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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Bratz and Barbie (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Bratz and Barbie
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Although I was kind of a "Tom-boy" like character & always wore a baseball cap growing up, from about 5 I played with & collected Barbie dolls. My Mum, Aunties & I would discuss the unrealistic bodies on the Ken & Barbies even when I was that young, I just understood that people AREN'T like that. I guess I never thought to aspire to Barbie because I knew no one is really like that.. I already had the blonde hair/blue eyes thing going on but I didn't really care/think about it too much I guess.

The bad thing is that these dolls & similar things (little girls magazines & clothes) are actually messing girls up. I can't count the amount of young (6-13) year old girls that I've seen wearing tiny skirts, halter tops, sexy clothes & all sorts of horrible suggestive looking clothing.. I hope to God if I ever have a daughter that she doesn't want to look that way.

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this is a great topic! [Smile]

bratz-ick. what happened to teddy bears ging on adventures through the hedge and the mud?
i loved playing with toy animals. i suppose i did like playing with barbie too but thats because i liked to play with her hair and al the games had my animals in them.

by the way thanks for the awesome uglydolls link Ms.Scarlet-I'm sending it to everyone! [Smile]

Nothing is right, but its perfect

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I totally didn't realize what I started when I mentioned LEGO. It's really awesome to see so many positive comments about it. With that said, I'll throw out another question:

In the online LEGO community, there's a discussion as to why there are so few female AFOL's or ALE (Adult Fan of Lego and Adult Lego Enthusiast). Yet here, there's sentiment that LEGO is a far better toy for younger girls than barbies or other dolls. What do you suppose are various reasons for this shift? What do you think the toy market for girls is like, in general, as far as telling boys and girls what sort of toys to play with in regards to the respective genders?

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Some of the better toys marketed towards girls focus on female empowerment and young girls doing important things. A lot of "girly toys", though, really do nothing except tell girls that they should want to grow up fast, have big boobs, super-long legs, and a non-existant waist, and dress like prostitutes.

Toys marketed towards boys tend to center more on building, adventure, and promoting physical prowess. The commercials for things like LEGO, Power Rangers, Transformers, and Hotwheels cars (all of which I loved as a kid) are often filled with loud, rumbling sound effects and yelling, and almost always picture only boys in the commercial. Toys like Barbie, Bratz, and all those peel-off nail polishes and hair products (which aren't really toys, but are marketed to little girls as if they were) have commercials filled with pink, whiney voices, and six-year-olds in make-up. It's pretty obvious, I think, what they're trying to promote as far as gender stereotypes go.

In regards to LEGO (and Playmobile as well, though that doesn't have as much of a cult following), when I was younger and still played with it frequently, everything was so much more simple. They were the brightly coloured blocks and basic, no-frills people. The really cool extra stuff that everyone wanted was things like windows and doors and roof pieces that snapped into the blocks so you could make houses. Then, some of the really lucky kids had LEGO horses and swords. It was very straightforward, and there was a lot of room for creativity. You could build pretty much anything out of just those little blocks. Now, most of their products are fancier than the technology in sci-fi movies. And there are all these plotlines and pre-written stories behind each toy line. Some of the things are awesome, yes, and my brother and I both lust after them, but there's just not as much possibility when it comes to imagining things. It's more restricted, even though it's more high-tech. I don't know. This makes me sound like an old fart, but sometimes I just miss the old stuff.

On another subject, I noticed recently that they've eliminated the female Power Rangers action figures. When I used to play with them, the white, yellow, and pink ones were girls and the green, blue, and red ones were boys. And the girls were cool! They had muscles and shiny helmets and kicking action and all kinds of fun stuff. But recently, I went to the store looking to buy some of the female ones for my brother, and they were gone. I found a white one, but it was an abnormally huge, buff guy (not to say that buff guys are abnormal, but this thing had, like, a 40-pack), and the pink one was simply not there at all. I was really frusturated, to say the least.

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When I was younger, I never played Barbies by myself (there was this one time I got a Barbie with rollar skates and the skates made sparks, so I was content with that for a while)

Anyways, I always used to play Barbies with my friend. We'd gather up our favorite Barbies with some closes and spend hours dressing up the dolls and trading clothes. I was amazed at how many little outfits came with a Barbie. One of my friends had a small tote filled with forty or so Barbies and a larger tote filled with clothes... man, I was in heaven! We'd divide all the clothes, picking one piece at a time until they were all gone... sometimes we'd never even get to play with the dolls, since we spent most of the time dressing up.

