Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Outrage

I don't often use this blog to discuss potentially "hot-button" subjects. We all have our opinions, after all, and I like to keep this blog to, well, my writing.

But I can't stay silent on this subject.

If you have kids, especially little girls, I'm sure you've heard of the Bratz dolls. I've never liked them for a few reasons, but the main one is that they look like little prostitutes. I'm not being harsh, really I'm not. But dolls wearing belly-showing shirts, short-shorts, mini-skirts, high-heeled platform shoes, and tons of make-up, is just a bit much for a girl aged 4-10 or so to be playing with. My daughter was given a Bratz doll for Christmas at one point - I vowed never to buy her one. But since she's not into dolls (she is a huge Scooby Doo fan) I didn't worry too much about it.

I'm thanking God right now that she could care less about dolls, especially the Bratz ones, after reading this article. If the American Psychological Association is issuing warnings about these dolls, we better sit up and take notice. Our current society teaches our children - especially young girls - that their bodies are the most important thing about them. I'm not being a prude - but come on. Some of the girls clothes in stores today I would never let my daughter wear. In fact, that's another blessing I have to count - she doesn't like skirts. She's a jeans and t-shirt gal. At this particular time in our culture, I think I'm glad she doesn't want to get all dolled up with the make-up and hairspray, etc.

Being a woman is a wonderful thing. But where has our femininity gone? Even I have fallen victim to the mentality that I have to show a bit of skin to get some respect. That is so darn backwards, isn't it? What about modesty? Now if you wear a long skirt, you're looked at as being a prude. Less is more in the world of fashion. But we're adults. We can make our own decisions on what we want to wear. That's our prerogative.

But here is the kicker. Our children are now the targets. The Bratz dolls are not your average Barbie dolls - Barbie was tame compared to the Bratz! The name alone is insulting. Yet someone is marketing these dolls to children. Hollywood is going to make a movie about them. And their "fashion" is creeping into the girls' clothing departments in every major store. Short mini-skirts. Flimsy, too-tight tops. Shirts that say, "I'm spoiled" and other sayings that really only degrade instead of flatter.

Let's not even get into what this is doing to the little boys of our society. That's a whole 'nother rant. I have a teenager, and let me tell you - the costume I saw his girlfriend wearing to the Halloween party made me eyes pop - and not in a good way. Yet he said it was "hot."

There's something wrong in our culture if our little girls, who should be enjoying their childhood, are worried about how they look. As the mother of a little girl, I refuse to succumb to society's pressure. I have every intention of raising my daughter to be a woman with high self-esteem based on who she is, not what she looks like.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa - I agree with you. And I do like Barbie dolls, but the Bratz dolls are just ridiculous. Girls should be able to be *girls* - not little objects of temptations for older boys and pedophiles.

    And I'm totally with you on all the t-shirts with statements on them that contradict all the character I'm trying to raise them with. Good grief. It's like if they're cute, they can be little hellions and be proud of it.

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  2. I think advertising should be banned in general for kids. Bad enough they target adults.

    Happy Halloween though :)!!

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  3. I agree with you 100%, Melissa. Since when do we want our daughters to be major "Bratz" or "Drama Queens" or "Spoiled"??? Geesh! I'm even irritated by little girls' clothing that looks just like women's clothing at department stores. It seems silly to be annoyed by baby shrugs and such, but I just wonder why my toddler can't still look, well, toddler-ish.

    Have you seen the latest Dove campaigns? God bless those folks!

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  4. So funny, I never let my kids get the bratz dolls either. For the very reasons you mentioned. My oldest is 8 and in 3rd grade and I have to say I love that she is young and naive. But her friends are a different story. They watch all the teen shows on Disney and Nick which I never allow my girls to watch and they dress slutty for 8 year old girls. I keep wondering why their parents think it's ok for an 8 year old to dress like this or am i just an old fuddy duddy?

    I completely agree on every point with you and i think we should have a call to arms "mothers against Bratz!"

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  5. Bratz seem to go down well over here - but am very glad my daughter doesn't like them. She's very girly, though, and when she picked clothes for her birthday pressie, I felt horrible for saying no... but I thought they looked tarty and not suitable for someone who will be 7 tomorrow. (Even if her friends *do* wear them...)

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  6. Robin - Exactly. I have never understood the reasoning behind having shirts that say, "I'm spoiled." That's not exactly a nice thing to say about yourself!

    Toni - That's another gripe I have - advertising for children for a product that has no place in children's hands. Prime example: Pirates of the CArribbean. It is NOT a movie for children - I allowed my daughter to watch the second one because she went to the bookstore and became enthralled with all of the Captain Jack kids' books, etc. She was terrified and covered her eyes numerous times through the movie. That really angered me.

    Rebecca - Oh, I LOVE the Dove women! Those are REAL women. I hope that other advertisers follow on the success of Dove and start showing real women (and men).

    Ell - Mothers against Bratz - I love it! :-) I'm starting to have a beef with Disney, too, and some of the shows they have. Thankfully, we don't have cable and so don't have a chance to watch Disney or Nick.

    Kate -It's really hard to say "no" to our kids when all their friends are doing it. But I figure that we're the parents and we have the final say. Our kids will respect us more for it - even if they don't at this particular time in their lives. But someday, they will!

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  7. I think our children - both boys and girls - need to be taught the difference between class and trash, and that self respect is not something to be tossed aside for the sake of fashion or attention.

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  8. Kelly - VERY well put. :-)

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  9. Theresa3:25 PM

    Oh my goodness! I'm so happy to see there are others who feel the same way I do. There are so many things wrong in so many ways with the clothing available to young girls today. I have a 13 year old stepdaughter and the provocative way she and her friends dress positively frightens me. Unfortunately, being a step parent I don't have a lot of say. I have tried in a tactful way to teach that there are better, more tasteful choices in dress. But it's a losing battle. Unfortunatley, I'm not the person in charge of buying her wardrobe.

    I couldn't believe the day I walked into Target and saw a whole display of g-strings and pushup lacy bras geared toward young teen and pre-teen girls.

    And also the short shorts with things like bootylicious written across the back are postively scandalous!

    Stores obviously wouldn't be carrying these items if there wasn't a market. But I can't for the life of me figure out what the mothers of these girls are thinking when they buy their children clothing like this.

    It's beyond creepy to see young girls dressed in such an overtly sexual way. Never mind the wrong impression it leaves on young boys just reaching puberty.

    These days girls want to look sexier and their parents don't have the nerve to say no and set limits on how outrageously they can dress. Everyone knows, with no limits, kids will go to extremes. And companies are capitalizing on this trend in a big way. Morality and class doesn't enter the picture if it affects their bottom line!

    Sorry, for the long rant. But this has been a subject of considerable concern for me for quite some time.

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  10. Theresa - Isn't it just insane? I continue to marvel at what girls are wearing these days. I hope the pendulum swings back to the less extreme side - and soon!
    Thanks for visiting. :-)

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