
I assume by "flirt" you mean the overtly sexualized variety, not the Tom Sawyer-putting-Becky's-braids-in-the-inkwell kind?

Bratz epitomize the 21st century girl--sassy and self-aware. Their high fashion and overt sex appeal capitalize on modern youth trends that threaten to make Mattel's Barbie seem like little more than "the doll mom used to play with."

That's part of their marketing logic. According to the Bratz website, one has to either "flaunt it or forget it." They suggest that a sophisticated girl would not wear "vintage t-shirts, pigtails, or sweaters," but instead wear a cropped shirt and hipsters.

Come on. You can't tell me that I wouldn't look sexy in my vintage AC-DC t-shirt and pigtails.

But I digress.
It's interesting that Barbies are a target of adolescent hostility - the University of Bath did a study in 2005, and concluded that many girls mutilate their Barbie dolls because they felt hostile to the ideal the toy represents. The Bratz dolls seems to be a move to a different kind of sensibility - urban chic?
I don't know. They represent a greater span of ethnicity than the Barbie dolls, which probably comprises part of their popularity.

Our society equates sexuality with maturity and achievement, and that's tied up with a decreased sense of the value of modesty and restraint (for both men and women). Many teenagers already feel pressure to conform and project the surety of adults. Today, they probably have more access to money than their counterparts 20 years ago, so they can actually afford to buy products that offer them a change to appear sophisticated. By treating them as independent adults, marketers avoid having to market to their parents as well.

The marketing of toys and dolls is on the same level as fashion advertising, ie Abercrombie.
The thought behind it - the immediate appeal of your physical body makes you popular and part of a larger group - caters to the fact that we as humans DO first size up others based on how they look in the context of what's attractive, and not necessarily what's useful.

Over-sexualizing is aimed at men as well. The guys in the Abercrombie catalog - well, I'll admit to finding those man pin-ups attractive in the physical sense. If my ex-boyfriend, say, didn't have washboard abs and he knew that those sorts of characteristics made me weak in the knees, he might think, "I'm not good enough for her! Why can't I be more masculine?" So it's damaging to men as well, but I'd argue that it's without the subtext of validating patriarchial ideals to which women are subject.

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Heather
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quote:
Over-sexualizing is aimed at men as well. The guys in the Abercrombie catalog - well, I'll admit to finding those man pin-ups attractive in the physical sense. If my ex-boyfriend, say, didn't have washboard abs and he knew that those sorts of characteristics made me weak in the knees, he might think, "I'm not good enough for her! Why can't I be more masculine?" So it's damaging to men as well, but I'd argue that it's without the subtext of validating patriarchial ideals to which women are subject.
KaPOW. Did you EVER hit that nail on the head.

I only have a minute (just moved in, tons of work to do), but on this topic, there's a really interesting chapter in Manifesta in which women talk about Barbie, et al. One of the most intersting parts, IMO, is some takes where the women describe playing with Barbie in such a way as to MOCK -- even unconsciously -- all the bullshit that the doll is; to subvert, to parody, etc.

It just adds an interesting dimension to concerns about this stuff per toys: in other words, a lot of girls are much less impressionable and far smarter than we think, and in some way, it's possible that dolls like this may actually provide opportunities to examine crappy beauty ideals that might not have existed so young otherwise.

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LilBlueSmurf
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I know this is probably not typical, but ...

I never saw Barbie as an ideal i had to live up to. I really didn't have much of an imagination as a kid (my sister had to twist my arm to play house w/ her), and i only played with Barbies/dolls for a few years ... By the time i was 8 or so, i'd moved on.

And who has breasts or a waistline like Barbie at 8? Certainly not me. Certainly not anyone i knew. It wasn't something for me to live up to b/c it just didn't seem attainable AT ALL. Why bother?

However, I do see young girls that are seriously affected by this stuff. One of my young cousins was 10 and already wearing makeup and clothes too old for her and talking about boys. And yes, THAT bothers me. It is sad to think that anyone would think they need to live up to that. Barbie's plastic. Barbie would not menstruate if she were real (on top of all her other issues she's have). Menstruating is good.