In the fifth grade, Barbie became kind of a twisted game... my one friend, the friend with the forty dolls, we'd always have a good game... she'd choose the hip and trendy doll, one of the newer versions, while I chose the prettiest and we made them live a good life. When I played with my other friend.. I was still the good, pretty Barbie, but my friend made her Barbie a stripper and my Ken doll cheated on me with her and someone would end up pregnant... and that's when I'd stop playing because my Barbie wasn't allowed to live a good life.

Back before that though (and even during the twisted stage) I never wanted to be Barbie... I just wanted my life to be like the situations I'd made up. With the Bratz dolls though... sure I look at them now and think "What are they thinking, selling that to young girls?!?!" but I can't really comment on it because I haven't grown up with it. Not every girl is going to want to be like a Bratz doll.

Whoever posted about the lego... you rock. I love lego. I'd still play with it if it weren't packed away.

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I love this topic!

When I was younger, I never really thought about aspiring to the ideals of a "Barbie" boby, either. I remember playing with Barbies with my next-door neighbor, and we would make all of our Barbies bisexual. See, at first, Ken and Barbie would be married or something and he catches her kissing Katrina. Or something like that.

One thing that's really annoying (and I'm thinking of this now because it happened today when my boyfriend's mother took him, his little sister and I to get food) is how McDonald's has separate toys for boys and girls. Today, it was Polly Pockets and Hummers. They asked his mother at the window, "For a boy or a girl?". It really irritated me. I mean, when I was five, like his sister, I wasn't too into cars but I rather liked Polly Pockets, but that wasn't I was a girl. It varies from child to child.

My boyfriend's little sister is a prime example of how media effects little girls, IMO. Before, I put on a pair of 3D glasses, and she asked me if she looked weird. I said she looked all discoloured. Then she asked me, while posing and smiling, "Do I look skinny?" I really didn't know what to say, I couldn't believe she would ask something like that. Thankfully, my boyfriend chimed in "You look healthy.", which was a fantastic answer. But, she emulates (and copies) girls in the Disney movies that are on now, for better or worse. Well, he and I were playing with her dolls and stuffed some of her clothes to make the doll look fuller, and she starting screaming and crying, "Don't make her fat!!! Don't make her fat!!! Please don't make her fat! I don't want her to be ugly!" and she's not taught this or anything at home, so I don't know where she gets this stuff.

So, yeah, Bratz are irritating. Have you seen the Bratz "Punkz" or whatever? THOSE are funny. Soon it'll be Bratz "Gothz: Mackin' in Black!"

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I know exactley what you mean. My younger sister in nine, and she's a bit overweight. She watches Disney Channel and loves the shows, but she gets this image of an ideal world into her head and that's all she can think about. She's constantly upset that she's not skinny, and she doesn't see herself as normal. My mother doesn't help things either. She refused to buy her a shirt that she loved because she said she looked pregnant wearing it. I thought that was way out of line. But I think the reason my sister is like this--this being not seeing herself as normal--is because everywhere in the media there's skinny people. And the overweight people are picked out. They have special sections of the stores and magazines, if there are shows on and the character is heavy then there's always a big deal about it. When we go shopping for clothes for her she's always on the verge of tears because she has to stand in the "large" section while the tiny little stick thin girls are running in and out of the dressing room saying "It's too big!". I really don't like Disney because of the image it sends out. I watch the shows and it's just...everyone is so thin. No one looks "average" anymore. When I was younger I wasn't overweight, but I wasn't really thin. It's like that now too. And less and less people are looking "average". It's sad that little kids get pressure from the media like they do.
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Mimi Marquez
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Although I will admit that the dolls of today are ridiculously oversexed, it's ultimately up to the parents or guardians as to whether or not these dolls really affect the children.

I mean, think about it. Parents these days are being criticized as either too strict or not strict enough. If children are supported by nurturing, loving parents that instill confidence in their self images, these kids can play with whatever they want (sex toys not included, quite obviously) and just PLAY. These dolls can either be just dolls or role models in the right mindset.

