Our Kids Deserve Better

Posted by on April 26, 2007

The topic at hand today is Bratz dolls. Well, no. It really isn’t Bratz dolls so much. It’s more about how our society has become so numb to the constant sexualization of girls that it’s hard for some to even recognize it anymore. And it’s about one small thing we can do to stem the proverbial tide.

So what am I carrying on about now? Well, for starters, I was recently vindicated by the American Psychological Association who ALSO sees a problem with society projecting sexuality onto younger and younger girls. While many insist that it’s all in good fun and that people like me are perverts for thinking otherwise, all I can say is “Ha! My instincts were spot on!” Padded bras for six year olds and toddler dolls in thongs and dolls dressed like hookers being marketed to little girls are NOT harmless.

See, the thing is, Bratz dolls are not going to make your daughters become prostitutes. But they are one very visible component of a culture of which the resultant cumulative effect is a loud and clear message that a girl’s worth lies with her sexuality. The dolls, simply put, are just a small part of something much larger; a general but very perceptible shift in how women are regarded in the world at large and it’s starting with our preschool age daughters.

So what do I want? I want something better. I want to change the world from place where a young girl’s worth is in her willingness to shed her clothes or trade basic human dignity for a few minutes of fleeting fame or infamy; a culture where girls don’t seem to mind trading themselves for things that are worthless.

I’m not talking about adults here. Adults can make as many stupid decisions on how to live their lives as they want. I’m talking about children and self-worth and I just can’t figure out where the disconnect is. I can’t find that corner we turned where respecting yourself stopped being as important as flashing for a free Girls Gone Wild hat, or giving a blowjob because it’s just oral sex and it makes you popular; or being “hot” completely displaced being accomplished or intelligent.

When did self-respect become so uncool? I’m not even sure I can effectively articulate what I mean to say here but if one single person considers leaving a comment lecturing me about how I can’t stop progress or the world is the way it is and I should just “educate” my child to be better or whatever, don’t bother. I refuse to accept that.

Additionally, everyone knows a child’s peers have infinitely more influence over them than their parents do after a certain point. My words will only go so far and frankly, I’m not just talking about my own kids. I’m talking about an entire culture of hypersexual skankiness that seems to be accepted as fine by nearly everyone. I just don’t get it. Don’t people want better for their kids? Doesn’t everyone want their child to aspire to something more than being a Hooters girl or a Penthouse Pet?

If you do, then maybe you’ll consider taking a minute to send a letter to Scholastic Books asking them to please remove Bratz books from the collections that they sell in schools.

Why?

The books promote precocious sexuality and shouldn’t be marketed to a captive audience of impressionable young girls at school.

“Any product marketed in the school carries that school’s endorsement. That’s one of the reasons marketers like to market in schools. They have a captive audience of kids, says Susan Linn, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School”

The author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood, added, “Commercially driven sexual stereotypes have no place in schools. By joining with Scholastic to market the Bratz brand, schools are undermining their own efforts to educate girls to nurture themselves and nurture their own academic development.”

Linn’s message is bolstered by a new report of American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, which singles out the Bratz brand.

“The objectified sexuality presented by these dolls, as opposed to the healthy sexuality that develops as a normal part of adolescence, is limiting for adolescent girls, and even more so for the very young girls who represent the market for these dolls,” the task force report notes.

~ CanWest News Service, February 28, 2007

“The Bratz send a host of harmful messages about play, appearance, sexuality, and what it means to be a young girl,” said Dr. Diane Levin, professor of education at Wheelock College and co-author of the upcoming So Sexy, So Soon. “They teach girls to focus on appearance and fashion, to aspire to an eating-disordered body, and to play at being sexy before they’re even capable of understanding what sexy means.”

~ Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood

Earlier this year, Scholastic responded to one parent’s concerns with this response, which represents an attitude seen over again with corporations who refuse to accept any social responsibility for their actions. If that doesn’t chap your ass and get you primed for action…

I know you’re all busy but seriously, this will only take ONE minute of your time… Here’s where to go and send a message to Scholastic that parents (who also control the purse strings) want Bratz out of schools.

It’s just a baby step but you CAN make a difference. You know…power to the people and all that :)

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Finally, a little tidbit of news that made my day…

Girls Gone Wild creator/douchebag Joe Francis now faces sexual assault charges (I’m not happy about the assault part, just happy that he’s finally getting his reward for being such a piece of sh*t), in addition to previous charges for contempt of court, tax evasion and bribery. I hope he’s found guilty on all counts.