As much as it sucks, i think this is something we need to put into the hands of the parents. I think it is okay to allow children to play with less-than-realistic dolls provided they know that Barbie (etc) is not real. Some education per self esteem and body image as some of the ground roots per health education wouldn't be a bad start either.

... B/c that is the problem, isn't it? Self esteem and poor body image ...? Did the doll create the poor self esteem/body image or are their other issues going on? Doll or no doll, if you have family telling you you're too fat/short/skinny/whatever, you may be out (re: healthy body image) before you ever get a fair shot.

I also agree that some kids are way smarter than we give them credit for. The best thing for MY body image growing up? Living with my younger sister and mom ... W/ body image and self esteem going from bad to worse. And knowing that I never EVER EVER wanted to even think about myself some of the things they said about themselves.

I ALSO think it's way too easy to just blame the doll and 'wash your hands' of the issue. The doll is not real and many young girls realize this. I think it's important to actually ASK where these young girls are getting their ideas regarding what a young woman should look like, how they should act, etc... It may not be the dolls at all. Again, it MAY be, and advocating for more realistic dolls and the discussion of self esteem/body image as part of health education is only going to help, either way.

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September
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I think it's often the case that girls use these dolls to act out situations they've seen happening around them and therefore having the dolls emulate certain behaviours, as opposed to being influenced by the dolls themselves. In which case the dolls themselves wouldn't really be any huge sort of an influence, either way. Not to mention that kids tend to realize that what they're doing is playing.

My own Barbie phase was very very short, somewhere between transformers and Matchbox cars, and all I remember is being constantly annoyed at the fact that you couldn't dress them up without having to take them apart. I don't remember ever pondering if Barbie's figure was in any way attainable.

I would have also said that kids in that age range don't usually think about their bodies in that way, period, but I recently found out that I was wrong on that. A friend who teaches in Kindergarten told me about some of her girls (aged 4 and 5) who have started to refuse foods or only eat foods that aren't "bad" for fear of gaining weight. She knows their mothers and says she's sure they're imitating the mothers behaviour.

[ 04-02-2006, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: September ]

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faifai
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I don't ever recall wanting to be like my Barbie doll in terms of how she looked--10-13 years ago, they didn't have any "Indian" Barbie that actually looked Indian (she was just a brown-skinned version of white Barbie), so I guess in some part of my head I knew I couldn't look like Barbie if I tried. I used Barbie just as a toy.

So, it seems really weird to me that anyone could be affected by a toy to the extent where they're dieting to look like it.

However, Bratz seem to do a one-two punch because they look unrealistic (big head big head big head!), dress unrealistically, and also act in a manner no 8 year old should imitate. I don't know how old Bratz are supposed to be (maybe teenage?), but Barbie is clearly an adult doll, and her whole image is that of a very wholesome, "nice girl". A Bratz doll is, well, kind of a brat. That's what I find more alarming than how her body looks.

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feefiefofemme
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I think Bratz dolls are disgusting. They're ugly, the kind of attitude they promote is irritating, and, well... they're just plain annoying!

Barbies, on the other hand, I don't think are so bad. I always liked the Dolls of the World collection, and I played with them until I was 11 or 12. To me, Barbies never represented the ideal woman. When I played with them, it wasn't ever about them being pretty, it was about them giving me the means to act out all the stories locked up inside my head. I liked to pretend that one of my Barbies was a princess, but that an evil uncle was after her and so she had to run away and disguise herself as a man. Oftentimes, she came back, still in disguise, and saved the lives of her family and subjects. Or sometimes she would be kidnapped by some sort of devil-like character, but then would make him (or her, as I got older) fall in love with her. They'd live happily ever after, the end. The time I spent playing with my Barbies was always a lot of fun. In truth, I liked the idea behind American Girl dolls better, but they were too big to handle easily, and so not as much fun. But in any case, Barbies were an outlet for my creativity, nothing more. As I got older, I transferred the stories I acted out with them onto paper, and I've become something of an aspiring writer since.