On the other side of the spectrum, kids can warp whatever they're playing with into what they see. I made my Aladdin and Jasmine dolls get it on all the time when I was 5. If, like a previous poster mentioned, kids have their television as a babysitter, you'd be surprised at the things they come up with.

It brings to mind the scene from Willy Wonka - the original - where the Oompa Loompas sang about how blame for a child's shortcomings is erroneously aimed at the child themselves, when it's the parents that are at fault. The message is true. That kid was spoiled by her dad, and her dad didn't do anything but kiss her butt and cater to her every whim. As a result, she went down the garbage chute. Poor bad egg.

Bottom line is, in a parent-child relationship, monkey see, monkey do. It's all about the example parents make and what values they enforce. After all, we weren't given life from Barbie's loins, and we weren't placed in the arms of any of those Bratz as babies. The most responsibility lies in the hands of parents, who should be the true role models.

Of course, the doll companies could help by toning down their dolls' content to make everyone's lives easier. Of course, that goes without saying.

... Well, this is a nice first post. Interpret it, admire it, and hate it as you wish.

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Welcome to Scarleteen, Mimi!

I was delighted to read your reply. You were spot-on about parents taking more charge in helping their children shape their self-images. If only more could find the right balance.

Unfortunately, however, despite best efforts, children and young adults can be pressured and influenced greatly by the media and the images presented there. I find myself often wondering when it will stop, and what point has to be reached before people start to see the effects it may have.

(Perfect example with the brat from Willy Wonka. Love that movie! [Smile] )

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parents only have so much control, they can't be around their children all the time, yes it is important for them to set a good example but children need to learn for themselves.

I am not overweight(avg BMI) but I am on the heavier side. Compared to all the sticklike girls today in the media and on the street I probably look pretty fat. However, I don't care, I am healthy. I played with babries and all dolls as a child, I watched many tv shows with skinny girls and still do but yet i have never felt any pressure to be thin. Perhaps to be more fit but that is for athletic reasons. The most important things parents can teach is independence, self love, and try to help their kids to be healthy physically so they are not overweight. The parents have most influence on the child when they are under 6. After that they still have influence but it becomes more and more minimal. If children are becoming independent thinkers by the time they are 6, and can say wow barbie is pretty but shes plastic, or britney spears is pretty but she looks like a barbie, they will be able to get through life confidently and with no problems. They can't be censored forever, once they become teens they will pretty much be exposed to everyhting. Censoring is just going to make the problem worse because it is more of just making kids think what we tell them, if they just had more confidence and independent thought from an early age these toys wouldnt be such problmes

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Wise Janet Weiss
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I gotta say it was the same with me.Exept I cried when I saw the skinny girls on TV,and I would ask my grandmother how I didn't look like that.
P.S it sucks the only fat doll is the pregnaunt one.

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Wise Janet Weiss
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And Bratz dolls ARE scary.Those big heads,stick-out feet.They give me nightmares(espeacialy since they have a big head;big head,big lips {For dolls I mean}).

What dolls I actually preffered when i was younge was a baby doll (They used to be adorable).

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Cool Dude
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I recently saw a strip club with a painting of a girl around 2m high and it looked like one of those bratz dolls which I hate, and it had lingerie on her. It is clear what sick people think of bratz dolls, sexual beings! And parents continue to let their young girls play with these miniature hookers.

Who agrees with me that the fact a enlarged bratz doll is a mascot of a strip clup is disturbing.

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Ive never really had a problem with Barbies, I had them as a child and never really saw them as being idealm or knew anyone who did. I just wanted to play with them and cut their hair. Bratz Dolls on the other hand are kind of scary to me, much worse than Barbies. Its not so much that I think girls with emulate them, its more that I think the companies are going to far. Just the other day at work I saw that we sold something called Baby Bratz, which are like the Bratz dolls but Bratz dolls as infants. They have long hair, full face make up, jeans, mini skirts, tube tops, and high heels. Its absolutley frightening that people are buying these things for their kids to play with.
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ezzabes, (And others I've noted) your comments on the skinny women in the media offended me.

I completely get what you mean, my own sister is overweight and has similar issues and I do agree that the media paints a disgustingly unrealistic picture of women.

But the way you said it was as if being slim is a crime.

I'm a natural size 8 in the uk, sometimes a 6. I can't help it, I've always been slim and find it hard to put on wieght, and I'm damm well not going to just to please a few others who feel intimidated by my figure.