77 Comments

  • Fantastic post. I wish my sister in law would read it, but sadly, she is too busy dragging my neice to beauty pageants and shopping for slut clothing. We have got to grow a social conscience sometime soon or childhood will be just another page in our historybooks.

  • I don’t even have a daughter but am absolutely convinced nonetheless that Bratz dolls are so, so wrong. I will go to that site and say so.

  • Bratz dolls are just the tip of the iceberg. You are so right on, Izzy.

  • I don’t have any girls, but I agree with you 100%. Just simply shopping, I see the so-called “fashions” for little girls these days and I cringe.

  • Christina says:

    In my opinion, Bratz and all of their products are essentially the “gateway drug” to Girls Gone Wild, eating disorders, and an unhealthy preoccupation with physical appearance and attracting the opposite sex. Get little girls to start thinking about needing to dress sexy and look sexy, and then it will take off from there.

    I’m amazed they’re selling those types of books. Crazy. Just crazy.

  • Kaleigh says:

    I started getting upset about sexualization of little girls when I started shopping in the 4-6x section of the stores for my two-year-old. Those clothes were inappropriate not just for a two-year-old, but for a thirteen-year-old. And I made sure the salesperson knew how horrified I was by the clothing selected by the buyer.

    I’m very pleased to see my almost-ten-year-old daughter is still not interested in looking older than she is. The clothing she selects for herself is appropriate, despite how little appropriate clothing exists on the market.

    She also has much less interest in Bratz and Barbies than in American Girl dolls. It’s too bad the AG products are so expensive and not mass-retailed. I think most parents would choose them if they were more attainable.

  • Jessica says:

    Great Post!!!!! It is terrifying to think of the things my daughter will encounter as she gets older.

    I am not a fan of the Bratz dolls and although I feel my family will choose not to buy them for my daughter for the same reason I made it a point to express my dislike for them before Christmas…..Just to make sure. So many people don’t see things the same way. For instance, a girl that I work with that supplies her step-daughter Bratz galore and thinks it is cute when she sings an extremely vulgar rap song.

    Right now at 3 my daughter loves baby dolls, makeup, spiderman, and getting filthy down at the barn helping daddy feed or build fence. I would say she is very well rounded. I pray that she stays that way.

  • toyfoto says:

    Great post. And it kills me to side even remotely with Scholastic on having the freedom to market what sells.

    However, we also have the freedom to say no; to buy something else. To raise our voices and convince others to join the ban. We all need to care a lot more about our failing schools and less about American Idol.

    I guess I’m just saying Scholastic is a business, but we hold the purse strings.

  • V says:

    Raising 5 girls (9 to 23) to be respectful of themselves is hard these days with the constant barrage of sexually charged messages. So far we’ve managed to maintain our line in the sand despite the cries of “but everybody else…” and “all the clothes are like that”. I’ll fire off a letter to Scholastic because I think consumers have to raise their voices too, but in the end, it’s up to parents to hold the line.

  • Amy says:

    Done. Thanks for the link, Izzy. It goes without saying that I agree with everything you are saying here.

  • Izzy says:

    Of course we have the freedom to say no. That would be the first line of defense. And yes, Scholastic has the right to sell what they want. BUT…thanks to our beloved constitution, we also have the right to voice our opinions to Scholastic. The idea is not to force them by legal means to stop selling the Bratz books. The idea is to show them that their primary consumers are a force to be reckoned with and that it would behoove them to consider what their customers are telling them they want — and DON’T want. This scenario unfolds every day in the “marketplace” and smart companies pay attention to what their customers are saying.

  • Izzy says:

    As noted above, it is, indeed, up to parents to say no to things they don’t approve of but parents can’t be everywhere at once and we can’t control everything our kids are exposed to so it’s important that we DO make sure we’re heard. Absolutely.

  • Lisa says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your post. Another thing that completely pisses me off are those damn Pussycat Dolls. My friends daughter who is 11 watched that show every week… those women make me sick, but I could go on and on about that…

    Have you seen Dove’s campaign for Real beauty? It advocates against “fake beauty”. I hate to sound like an endorsement for them (I don’t work for them i swear!) but I have so much respect for what they’re doing, I think every girl should see their Evolution clip (on the main page) to show just how fake the ads are…

    anyway, my 2 cents

  • Standing on my chair, cheering loudly for you, Izzy darling.

    This was a worthy post. And I will write that letter. I do believe, that we as consumers hold the purse strings, but I also believe in corporate responsibility. When our society is inundated with such imagery, targeted towards young girls (and boys) the small task of NOT purchasing the offensive product is outweighed by the sheer VOLUME of products everywhere.

