Court Stops Production Of Bratz Merchandise
This may well be the last holiday season for Bratz dolls, as a federal judge ordered their manufacturer to cease production and stop selling the popular dolls.
Mattel, maker of Bratz's main rival, Barbie, sued the company, alleging that their creator came up with the concept when he was working for Mattel. Whoopsie!
Some parents are thrilled that Bratz are going away (pending appeal), says CNN:
The judge's ruling came as a relief to some parents who see the popular dolls' clothes and makeup as too racy for their young daughters. It also eliminates heavy competition against Barbie — a doll often seen as less provocative, but whose slender body also raises parents' eyebrows.
"I'm happy to not see [Bratz]," said Kristi Cassell of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Her 5-year-old daughter, Emily, has amassed a collection of Barbies.
"Barbies come across more wholesome," Cassell said. Barbie has some "questionable" clothes, "but it seemed like all the Bratz dolls were on a darker side of Barbie," she said.
Six-year-old Sierra Curry-Corcoran of Newport News, Virginia, also has a Barbie collection and no Bratz dolls. But not by choice.
"I like Bratz better. They have more fancy clothes, and they look more cool," Sierra said.
Her mother, Tasha Curry-Corcoran, strongly disagrees. "Bratz are trashy: They wear too much makeup. Their clothing is too short; their boots are too high. They look like prostitutes. That's why we don't have them in our house."
For the record, Consumerist morns the lack of available She-Ra dolls for today's youth.
I happened to notice the Barbie dolls when we were shopping, as I believe that inevitably at least a few of them will be moving into our home. The dress for this year's Holiday Barbie is unbelievably ornate and beautiful, and they are, of course, "a classic". I have to play devil's advocate for a moment though: She is not completely innocent.
Stolen from Wiki:
One of the most common criticisms of Barbie is that she promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for a young woman, leading to a risk that women who attempt to emulate her will become anorexic. A standard Barbie doll is 11.5 inches tall, giving a height of 5 feet 9 inches at 1/6 scale. Barbie's vital statistics have been estimated at 36 inches (chest), 18 inches (waist) and 33 inches (hips). According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the 17 to 22 percent body fat required for a woman to menstruate. In 1965 Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight which advised: "Don't eat." The doll also came with pink bathroom scales reading 110lb, which would be around 35lbs underweight for a woman 5 feet 9 inches tall. In 1997 Barbie's body mold was redesigned and given a wider waist, with Mattel saying that this would make the doll better suited to contemporary fashion designs.
Beyond the physical appearance of either line of dolls are the activities and implied interests, intelligence, and goals of the dolls. Barbie is a little more grown up (older) than the typical Bratz doll, but it is still fairly clear that Barbie, even from the start, was portrayed as better role-model, and well-rounded person (even if she was 6'0 tall and anorexic). If you haven't had enough already, check out this interesting little "article" about Barbie, Rethinking Barbie and you'll be surprised at how "good" they really are.
With all the imagery in the media bombarded at young girls, choosing one doll over another is probably not going to eliminate all the issues they will develop. I do think that when there is the ability to screen shows, music, and even toys, it is our responsibility to do so. Those marketing sharks are good at what they do, and you have to protect your kids.