Posted by: Ophelia | April 26, 2008

A little levity, well not really

You’ve got to watch the whole thing mind.

The whole package is just :/. From the carefully coifed full heads of hair, the pearl necklaces (have some innuendo won’t you?), the Jessica rabbit eyes and lipstick, and adult poses (hips jutting out etc) I don’t know what to choose as the most irksome. No wait, I think it’s this:

Oh would that I could believe that there is a reason for this but really…the other girls don’t do that and just…no.

This is why we can’t have nice things. I mean Bratz had potential, I mean they managed to include three ethnicities other than white, which counts for something if you want to get your kid a toy that tells her its okay to look the way she does. Only Bratz lets you down there what with their obsession with makeup, fancy clothes, and cars that the girls playing with them pretty obviously won’t have. But at least they don’t stereotype the characters, I mean sure the Asian character’s name is Jade but that’s just a coincidence…right?

For those who didn’t watch all the way through: Yasmin, the hispanic character, drops Spanish throughout her speech (fine, okay, maybe they’re not beating us over the head with her ethnicity so much as proclaiming it as part of her lived experience), except there’s a mariachi band in her kitchen. Her brother and mother also pepper their speech with Spanish, but it’s that Spanish 1 Spanish that the audience would be able to understand–certainly not full paragraphs and most certainly no slang. Furthermore, Jade’s mother (seen around 4:52 in the video) has a pretty thick accent and is an overbearing mother commanding Jade to join all of these academic clubs when clearly her passion is for fashion–duh.

Surprisingly, they couldn’t find a stereotype for Sasha, or her parents. I guess technically she comes from a broken home but the parents share custody equally and her room doesn’t look too shabby.

I wish these things had a more positive message, I mean talk about pressure. These girls are worrying about fashion while they’re eating baby food, not to mention the enormous closets they sport in the movie, I’m not sure what child who doesn’t have parents in the at least moderately wealthy income bracket who could achieve the standard set. Ditto for the makeup. And it’s wrapped up in a sensual style that I’m not sure many women could hope to achieve, let alone kids. It’s hard to look sexy in diapers I imagine, and it’s hard enough trying to look cool in grade school, let alone trying to be a sex pot at 9 or so. It’s so much pressure, and the popularity of the dolls makes it seem not only okay, but normal. It reads like indoctrination into heteronormanative Eurocentric beauty standards (all the girls have long flowing hair, as if)–and don’t girls get enough of that everywhere else?

The F-Word presents some strategies to instill positive messages in the young girls in your life.

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Responses

  1. I’m still unsure why babies need makeup and need to rub a cat on their crotch.

  2. Okay…wow…
    Those videos were both highly disturbing.
    I couldn’t finish the second one. After 5:45, I felt like my brain was going to melt.

    Seriously, if I ever have a daughter, I won’t let her near media like that. That stereotype, of girls being obsessed with fashion, whatever, is annoying beyond belief…wow….

    Sorry, that was just…ugh…..

    And seriously, a mariachi band in the kitchen? What???????

  3. P.S. I adore the new look. ^_^

  4. Apparently in the second part on youtube, the girl and her mother sing la cucaracha.

    :/

    Thanks, I like the new look too–I think it’s easier to navigate.

  5. Yeah, I have two daughters , my oldest is 10 and we haven’t had a bratz doll /item for obvious reasons.

  6. It’s interesting that, even though the Bratz movie cast is very, very diverse — which is a Good Thing (TM), there’s still a Eurocentric, well-worn, homogenized form of “good-looking” imposed upon the characters that had to be deliberate — the white girl is blonde/blue, and the three minorities appear to be mixed with copious amounts of white.


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