Excerpted from the Daily Mail article: “The eight Monster High dolls each have different stories based on the idea that they are the teenage children of famous monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein. They are said to be Mattel’s answer to Bratz, or Disney’s Fairies, all of which have been accused of being oversexualised. Psychiatrist Dr Gails Saltz told the Today Show that she believes such toys are as dangerous as violent video games and PG-13 films.”
Excerpted from a FOX article: body image expert Sarah Maria stated “Mattel is essentially promoting and encouraging the belief in young girls that they need to sculpt, tweeze, wax, and otherwise change their bodies in order to be considered attractive to men.” Mattel, the makers of Barbie, denied the claims, and said that the dolls positively promote the acceptance of all individuals. “Grounded in a clever and humorous storytelling, Monster High characters deliver a positive message of celebrating one’s imperfections and embracing those of others,” a Mattel spokesperson said in a statement.
My humble opinion? OK, cool… I truly do love the “monster high” idea – different and entertaining, and definitely not the stuff nightmares are made of – but I would SO rather the dolls look “eccentric” (let’s think gothic but intelligent Abby from NCIS… caring and bright Lydia from Beetlejuice… artistic Darlene Connor from Roseanne… Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas… Wednesday Addams, etc.) instead of overtly and impossibly “sexy” (let’s think Barbie and Bratz dolls).
At the risk of being nauseatingly repetitive, if Barbie were a real person, would stand 6′ 0″, weigh 100 lbs., and wear a size 4, with measurements of 39″/19″/33″ – an unhealthy body image to say the least). Based upon Rader Programs research, Barbie would have ceased to menstruate; that is, if she had ever begun to do so due to a dangerously low percentage of body fat (which is necessary for good health).
Dolls? Sure, I had dolls. Tiny Tears. Chatty Cathy. Patty Play-Pal. Even a Barbie, along with her car and a dream house. I also had Barbie’s little sister, Skipper, and her plain-looking girlfriend, Midge (complete with chubbier face, freckles – and slightly protruding teeth, which is a rare version for collectors nowadays). But that was back in the 1960s, and Skipper and Midge were created by Mattel to distract parents from the slowly percolating idea that Barbie – their “golden child” – was nothing less than a sex symbol. Whether she was or not, back in the early 60s there seemed to be less pressure than now. As a kid, I didn’t much notice. I remember my favorite outfit for Barbie consisted of a plaid, pleated, knee-length skirt and white blouse, not an evening gown or mini-skirt. I see now… that this was what I wore to (private Catholic) school, so I identified with it then. Even after school when we were wearing our “civvies”, ten year old girls looked like ten year old girls, and you couldn’t tell the private school kids from the public school kids. Not so today. It seems if you can’t buy/wear a pair of short-shorts with “JUICY” emblazoned across your twelve-year-old ass, you’re not “in style.”
I have not followed a Judeo-Christian religion since I left the household of my parents, where I was required to attend Catholic grammar school, high school and college. I was out of there immediately after graduating with my B.S. degree, and never looked back.
I was Pagan then, and I am Pagan now. The tales of my Gods/Goddesses originate in pre-history. To people who believe as I do, nudity is natural and innocent. It does not have to be shameful or sexual. I have no problem with nude beaches, sex-ed in schools, and available birth-control. Further, I believe that prostitution should be health-regulated and taxed, and that those who choose to work in the sex-trade industry should be protected from parasitic pimps and sick abusers. Those who are forced into such work should be rescued, not belittled, and there should be a safe haven to help them recover from such trauma. Even more so, children should never be involved in such acts.
So, what are my issues? Respect. Self-respect and respect for others must be taught to kids or their wheels will run right off the tracks of life.
Positive body image.
If parents these days stopped buying toys like this, there would be no market for them. It’s not the fault of the manufacturer or advertisers, it’s the fault of the parents who buy them. We need to accept responsibility and parent our children without allowing negative pressure to push us over the edge. If you are Christian, take your kids to Church. Jewish? Go to Synagogue. Muslim? Visit your Mosque. Pagan, like I am? Well, this is a little more difficult as we don’t have central places to gather and worship… all the more important to find families who believe as you do, and celebrate the 8 Sacred Holidays and 13 Full Moons with your children in full participation.