Anywho, the whole point of that was: I don't think Barbies or Bratz or whatever else are so much of an influence on young girls, if their parents emphasize to them that they aren't realistic (or healthy) potrayals of the female body. I think they should be viewed with caution, but not blamed for girls' low self esteem. I think, on the whole, it's parents that are to be blamed for that.

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Gumdrop Girl
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Like Smurf, I never really held onto Barbie as much of an ideal. My reasoning was that I never truly identified with Barbie. She was tall, blonde haired and blue eyed. I'm short, with black hair and brown eyes (don't even get me started on the marginalization of Asians in American popular culture). Sure she was pretty, and she had nifty clothes. But that was about it.

The Bratz, however, irritate me in a whole different kind of way. Barbie at least pretended to have some kind of ambition. She was an Olympic skater, a doctor, a teacher, and astronaut and a whole lot of other things (including fast food employee?).

What do Bratz do? They wear trashy clothes and dont appear to have jobs not go to school. They epitomize supericial consumer culture. They buy stuff. They make kids want to buy stuff. But they serve no more useful purpose. Their attitude, their edge, is in the form of smug selfishness. The world revolves around them because they ... are ... BRATZ.

That kind of mindset, that imprint it leaves on children, is deplorable because it's contributing to a generation of selfish, soulless, empty fashionistas. That's the kind of influence young people don't need.

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Kaybie87
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I remember reading about this topic in Time magazine... or was it Newsweek.

I agree that the image and attitude that the Bratz dolls project is not one I would want any young girl to aspire to. However one thing I do like about them is that they don't come in one blue-eyed, blonde-haired kind (with Barbie's of other races coming in as an afterthought. When I look back at my childhood I wish that I had been able to play with dolls that looked like me. Dolls with dark-skin and kinky hair. I think that years of brushing Barbie's long blonde, soft, straight hair can't have given me a healthy view of my own hair.

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Gwaihir
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Heh.. .I remember mutilating my barbies when I was a kid, but not because I was hostile to them. . I just liked chewing on their feet because they were. . chewy. (I was a strange child)

Apart from that, I was never particularly interested in dolls, so I have no idea what these "bratz" are. . then I went and checked out their site and I can pretty much plainly say that these dolls creep the hell out of me. Their faces are just terrifying. .. There's only so many different ways to distort the human face without it looking unnerving and the doll designers definitely didn't succeed. Everything else about them is just unpleasant and, well. . bratty.

I do remember a series of dolls my sister used to buy called Groovy Girls which looked more like classic soft plushie dolls that came in different races, I believe, and just wore natural clothing like jeans and shirts and the shirts had logos on them, like "you go, girl!" and "girl power" and whatnot. At least the ones my sister had, did, so at least not all dolls out there are sending a distorted unhealthy image to kids.

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-Lauren-
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You guys are right on the dot. I certainly didn't mean that EVERY girl who comes into contact with these dolls is going to have low self-esteem or get the wrong idea about the ideal body image of women, but I have seen a disturbing number of young cousins in my family be affected by it. My 10 year old female cousin is already demanding to shop at trendy clothing stores and wearing makeup (I mean *makeup*, not like stuff from cute "princess dress-up" kits). And you can bet that on Christmas she recieved these dolls, as well as britney spears/hilary duff merchandise. I'll bet you can infer how I feel about real-life fashion dolls, eh?

It's also about the general attitude these dolls promote.. like being a brat is something to aspire to. I encourage those of you who wish to learn more to watch the television show (Bratz), for those with american TV. I believe it comes on saturday mornings around 10 or 11 on the fox network.

You'd see much more in depth what I'm talking about.
o.o

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lizenny
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To be totally honest, Barbie bored the crap out of me. The few Barbie dolls that I had (that I didn't throw away when no one was looking) were either forced on me, or given as gifts by well meaning family friends who didn't know I couldn't stand them.

All my dolls were good for was supposedly standing there (correction, they couldn't stand period) looking pretty, which I thought they didn't do very well anyway. I don't know what makeovers the Barbies of today have undergone but the ones from my day had these humongous V shaped torsos with huge cone shaped breasts and a GIGANTIC head with a dumb and somehow creepy look on its face...sexy.

