Ever since the Bratz dolls were introduced to the market, I’ve felt nauseated every time I see one. Can you imagine a worse role model for your daughter? With their call girl makeup, sexy clothes and materialistic mentalities, Bratz are preying upon young girls’ natural inclination to imitate older girls – a practice that can negatively alter their self-esteem.
I personally vowed never to allow my daughter to have anything to do with the Bratz toys or movies. Until one day, while standing in line at checkout, the girl in front of us showed her Bratz doll to my daughter. My daughter, who wants everything she sees, immediately asked to get one. I said, “No” and that I would talk to her about it later. While I was unloading the groceries into our car, the mother of the girl came over to my daughter and gave her a brand new two foot tall Bratz doll, complete with hussy makeup, skimpy dress, and all the glitter and hair extensions needed to create your very own Paris Hilton “mini-me.” That evening I had the terribly difficult task of explaining to my five year old daughter that this doll was not appropriate for her, and that she was not going to get to keep it. It took most of the night, but her father and I finally managed to get her to understand that this doll was not how little girls should look, and not what “big girls” should want to be.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, teaching young girls to view themselves in this manner can be extremely detrimental to their emotional, psychological, and physical development. The APA task force acknowledges that Bratz dolls are just one of the many ways young girls are grotesquely sexualized by advertisers and media purely for profit. As parents, it’s up to us to stand up for our children by closing our wallets and opening our mouths.
In addition, the APA recommends that parents be the “conversation starter” for such topics, teachings girls to value themselves for who they are, and teaching boys to treat girls as friends rather than sexual objects. As parents, we hold a lot more power than we are led to believe, so thoughtfully choose other brands and toys.
Try choosing these great toys in place of Bratz Dolls:
- Barbie Fantasy Dolls. For my daughters, 3 and 6, we choose these great dolls and movies. Barbie Fantasy dolls come in different styles such as princesses, butterflies, fairies, and mermaids. The movies encourage, self-esteem, self-acceptance, kindness, loyalty, charity, and friendship, and my girls imitate those storylines while playing with the related dolls.
- My Little Pony. This is another toy that has endured the test of time. The manufacturer has recently expanded their collection to include baby sized animated ponies, play sets, and numerous fancied up addictions to their already illustrious line of ponies.