Blame It On The Doll !!!

  1. Over-sexed and over here: The 'tarty' Bratz Doll
    18th October 2006

    I thought this article was interesting.

    [​IMG] Ruthless targeting of pre-teens has made these dolls the biggest selling in Britain

    My opinion is that some grown women dress this way anyway, its only natural for children to want to emulate their parents or older siblings,blaming A doll, I think is wrong.
    My role model was my Mother.
    .(just my opinion)

    Last month my daughter turned four, and requested a Cinderella-themed birthday party. I wondered if I should be encouraging the princess-rescued-by-her-handsome-knight stereotype, but decided I was being neurotic.

    Two weeks later, a dozen little girls turned up at our house, most dressed in old-fashioned frilly party frocks. But one child arrived wearing a sequinned crop top and a short plaid skirt that would have been inappropriate on a 12-year-old, never mind a little girl of four.

    When it came to the present-opening, the little girl wriggled excitedly in her seat as my daughter unwrapped her gift. For a moment, I stared at it and wondered if there was a new doll on the block called ‘Hooker Barbie’.
    The doe-eyed, midriff-baring doll was dressed in cheap pink-and-black lingerie and looked as if she should be dancing round a pole.
    "It’s one of the BratzBabyz!" the little girl burst out. "She’s called Sugar and I want to be just like her!"

    Her mother looked at me and shrugged helplessly. Needless to say, the plastic tart doll went straight in the bin as soon as everyone left.
    The Bratz, a clique of sultry-eyed trollops with the slogan ‘a passion for fashion’, have come from nowhere in just five years to threaten the crown of the Queen Bee, Barbie, the world’s most successful toy.

    MGA Entertainment, the family-owned California firm that launched the Bratz in June 2001, earns around £1.6bn a year from the dolls and accessories.
    In the four years since their launch in Britain, the Bratz have grabbed a 40 per cent slice of the £100m-a-year UK doll market, outselling Barbie by an astonishing two to one.

    Last year more than two million dolls were sold in the UK at an average of £20 each. Nick Austin, Chief Executive of the UK Bratz distributor Vivid Imagination, says - depressingly - that Britain is the most successful Bratz market in the world.

    "British girls have just taken Bratz to their hearts," he said. "Their edgy, streetwise style appeals to the post-Spice Girl generation."
    Parents may despair, but there’s no denying the extraordinary appeal of the Bratz, with their catwalk chic, huge expressive faces and multi-ethnic skin tones.
    Dressed in outfits such as black leather jackets teamed with jeans and red crocodile boots, or Rock Angelz T-shirts and pink glitter mini-skirts, the dolls are accessorised with mobile phones, lipsticks and brash jewellery - one ‘blinged up’ version even comes with a sliver of real diamond which can be worn as a necklace.

    Little wonder that parents of six-year-old would-be imitators are appalled. A number of websites have sprung up, with concerned parents denouncing the dolls as ‘obscene’ and ‘tarty’.
    "Where are we as a society when manufacturers and parents think it’s all right for children to dress like this?" one mother asked. "These dolls send out all the wrong messages. And don’t underestimate the impact of these images on young boys."

    It is indeed a chilling thought that thousands of boys will have their first, simplistic ideas of how women should dress and behave formed by the Bratz.
    Product designer, American Paula Treantafelles admits to deliberately designing a fashion doll for the seven-to-ten year olds that Mattel - makers of Barbie - was failing to reach. Her language is trite, slick PR-speak - and deeply cynical.
    "At this age, they’re very different to four-to-six year olds," she says. Bratz "are about self-expression, self-identity. When Barbie was in her prime, girls were taught to be career women, to be men’s equals. Today, yes, career and education matter, but it’s also “express yourself, have your own identity, girl power”."

    But just as there is now clear research to demonstrate the toxic impact of alcohol and tobacco advertising on female body image, eating habits and mental health - there is also potential for similar psychological side-effects from the use of sex to sell toys and clothes to children.
    "Children learn to associate physical appearance and buying the right products not only with being sexy, but also with being successful as a person," says Dr Jean Kilbourne, author of So Sexy, So Soon: The Sexualisation Of Childhood.