    It’s time businesses stop using our children to earn their profits.

  • Tracy says:

    Thank you for this this post. I have been seeing a lot on this topic lately, but I think that this is an point that deserves repeating. I will definitely go and write a letter right now.

  • Amy says:

    Very well stated. I agree with you 100%. I won’t even let my daughters walk down the isles that contain these sluts…uh, I mean dolls. I’m appalled by the fact parents buy these for their children. I know I shouldn’t judge others parenting styles, but it’s hard not to over something like this. Thanks for the added info about Scholastic. I’ll be doing that this afternoon.

  • dorothy says:

    Oh, you did such a much better job articulating this than I had the energy to do today. Thanks, Izzy.

  • Heather says:

    Amen. I can’t even add anything. I think the world of girls who respect themselves can be created – it’s up to us to create it and hope it catches on.

  • I was just saying at a girl’s birthday party this weekend that I walked down the Bratz aisle and FREAKED (having a boy, I never go down that aisle). But as you said, it’s the symptom of a disease – not the actual problem.

    And what kills me is, on the other end of the spectrum – when we are adults and should be OK with our sexuality, suddenly it’s not OK and we’re all worried about Janet Jackson’s nipple like it’s going to bring down modern civilization.

    Great post.

  • fweetieb says:

    Thank you so much for your post, Izzy. I sent that first link to Dorothy, and to everyone else I know. I’m so disappointed in Scholastic. I just hope the corporate behemoths who care nothing for our kids and only for the almighty dollar pay attention as the complaints roll in. I agree that it’s a society-wide (just watch the Disney Channel “tween” dramas) issue. If we could only get the Bratz pulled from the shelves… But it starts with each of us. Just say NO to the little skanks!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I am soooo disappointed in Scholastic. I understand that the point is to sell books that will get kids reading, but seriously, books with Bratz dolls as characters? What will the plots of the books be-going to the mall to get a new belly button ring? What kids need from books is a story that stimulates their imagination, takes them to faraway places, TEACHES them something. There can not possibly be anything educational in a Bratz book. Booooo, Scholastic.

  • FENICLE says:

    Bratz Dolls are the reason why you can’t buy clothing for little girls that is bedazzled with fake jewels around the v-neck low collar or skirts that aren’t barely covering their assets. They have helped define this culture where 8 year old girls feel the need to wear shoes with 1 inch heels.

    BOYCOTT!

  • Mama Luxe says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who is having some schadenfreude about the Joe Francis thing.

  • Melanie says:

    I went and sent my missive, Izzy. And this:
    “a loud and clear message that a girl’s worth lies with her sexuality”
    has been a message I’ve been trying to convey (to various assholes who try to tell me that I am too conservative about my daughters) for months, albeit in a much less articulate fashion. Thanks for giving me some very good words to use.

  • I’m raising three girls and my two older daughters already know how strongly I object to the Bratz dolls. However, some of their friends’ parents clearly aren’t aware of my objection. So, when my daughter received one as a birthday present, she looked at me sheepishly. Right after the party, I took the doll away. No questions asked. I’m so glad to know that not only do other women agree with me that Bratz dolls are sooooooooooooo wrong, but that there’s a movement to ban their products, at least in schools. I sent my email to scholastic and called it SCHOLASTIC IS PIMPING FOR BRATZ.

  • I have not seen the Bratz books on my daughter’s scholastic order form. I wonder if they’re the same everywhere or if private/religious schools get different ones? I will definitely write a letter though. That is ridiculous!

  • Jeff says:

    Thank you. You have written the perfect post. I wish I had articulated this point so well myself. As a Dad, I am disgusted by the society we live in and by parents who are blind to the impact of subtle toys, books, images, etc. I am upset with the Scholastic link here. I just praised them for a decent version of Cinderella (she does not seek out a man’s affection and does not feel the need to use beauty or image to be loved – now that is refreshing) in their new video series and here they are pimping this shit. Amazing.
    I think we all should start an organization to promote and speak up for the rights of young ladies (and young men – so they can be allowed to be fair, kind and respectful of women without the peer pressure they face to be the opposite). Girls Inc. does a nice job but we need parents like us to step up.

  • Jeff says:

    I’m sorry. I have to comment again. While I am more moved by this topic that anything else in the parenting sphere – I feel an overwhelming sadness and weakness when I think about what can be done. I am certain I can raise my girls to be healthy, happy, bold and thumb their noses at the status quo/societal norms but I do not know how to impact society as a whole. The task seems so damn large that it, at times, feels hopeless. We are battling corporate greed, above all, and parental ignorance and apathy. Both of which are HUGE hurdles that I can only theorize about overcoming. Seriously, this needs to be an ongoing dialogue somewhere, not just one brilliant post in a week of smart ideas and blog posts. How do we concerned parents keep focused about, what I think we all agree, is the central topic when it comes to raising well adjusted kids?

