Monday, July 14, 2008

To Bratz, Or Not To Bratz?

My youngest kid is turning four next week, and most of her requests are pretty reasonable: some Polly Pockets claptrap, Moon Sand, a Princess Belle costume. But for the second year in a row, she's asking for a Bratz doll. And for the second year in a row, my knee-jerk answer was "No."

Not that Barbie is inspiring little girls to become astrophysicists, but Bratz dolls have a jailbait aura that has always creeped me out. However, a friend of mine told me that her daughter (who's a little older) owns some of the Bratz Kidz dolls, and you know what? They're kind of cute. The one pictured here, Sasha, is adorable with her little curly puff, and she appears to be fully clothed.

I asked C. last night why she liked Bratz, and she said, "Because they're beautiful and sparkly."

I get that. Little girls like spangled, slightly tacky playthings, and I was no different. I owned a disco-era Superstar Barbie with a red feather boa.

Sure, Sasha here looks like a MAC counter drag queen got ahold of her, but I think I could live with it. If C. gets it, it'll be a nice surprise. If she doesn't, it's not like she'll know I was considering it.

What do you think?


Ms. Moon said...

I don't know. That's a hard one. My mother refused to get me a Barbie (and this was back when Barbies were IT) for so long and then when she did, she got me the WRONG Barbie with the stupid hair. But I loved that Barbie anyway. I don't think it made me want to go out and get implants or anything.
One of my kids wanted one of those ridiculously priced American Girl dolls and I finally did and you know what? I think I got HER the wrong one. She hardly ever played with it.
So my advice would be- if you get your girl a Bratz, make sure you get the right one. Or not.
I doubt it'll turn her into a dancer on gansta videos on MTV if you do get her one.

Christina said...

She's awfully cute. But you know that you're opening the door, hon.

Sghoul said...

I think Bratz are one of the most horrid girl toys available. They basically pidgeon hole girls into little fashion obsessed consumers.

Boys get army men, robots, cowboys, science kits, building materials (Legos, robotix, etc), video games, sports, and more. Girls get dolls. Lets break that chain, shall we?

Also, Ms. Moon, you look totally cute in your picture.

EDP said...

What a neat diversity of opinion! And to the lovely Ms. Moon, welcome. You sound like a very wise mom!

H F said...

Hmmmm.....hmmmm.....wellllll..... Personally, I don't like the Bratz. I think they look like cheap little hooker wanna-bes. But they are sparkly.

I honestly can't decide if I would stand on my "you're too classy for a Bratz doll, sweetie," soapbox or buy one (making sure it is the RIGHT one!) and just keep an eye out. She's just so little-girl sweet and those dolls are so....not little-girl sweet.

So I guess what I am saying is I would not get one. If she makes a good case for one by Christmas, reconsider. :)

EDP said...

LOL! True, she is still SO young. God knows there's plenty of time for her to want something inappropriate.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

I think this is a hard call. My first reaction would be "No, don't buy those for your daughter. She deserves better." Meanwhile, I'm buying superhero action figures for my kids. Are those any better? Superheroes have unrealistic physiques and clothes so tight it would make a Ken doll blush.

So I think this may be an issue of gender stereotyping. Why is it okay for boys to have scantly clad superheroes, but not for girls to have party-girl dolls?

Ugh. I'm not sure I'm really helping you, or just pointing out issues with gender unfairness. :(

The Irredeemable Shag

Sghoul said...

Well, I also think you have to look at intent. Super heroes may be unrealistic, but they are meant to be. They are heroes. And their focus is on powers and beating badguys. Bratz focus is on looks and fasion and being popular.

EDP said...

See, I have no problem getting her a Wonder Woman doll (ahem, action figure), because WW is a strong, capable and wise. She's also beautiful, but she's not calling Batman for a date on her minature pink cell phone. There's definitely going to be a follow-up post!