    "These lessons will shape their gender identity, sexual attitudes, values and their capacity for love and connection."
    The bombardment of sexual images is not designed principally to sell our children on sex, of course. What it’s really about is selling us on shopping.
    Learn early about appearance, and it turns you into a good little consumer. Teach a seven-year-old that sex is about accessorising, and you’ve secured a lifetime of lingerie-buying.
    Last year, Asda was condemned by child welfare groups for marketing black lacy underwear to nine-year-old girls.
    In 2003, Bhs was forced to withdraw their Little Miss Naughty range, which was aimed at under-tens and included thongs and padded bras, after campaigners called for a boycott of the store.
    Opposition Leader David Cameron recently spoke out against the ‘harmful and creepy’ sexualisation of children, blaming irresponsible business for their aggressive approach.

    "The marketing and advertising agencies even have a term for it: KGOY — Kids Growing Older Younger," he said. "It may be good for business, but it’s not good for families and it’s not good for society, and we should say so."
    When Barbie was introduced in 1959, her target market was six-to-ten year olds. Today, she appeals mostly to ages three-to-six.
    The company behind Bratz see their decision to bring ‘hooker chic’ into the bedroom of pre-teens not as ‘premature sexualisation’, but simply an untapped commercial opportunity.

    It is a commerical cynicism which may yet have untold effects on a generation of growing girls - or perhaps we must now call them ‘little women’, since that it now what they are relentlessly encouraged to be by one of the most powerful marketing operations in the world.
    Kay Hymowitz, author of Ready Or Not: What Happens When We Treat Children As Small Adults, accuses the marketing industry of deliberately sexualising girls for profit.

    "Marketers make it sound like “KGOY” is just a fact of nature. The truth is, they have played a central role in making it happen," she says.
    "They want to sell products; they know kids who are independent and “empowered” are more likely to tell their parents to buy those products and that the way you seize kids’ attention is to make them feel older, more glamorous — and sexier."
    At the 2003 Kid Power conference for marketeers to children and teens in London, organisers instructed attendees in how to harness ‘the power of word of mouth’, how to ensure their products are ‘the talk of the playground’, how to get past ‘the gatekeeper’ (Mum and Dad), and to be aware of the influence of ‘pester power’.
    These marketeers wear the clothes of youth, befriend children as part of their job, and generally get the jump on their competitors by encouraging brand loyalty from as early an age as possible.
    If it sounds sinister, that’s because it is. To sexualise children through clothing and fashion implicitly suggests to adults that children are interested in and ready for sex.
  2. Walk around any shopping centre and you’ll see pre-teens baring their midriffs. Long before they even know what the term means, these little girls are trying to look ‘hot’.
    The emphasis on an ‘ideal’ appearance brings forward the agonies of adolescence by many years.
    Recent studies point to girls as young as seven being obsessed with their weight. Anorexia is now the third most common illness in pre-teen and teenage girls.
    The controversy over the skeletal ‘size zero’ models (a much derided U.S. size which equates to a British size four) highlights growing concern over the impact of media images on the body image of young girls.
    Child psychologists see a direct causal link between this premature sexualisation and the rise in underage sex.
    Little girls think they are just being fashionable, but older people around them - especially adolescent boys - pick up those sexual messages and act on them.
    If a 12-year-old girl is wearing the clothes and make-up of a 17-year-old, we shouldn’t be surprised when she is treated like one.
    It’s hard for parents to stand against a cultural tide this strong. Life is easier - and often cheaper - for mothers if we thoughtlessly fall in with the vogue.
    And while no one is saying that little girls should be denied the chance to play dress-up, there is a world of difference between harmless role play and Lolita precocity.
    At times it may feel like parents are powerless to stem the flow, but without our financial muscle, a tween’s purchasing power is purely hypothetical.
    If you don’t buy that push-up bra, she can’t have it. No one wants their child to be the odd one out in the playground. But talk to other mothers, and chances are most of them feel the same as you.
    Economics and market forces have brought us to this sorry pass but if we all say no, the marketers will have nowhere to go.
    They may not respect our moral choices, but you can bet your Bratz they’ll respect our wallets.