I remember looking at these dolls thinking "...but it doesn't do anything."
Having these dolls pushed on me constantly had me thinking that this was all that the people who gave them to me wanted me to be and that for girls the only thing that had any value period was looking pretty and that no other strengths really mattered. So having no tolerance for boredom, I decided I'd rather beat the crap out of Master Shredder. Turtle Power!

Bratz...oy. Those things annoy me to no end. However, marketing-wise the idea is genius...that is if making money is your absolute sole purpose at the expense of a generation of girls. This looks to me like an example of commercialism at its most concentrated.
In comparison to these new girlie-gremlin creatures Barbie had ZERO personality but it at least allowed you to use your imagination in that respect. I believe that it's not just an image that's for sale in this case. The makers of Bratz are selling a toy, an image and an attitude: specifically an attitude that would best drive these girls to want and value nothing more than to follow trends and therefore buy more crap = CHA-CHING for all who are pushing the stuff including the makers of Bratz.

Call me paranoid but that's how I see it.

[ 04-03-2006, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: lizenny ]

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prospero's_daughter
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Just to add my two cents (or two pence, as I'm English)...
I completely agree with what a lot of people have said here already, and seeing Bratz in the shops really bothers me. I played with Barbie when I was younger and never found it (her?!) to be a negative influence...as has already been said, she may have an unrealistic figure and we could debate for ages about the effects on the self-esteem of young girls. However she seems to me to promote 'niceness' to children, when compared to the horribly bratty Bratz. Even the name bugs me, it says it all..being selfish and spoiled isn't something to brag about!
Further from this, I hate when I go through a department store and see in the kids' section just miniature versions of everything the 16/17 year olds are wearing. It just really disturbs me..kids are young, they shouldnt be worrying about makeup and boys. When I was little, we all loved wearing beautiful party dresses, and now it seems to all be about who can show the most skin.

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dailicious
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Was I the only one who played with American Girl dolls as a little girl?

As far as dolls go, I've always felt that those were some of the very best in terms of reality- since the dolls actually looked more like a little girl should (small boddy, arms and legs and body not unhumanly thin but looking like they still had a bit of baby fat, round happy faces, etc.) not to mention that while they all looked more or less similar, they had various differences for a few races for each of the characters and the make-your-own dolls they sold (different eye, hair, and skin colors anywhere from very peachy pale to very dark, different hair textures, wider and thinner noses, thinner and rounder eyes, etc.)

They also encouraged girls to read and learn (although fairly well blurred over) a little bit of history since each girl came with her own set of stories set in whatever time period they were supposed to originate from.

I know they still exist, but they were only ever a catelogue-order item so it's not like they get the same attention as the companies who can mass-market much worse toys. It's really sad to see, that, too. I know if I ever have a daughter I'd want to try and encourage her to play with meaningful toys that help expand her sense of imagination (seriously, you can make up a million stories with dolls like American Girl dolls... but what can you do with Bratz? "Oooh, let's go to the mall! Now let's get our nails done! Now let's laugh and giggle about boys and girls who aren't as cool as we are! Tee-hee!" Seriously) and don't put a serious insult on her level of intelligence. Geez.

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feefiefofemme
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American Girl dolls, I think, are great. They're just incredibly expensive and take up an awful lot of space. I think there's something a little... off about paying the same amount for a doll shirt as I would for a shirt for myself. But the image they present is certainly a good one. I think they're rather refreshing in a world of Bratz and infants in mini skirts. (Seriously, I went to Nordstrom the other day and they were selling leopard print micro minis and leather boots for six-month-olds.)
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DarkChild717
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I did, and still do, have a thing for dolls and miniature things. I always wanted an American Girl doll, but my parents could never afford one.

So, I played with Barbie.

My favorite was the ballerina one. Not because of what she was, but because she was fully articulated. Most of my barbies were. I also had the Gymnast Stacy. However, none of my barbies led conventional lives. I made them mummys, witches, Amazon warriors...They were always kicking Ken's butt. Or rather, Joey's but, as I was playing with dolls when NKOTB were big. Coincidently, I learned to tie a noose playing with my barbies.