  • chantal says:

    Last week, at a dance competition our daughters participated in, the head judge gave an impromptu speech on the importance of parental vigilance. She scolded several studios for not having age appropriate numbers or costumes. She emphasized that dance is about expression, exercise and learning grace – not a forum for future strippers (those are my words, but the gist). She encouraged parents to not let their kids become “Bratz Dolls”. I wanted to email her, but I can’t find her address. I’ve often thought, since then, to do a post highlighting companies and people encouraging our children to behave as children.

    Great post!

  • Julie says:

    DITTO!!!! says the frightened mom of two daughters who has banned Bratz and ilk from her house.

    I’m on board, Izzy, count on me. Writing today!

  • My six-year old told me her cousins have Bratz dolls, which gave me an opportunity to tell her why she can have many things, but never a Bratz doll. She didn’t understand it all, but she knows mommy has a good reason for not buying them!

    I worry because she goes to visit her dad, and her cousins who have the hideous dolls are on his side of the family. They don’t care about stuff like that. It’s all fine with them. Ick. How can it be fine?

    Now, Bratz books is schools is so WRONG. There are other sources of self esteem building books that don’t use overt sexuality as part of the message. That’s what old President of Scholastic needs to know!

  • bitsy parker says:

    AHHHHHH!!! I can’t even thank you enough for writing this! Repeatedly I have bitched about those dolls and am so glad you found an outlet to register the complaint. I sent the email and appreciate your research. Will pass it around. Look for my essay on Libby Lu — the factory that actually dresses your child in prostitute wear and places a long blonde wig on them to accent the heavy make-up. Blowjob lessons are extra!

  • mrsderusha says:

    Oh yea! I have two sons and when I think about them growing up thinking that girls are just sexual creatures and not a whole complete person, it chaps my hide. We teach them respect at home- but is disheartening to see what they see beyond our doors when I’m not there holding their little hands.

    By the way, I thought of you when I read this on cnn
    http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/04/26/picoult.wonder.woman/index.html?eref=rss_showbiz

    Wonder Woman as a humanized woman is a message that is worthy of our girls!

  • MattB says:

    Your usual great job on this subject. I’ve sent my letter to Scholastic and alerted my female friends. My beautiful Grand-daughter was born last night and I want her to grow up in a world that values her for who she is, not what she’s willing to display.

  • Well said Izzymom! I quite like it when you get up on your soap box. I couldn’t agree more.

    This coming from someone who was posing in bras and panties for photoshoots at 16 years old. yuck.

    Jamie

  • Jenny says:

    Your point about the Bratz dolls representing society’s message that girls’ worth is in their sexuality can be seen full force on My Space. Notice all the tween girls who are otherwise “good girls” in “real life” create My Space profiles with disturbingly slutty photos of themselves posted for the world to see. When asked why? Well, cuz that’s what is cool. That’s what they are SUPPOSED to be displaying as their identity.

  • Izzy says:

    You know, Jeff…I feel the same way. The hurdles ARE huge and and it’s easy to get discouraged. Short of telling myself that I can only do as much as I can do and that every little bit helps, I’m at a loss.

    I’ve thought about putting up a resource page for parents and maybe starting a mailing list with action alerts etc.

    I STILL get Google searches for the post about the padded Bratz dolls bras for 6 year olds and that was a looong time ago. That tells me people want the info and they care about this issue.

    I just can’t do it alone. *sigh*

    Where’s Oprah when you need her?

  • Meghan says:

    RIGHT ON IZZY!!!

    Yeah! Yeah! and Yeah!

    Joe Francis has singlehandedly dumbed down our society. He represents mindless sexual groping and exploitation. I am GLAD he is in prison. I read a very disturbing article ab out him (was in on Salon.com?) about how he freaked out on a femalE reporter and slammed her into the hood of a car. The guy is a hose-beast.
    And regarding Bratz dolls, I am so sick of corporations making money off of covertly sabatoging my daughters normal sexual development and self esteem / body image. THANKS for making me work that much harder to make up for the damage you have done. Because mothering girls these days is SO EASY I have nothing but time on my hands!

    ASSHOLES! ALL OF them!!!
    You are spot-on as usual. Thanks for keeping this topic on all our brains. I am off to add my name to the petition.