  3. Wow, I never liked Bratz! My sister does not allow my niece to buy those dolls. Yes, it is true girls are dressing too provocative. When ever I go to the mall, I see them so young, and dressed like a 20 year old.
  4. I have a 7 year old daughter, and it amazes me what some of her friends are allowed to wear. If the shirt doesn't cover her tummy when she raises her arm above her head, she is not allowed to have it. I have similar rules for pants, and skirts. I want my baby girl to have a childhood for as long as possible.
  5. My daughter who will be 8 soon hates Bratz, as do most of her friends. She thinks Bratz copied off Lisa Frank products (which she loves and actually is a cute line of products). She likes some Barbie dolls and has 2 American Idol dolls which do not impress me. She and her friends are in to more creative things dealing with any type of art from coloring books to making things with clay, beads, ect.... so it is almost like playing with dolls is a waste of their time. When we go shopping for birthday gifts she says the Bratz stuff is scary ugly. So far her circle of friends dress nice. She does comment on the older girls at stores and has decided they don't really look nice (what that means to her???). So for now I have no worries but I know things can change. I see some of the older girls at the bus stops with clothes that could not get any tighter and I wonder how they can even sit down. It is sad that kids are growing up too fast and have lost the innocence of just playing with toys for fun and simple things.
  6. Yeah.....what can we do ??? I grew up with Barbie causing controversy, then the manufacturers changed her proportions.....
    I don't think the dolls are having a bad influence...of course the little grils want to play and project themselves as future good looking (sexy <-do they know whats that mean?) women. But as a little girl even my "slutty" Barbie had a fulfilling career, so it all depends of the values the parents teach their girls.
    There was a reportage in France about these young 7 years old lolitas and a chain of shops targeting little girls and selling......G-string and platforms shoes !!! But as the manager said the grand mother and mother and daughter come here there is a demand for it. And when a little girl was sent home for wearing belly button showing tops and mini mini skirt her mother said "well she has a nice body there is nothing to be ashamed of !"
    needless to say imagine the style and mentality of the mum.....So yes there is this vice of the society and these manufacturers always ready to jump on the bandwagon and make huge $$$ out of it but as long as the families teach their kids the right's like fat food advertisement for kids, etc, etc...
  7. LOL, stories like this always crack me is just a doll, a toy. That is what parents are for guidance. Children should be taught the difference between play and real life. Not all play is meant to model behavior. Didn't you play dress up as child, but would never dare to ask your mother to wear such things out.
  8. Bratz were actually named toy of the year when they came out. Barbie has some pretty questionable attire too. my daughter & her friends played with Bratz for a while, I don't think it hurt her at all. My daughter & her friends are very conservative compared to a lot of girls at their school, they do not wear short skirts or belly shirts. Parents need to be clear in what they feel is appropriate behaviour & attire & talk about the images portrayed in the media.

    And Gilliana is right, Bratz totally copied off of Lisa Frank! We love LF in our house, they have some great products for girls.
  9. I don't think the dolls themselves should be blamed, companies are just trying to make money and it works. Rather parents that are encouraging such behavior should be more responsible. It isn't necessarily wrong for a little girl to play with a doll like that, but the parents should be there to say "I'm sorry, (insert name of 4 year old), you can't go out in a tube top and a mini skirt." Obviously little girls aren't going out and buying these outfits on their own. Parents can say no, and they should be the ones to step in and say that there is reality and there is pretend. I played with Little Mermaid toys when I was a little girl, and if my parents had left it up to me I would have probably been going out in a purple bra and combing my hair with a fork.
  10. I don't think the dolls should be blamed, but I don't like them in anyway. Their big head and eyes remind me grays. :yucky: This article shows it's the parent's (family's) fault. What kind of parent lets their child walk around in whatever they want outside of the home? :confused1:
  11. I don't think dolls should be blamed. Just look around you and you see that for yourself. You don't need dolls to tell you what's out there and how girls dress these days.
  12. my sister is 12,, up until last yr her and her friends LOVED bratx, we got her the houses and everything, it didnt alter what she wore, a doll will not influence a child, Barbie wore short skirts and had HUGE boobs.. brats are jsut about fashion there are baby brats too and they are not marketing anything..

    values start at home not thru toy companies
  13. Yea this really is an issue with niece has a bratz poster with three bratz on it and they look like they are in maxim or stuff. I do not like the image at all....not to be old fashioned but our little girls are growing up WAY too fast. Sex does sell but it does not need to sell dolls, calenders, pens, etc., to little girls.

  14. LOL! :lol:

  15. Blimey, talk about projecting your own insecurities onto a piece of moulded plastic...;)