Every so often I get the urge to buy myself a barbie, and remember what it was like, to sit in my room and just play. I get some of that now, as a fan of LEGO, but it's not quite the same.

Bratz are...interesting. I know them only because my niece was really into them for a while, and I purchased a few for her. To me, they were just freaky looking dolls. At the very least, they didn't attepmt realism. These were clearly caricatures.

Dai, I'd like to argue your point, though, about the Bratz dolls. Many kids have the right combination to go above and beyond the shipped, marketed storyline. In that retrospect, I think an imaginative child could do as much with a Bratz doll as with an American Girl doll. Though, for pure nostalgia, I'd go with American Girl.

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likewhoa19
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This may not be typical, but I have heard similar stories. I played with lots of barbies, and I thought they were pretty, but my barbies were not typical culturally and I didn't compare myself to them physically. They were, however, sometimes kinky, sometimes evil, usually strong women. This was when I was about 10. I guess you could say I had an active imagination as a child. My barbies always acted out these complicated, dark dramas. However, I have always had difficulty and a tendency to compare myself to other girls, and that tendency probably hurts more than any stupid doll or even stupid magazine add.
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Peaches44
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if we're bashing children's toys for sending young girls the wrong message then these little dolls don't really top my list. I remember when I was a little girl the toys that I got were basically "little houswife in training" toys. I had a plastic kitchen where I could cook for all the little babies that I had with their strollers and bottles and diapers. I had a washing machine and dryer set so I could clean the babies clothes. In my neighborhood the boys all went outside and played sports and climbed trees and the girls stayed inside pretending to have tons of kids. Not that there is anything wrong with being a home-maker and a mother, but that shouldn't be the only lifestyle that is represented by children's toys.

It hasn't changed either, there are SO many toys that show girls how to take care of a house and babies. And the babies are getting more realistic too...now that is creepy...giving girls the idea that taking care of a baby is so easy, no wonder so many young teenage girls think that they are ready for kids when they really aren't. They've been playing mommy for years...they just want a more realistic baby now.

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Heather
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Again, personally, I think toys in general are pretty limited in having a huge effect on child development.

But I'm not sure that dolls which present women as mothers are somehow worse or more negative than dolls which present young women as strippers-in-training (especially since it's safe to say that overall, globally, women who are mothers are far more protected/valued in culture than women who are porn stars or club vultures).

After all, somewhere around 80% of the women of the world WILL be mothers, many of them electively (and girls aren't the only ones who play with those dolls, either). And I'm a lot more comfortable with THAT idea, just per women's well-being and self-esteem and value, than I am were those 80% likely to be streetwalkers.

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Gumdrop Girl
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I have an idea: by LEGO toys from now on if you're gonna buy a kid a gift. And not the pink box LEGOs or theme kits either. Buy them the good ol' fashioned blue bucket with the plain blocks.

I can honestly say, since I was 4, LEGO was my favorite toy. i still love them.

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-Lauren-
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LEGO's rock, Gumdrop Girl!

Alternately, I'm fed up to the point of considering taking a vinyl/plastic sculpting class. Make some dolls with real bodies, and sew some sensible yet cute outfits for them. Or revert back to the paper dolls pioneer families made way back when. Anything but this Bratz/MyScene crap. And with a niece on the way! Oy.

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Sarah303
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theres always the sub conscious that needs to be taken into account. ideas that penetrate us on what being a woman is all about can affect us without us really knowing.
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Heather
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I was never a girl-doll playing kid myself, period.

Really, we were poor enough that most of our toys were either hand-me-downs or we'd handmake them ourselves, something that I'm glad for, really.

But when we did get stuff, I was always a big fan of plain old stuffed animals: I think by virtue of getting them hand-me-down, I was obsessed with their history, where they came from, where they were made, resulting in friends of our family bringing me some strange antique doll, animal or toy when they found it.

I love that scene in Toy Story 2 with the toy surgeon, because it made me all nostalgic for lovingly doing "surgery" on old toys that needed mending. I had more than one stuffed thing that got a heart transplant with a little hand-stiched pink heart.