I am SICK of hearing noadays that anybody who is slim is a lesser person. I'm slim and I'm REAL, not some lie being told by the media and you should not treat me as such.

On the subject, I totally agree that the dolls are disgusting. What are some of the hobbies that one brat has:

how old is she:

A pedophile's dream is what these dolls are turning todays girls into.

(Note-I still have my barbies. Good times.)

[ 09-12-2006, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Tillymac1 ]

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Wise Janet Weiss
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Oooooohhh,I envy you,mine are in storage.
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You know what? It's been long overdue for someone to say that. Thanks, tillymac. It's about people feeling good about themselves, whichever side of the non-existent 'norm' they might be on.

In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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Executive Director & Founder
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A pedophile's dream is what these dolls are turning todays girls into.
Unlikely, actually. More likely is quite the opposite, strange as that may seem or tough as that is to make sense of.

Pedophiles feel attraction to children, pre-pubescent children who LOOK and act like children. They generally feel very strong REPULSION with adult sexuality (including their own) and adult presentations of sexuality, so children being sexualized in adult ways would be abhorrent to them.

None of that is to say, mind, that adult-sexualizing children or teens is a good thing, or something which offers them any sort of protection, but just to make clear that from a practical and factual standpoint, a tarted-up kid is generally going to be considered very UNappealing to a pedophile.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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I was never a barbie fan. When they were my own, I muitilated them. When they were my friends, I made them have sex.
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Originally posted by Gumdrop Girl:
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?).

I agree with that.

How to explain this. I knew that PHYSICALLY emulating barbie was as pointless as trying to become a smurf. Of course, while other kids were reading mom's old baby sitters club books, I was flipping through the anatomy transparencies in our encylcopedias. Mom got me a "pregnant" babrie-LIKE doll, once, and i remember asking how "they" seriously expected "us" to do this properly, as the doll had no nipples with which to breastfeed.

However, barbie and her array of professions and her multitude of accessories taught me that I can be and acheive whatever I want.

My mom eventually threw them out after i got ahold of some sharpies and started in with the barbed wire tattoos and copying KISS facial paint.

Bratz dolls? Can't say that I have any personal sort of experience with them beyond wondering how the hell they breathe with no nose.

"I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."
~Ayn Rand

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Gumdrop Girl
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Well, it's almost Xmas and I think Hanukkah already started. If you haven't done your shopping (like me), then do consider buying the >4-year-olds in your life a box of Legos instead of Barbies and Bratz. My niece is getting another box of Legos this year.

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The only memory I remember is trying to rip off their heads. Hahahaha. [Razz]

In my opinion, they are a bad influenece. They show the whole body part basically, and they have a lot of sexual and flirting themes along.
I guess they company thinks that girls like all this kind of stuff and it's going to attract money. I dunno.

Why play with barbies anyway? What can you do with them

Barbie 1: Hi Jolena.
Barbie 2: Hi Tina.


Does true love exist?

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In my opinion, Barbie and Bratz are really in two different worlds. Barbie held down a number of positions in her days: astronaut, nurse/doctor, lawyer, teacher, mother, big sister, you name it. Yeah, when she came out, her careers were often 'women's work' like secretary, and there are always a variety of Princess-themed Barbies to choose from, but I always got the impression as a kid that Barbie was a busy, active women with lots of interests and career goals. Hell, when I used to play with them, often Barbie would blow off dates with Ken to deliver babies, or fight bears in the woods, or solve problems for NASA. I didn't see her figure as highly sexualized (she wasn't even anatomically correct!) but just something that was a 'grown up' body, even if it wasn't entirely healthy.

Bratz, on the other hand, seemed to sell something different: retail therapy and bad attitude. Even getting around how they look (I get kind of squeamish when people call them 'child prostitutes', for reasons Heather named above) But I just can't get behind a product that implicitly or explicitly indicates that young girls should spend as much on makeup and clothes as they can, and be snipey and gossipy. Obviously, how young women grow up is also dependent on how they're raised by family and authority figures as well, but I can't imagine that 'role models' like Bratz help a great deal either.

Unlucky at cards; lucky at love.

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Maybe slightly OT, but does anyone else find the Bratz Babyz slightly frightening? I mean, they have BABIES wearing belly shirts and acting like teenagers ... it's not cute at all. It's indescribably creepy. I can't help but think that the Rugrats did the "intelligent babies" thing much better.