No kids in this household save the pug, but when I buy toys for friend's kids, or for myself anf friends, I'm a big fan of the Uglydolls (http://www.uglydolls.com/). [Smile] Round here, we've been gathering them as a strange self-representation ritual: there's an over-thinking, multi-tasker I was very happy to find.

(And yeah: legos seriously rule.)

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likewhoa19
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I love legos, but didn't have patience for them until I was like 12. Ninja turtle dolls, now, seriously ruled -boys toys were always more exciting. I had race cars, ninja turtles, and a lot of things action-oriented. I'd like to see a line of action-figures aimed at girls. And not ones that look like Laura Croft, with sexualized body and clothing, either. Ones that looked like a diversity of girls, but outfitted for going on adventures like boy-oriented action figures. Yeah, that would be cool. And maybe they could even have male counterparts outfitted with a baby sling and cooking utensils, in case girls did want to play house.

Oh, and I have a fun fact for all you Barbie-haters: the original doll which became Barbie was actually a German sex toy. Mattell bought the rights to the doll's image and it became a girls' toy in the US.

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Boldly Obscure
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I don't think that dolls of any kind, whether they are Bratz or Barbies, can really be blamed for the image problems that we have in this world. Although they do not present positive role models or acheivable physiques, we cannot completely dismiss the value of imaginiative playing. As long as children are aware that Barbies and Bratz have neither real nor desirable bodies, and are given positive influence from other sources they should grow up just fine.
Personally, I have never even thought about comparing myself to Barbie because she is not real. As a young child, I found her to be exceptionally boring because she didn't do anything cool and her hair was too thick to put into braids. Beanie Babies were way more fun! They didn't come with any guidelines, so you could pretty much make up whatever you wanted in terms of story line, personality traits etc. Also they were a great collector's item so if undamaged could potentially be worth some money in the future.
The thing that i don't like about the Bratz dolls are the attitudes of the characters. They are mean, shallow and encourage negative stereotypes. However, I think that we should remember that young people are not as easily influenced by the media as we might think- they hardly listen to their parents, and most are extremely curious and inquisitive. As long as they have people to interact with, playing with unrealistic dolls is not going to seriously change their outlook on life.

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summergoddess
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I never saw Barbie as an ideal i had to live up to. I really didn't have much of an imagination as a kid (my sister had to twist my arm to play house w/ her), and i only played with Barbies/dolls for a few years ... By the time i was 8 or so, i'd moved on.

^^I am the same way. I didn't idol myself against Barbie or anything. Actually, I didn't let anything be of a model to what i was then and it still stands today. I just be myself naturally both on the inside and the outside. I don't do anything to my bodies. I'm not skinny, i don't have any surgical work on me (that includes body piercing, tattoos, and the like).

I have the same belief as Miz S. I don't think that toys especially Barbie or Bratz dalls have a big effect on child development as well.

I think girls get their influence somewhere else. I think they get the pressure from their family, close peers and let themselves belief in the media's exploitation and society's standards.

[ 04-12-2006, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: summergoddess ]

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feefiefofemme
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When I was really little, my mum used to buy (or make) for me these little (about the size of your thumb) faceless dolls out of wood or cloth. She thought that they encouraged kids to be creative and didn't restrict them to having the dolls show only certain emotions (most dolls' perpetual smiles have always annoyed me). My mum has always been a firm believer in not doing anything that could possibly hinder a child's creativity. For several years of my life, she absolutely refused to buy me colouring books. : ) I don't know whether or not I believe that kind of stuff really has a drastic impact on kids, but it's a little hard when my mum was so against it.
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PenguinBoy
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I saw a cool doll t'other day, got my rugby coach to buy it for his daughter, it was like a featureless doll, with pens and stamps so you could draw eyes and ears on her her and lips and stuff... and material so you could make clothes for her.

Little girls want to be teenagers, it's natural. I dno how to coment about bratz, cos i'm a lad, and my memories of such things are "girls are smelly", and that was that. All girl toy adverts do my head in, atleast the brats have got some attitude, rather than "happy happy smiley girly yuck".