And apart from anything else, I wouldn't want my children playing with a toy made by manufacturers who apparently can't spell [Wink] (My dad makes jokes about how Bratz should be spelled S-L-U-T-Z, and judging by a lot of the comments here a lot of people think he has a point.)

I remember seeing somewhere that if Barbie was scaled up to human size, she would be six foot two, have twice the usual length of neck, and snap in half if she tried to stand up. Don't remember where I found that, though.

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I was babysitting a 5 and a 2 year old and the mom had bought the girls a little bratz tent to play in. The mother hated the bratz dolls pictures on the tent, so she covered them up with fabric. And everytime you ask the girls why its covered up, the oldest goes, "because the girls are wearing bad clothes!"
The bratz series I dont even like. Its really pathetic what they have these days. And yeah, barbie does look healty compared to them...

Id rather be hated for who Iam, then loved for who Im not.

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King Joey
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finally someone else is thinking the same as me. I hate the bratz dolls in pirticular, they are encouraging young women to be rude, uncouth, and revealing, and its not good for society.
Im not for one moment saying women dont have the right to show off what they want, but i dont think it should be made the norm from a large corperation with a sterotypical image of women.

Its not what we say that makes us who we are, its what we do.

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plain milyeh
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i actually kind of liked barbies. i know, i know, i'm a bad feminist...and when i see them in stores now i get a little freaked out by the things i didn't notice as a kid about their disproportioned features and so forth...but barbies were like friends who didn't get pissed off at me when i told them what to say in make-believe games (i want to be a playwright/director, go figure), and unlike most of my toys, they were water-proof, and therefore had no problem performing scenes in the bathtub, kiddie pool, or mudpuddles. i exploited this feature a lot.

bratz, on the other hand, *really* freak me out. am i the only one who has the overwhelming urge to smash their oversized heads in with a hammer? or has the uncomfortable feeling that if you stare at one of them for long enough, the head will in fact explode?

anyhow. i work in a toy store now, and thankfully, we don't sell either bratz or barbies (i'd have a hard time sincerely trying to convince any parent that those were "excellent choices"), but we do sell dolls roughly barbie-sized called the "only hearts club" girls, which are kind of neat because their bodies aren't rediculously over-sexualised...they're cloth, actually (while the heads are the same kind of rubbery plastic as a barbie), and the clothes they come with are really cute and stylish, but also very modest, totally appropriate for girls of doll-playing age. a lot of feminist moms get pretty excited about them (which makes sense, 'cause my boss is a feminist mom, and she generally only carries things she finds exciting like that), and the only thing i think is kind of silly about them is that they lack the whole waterproof aspect i talked about...

seriously, i'm just realising right now how many times i very carefully dressed all my barbies in many layers of sparkly prettiness and then ripped it all off and threw them in the nearest body of water...and i didn't even like swimming.

Posts: 108 | From: caaaaanada. ('cause we've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks...) | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
plain milyeh
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Originally posted by Cool Dude:
Who agrees with me that the fact a enlarged bratz doll is a mascot of a strip clup is disturbing.

it's disturbing, but in a way it's also completely unsurprising. i gather barbie was heavily based on a character in a comic sold mosly in sex clubs in germany, and bratz are just the next generation of in a way, it looks like things have come full circle.
Posts: 108 | From: caaaaanada. ('cause we've got rocks and trees and trees and rocks...) | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Great subject.
Barbie is a very interesting subject.Barbie over the years has gone through a lot of phases, for example Barbie is no longer with Ken although she did get married with him several times but there are models out now that confuse this alot. Now a trip back in Barbie history. Barbie wasn't the first doll based not on babies but adults but the first weren't directed towards the kids(they were an adult plaything)The funniest thing i have seen of barbie yet was puberty Barbie with inflatable breasts(do not over inflate).
I don't think that its all Barbies Kens or Bratz fault that little girls and boys have image problems look at GI Joe washboard abs huge arms and less than 4% body fat. and Disney with their 100 pound princeses. the media decides beauty for the people and the people listen. For that reason I no longer watch too much TV.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
Mahatma Gandhi

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i think bratz look hideous and yeah they do put the wrong image for girls to aim for.


Posts: 7 | From: Lincolnshire, UK | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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