Lego rocked my world! they keep bringing out random lego things that don't actually have any blocks in them, they look really boring and easy, so lego try to create subplots for them. I haven't bought any lego for ages, I'm thinking of buying a humungus set for a super project.

gots to go eat, cya

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logic_grrl
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Little girls want to be teenagers, it's natural.

Funny, when I was a little girl, I wanted an Action Man (UK equivalent of GI Joe, for those of you in the US) ...

You'll find here that we tend to discourage sweeping generalizations about "natural" differences, because they're just that - generalizations, and usually innaccurate.

If you read through this thread, you'll see a whole lot of women and girls commenting on how they didn't "naturally" enjoy "girls' toys" at all, or used them in very unconventional ways.

And there are plenty of boys who are interested in "girls toys", or would be if they weren't told it was embarrassing for them to be.

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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PenguinBoy
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yeah, but i'm saying that it's nothing to worry about. I was more trying to say that it wastn't UN-natural.

I wasn't trying imply that girls who didn't were some form of un-natural beings.

I DID read this thread and agree with allot of people who've said that parenting has a far bigger influence on children than their play things.

Action Man was a bit too pricey for me... sticks and stones and grass give me some of my fondest memories.

[ 04-14-2006, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: PenguinBoy ]

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MissSmarty
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I agree that the Bratz dolls are way too sexy. I feel like marketers are just trying to make a buck and are capitalizing on the pop culture invasion that has already influenced young girls towards overt sexuality. I was in the 8th grade when Britany Spears and the likes started coming out. The thing was I wasn't the only one noticing her sexy clothes and toned Abs. I would go to the movies and see these little girls seven or eight tops dressed in mini skirts, their bellies showing, hair straitened, lips glossed, and acceserized to the max. They had sell phones and were flirting with boys. It was just too much.

Advertisors know what works and they are pushing it with barbie dolls and everything they can to young girls and tweens. Young girls don't have a large frame of reference and they are often taken advantage of.

I know that barbies are not causing society problems, but it is interesting to see how they have evolved just as young girls have.

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-Lauren-
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Just what I was thinking, MissSmarty.

I feel like these dolls are reinforcing this popculture image of women. I'm sure lots of girls just use them as regular dolls, like they use barbies in unconventional ways, but the thing is: parents and family buy them because they're "in".

When girls are being bombarded from all ends by MTV, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, and just generally superficial nonsense, these dolls definately don't help, especially if parents are allowing their kids to do all this.

I'm personally appaled by a recent commercial I saw for MyScene dolls that had some sort of song about "bling-bling" playing in the background, the dolls with fancy jewelery, provocative clothes, and driving a fancy car. I can't believe what a materialistic attitude they're promoting.

Okay! I've finally found it. My main complain about Bratz and other newer fashion dolls are the philosophy. It's not so much the slutty clothes (that, too); it's the entire attitude and materialistic ideal that they promote. I really think that girls could do without them, given the current pop culture trends.

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PenguinBoy
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I know what ya mean. There should be a "lets just hang out and be groovy" barbie, who wears scrappy clothes has a baby gut, podgy cheeks, and likes to make things.

According to a coach at my rugby club, his daughter doesn't like barbie cos it's too mainstream. and she's 7. 7 year olds care about mainstream? cool.

So long as children have their talents encouraged and thier creativity enforced and their questions answered as well as possible. Then i'm pretty content.

quote:
Originally posted by MissSmarty:
Advertisors know what works and they are pushing it with barbie dolls and everything they can to young girls and tweens. Young girls don't have a large frame of reference and they are often taken advantage of.

what do you mean by a large frame of reference?

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MissSmarty
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A frame of reference is something that we all have. Frames of reference can be parents, life experiences, people we have met, religion, places we have been, fads we have seen come and go. The longer we live the more we see and the more we see the more we know certain things. When young girls have limited life expereinces and limited people telling them that is not important (materialism, dressing sexy, bling bling) but this is important they are more succeptible to falling into what the media says. A lot of kids these days have television as a babysitter.
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