  • amanda says:

    I’ll never forget waiting to go into a movie and standing behind a man holding hands with the tiniest girlfriend I’d ever seen. Standing close to 6 feet tall I am used to feeling big, but she made me feel huge. She was in 3 inch heels a mini skirt and midriff baring top. I was horrified when she turned and I saw that she was his daughter, maybe 9. Bratz are part of a much bigger problem. Thanks for this post and for making me feel less fringe fanatical puritan. I sent the email and forwarded it on to several friends.

  • Amie says:

    Fantastic post. I’ve already headed over and put my signature on a protest of the books, especially considering we’re participating in a couple of Scholastic programs.

    When it comes to items that are clearly marketed towards children, I firmly believe there should be a set line in the sand that should never be crossed. When I see the things my daughter’s (who is almost 8) classmates are wearing, I cringe. Several times she’s asked me for Bratz dollz, and I’ve had to tell her no and try to explain why in terms she’ll understand. As much as I’d like to say, “No, sweetie, those dolls look like skanks and whores, and Mommy wants you to grow up to be an astronaut, not a prostitute,” somehow I don’t think that’s going to help matters. *sigh*

  • This comment may come back to bite me in about 10 years, but I always wonder, when I hear about Bratz and ‘sexy’ toddler clothing, “what is wrong with the parents?!?!?”. If parents didn’t buy the clothes or the dolls, they wouldn’t be in the stores. It’s almost as if parents have just resigned themselves to the ‘fact’ that ‘kids grow up too fast’ as they shake their head and throw a half-shirt in their shopping carriage. I KNOW that the media is intrusive and the images are everywhere, but giving in to them should not be an option.

    Maybe I should start a club and call it MASK–”Moms Against Sluttifying Kids”.

  • BTW, I had to go to ToysRUs today (ugh) and walked down the clearance aisle. I was heartened to see that 90% of the clearance aisle was all that Baby Bratz and Bratz crap. Maybe, just maybe, they went too far in the minds of consumers and will have to pull back a bit? One can only hope. It’s too soon for me to expect that they will disappear entirely.

  • Anth says:

    I could not agree more!!!! I read an article in my local paper, I’m sure it was from the AP, quoting the pres of whoever it is that markets Bratz dolls, and he said, I’m looking at pictures of Bratz dolls right now and I don’t see one of them dressed in a sexual manner (paraphrase). I started yelling at the newspaper. I was SOOOO mad. My 11-month-old started chuckling because she never sees me act like that.
    I’m so sick of corporations acting like they have no moral responsiblity!
    Back when I was working in an office, I went off about Bratz dolls and how inappropriate they are, and then my co-worker piped up that her 5-year-old daughter loves them & even has the bedspread. I felt a bit bad abt my implied diss of her parenting, but not too bad. I just don’t understand how you could think that stuff will have no impact on your little kid.

  • I just discovered your blog. What a fantastic post this is! As an elementary educator, I have long been amazed and, at times, disgusted with Scholastic’s poor choice of affiliates. Now that I have a daughter, this is taking on a whole new dimension for me. I just wrote and mailed my letter. We have a long road ahead of us, don’t we? {sigh}

  • Rachel says:

    Great post. I don’t want my 4 year old son to grow up viewing women as valuable only for their sexuality, not their other qualities. Women are not as strong as their sexuality…they’re as strong as their character, values and beliefs…I want him to be able to recognize that, and to see the physical beauty in women, but to respect them too. Maybe I’m borrowing trouble by worrying about it already, but it feels like a losing battle trying to overcome these attitudes by focusing on different values in the family.

  • kittenpie says:

    You know, I am with you on the sexualization being a huge issue and an incredibly pervasive one. I was really happy to see that the APA is taking it seriously and that since the release of their report, I have read articles about it in a wide variety of places, including mainstream magazines. I think the more we make a thing of it, the more the message gets out there, the bigger our voice against it becomes, and maybe we can start to see some change.

    I balk a little, though, at the banning of books. I know, right? I wouldn’t have Bratz or tween-sized thongs in my house, but I won’t ban books? Well, the thing is, I’m professionally bound to intellectual freedom, and I think this starts to cross the line. I support the notion that appealing to reluctant readers is a positive, though it is a controversial notion, with much support on either side of the argument, I realize. And I support the notion that parents have to choose for their children what is right in terms of reading. I have had parents before who want to have books removed from the library system because they object to them for one reason or another, but I stand behind the idea that things should be available.

    I don’t for one minute think those books are harmless, that’s not what I’m saying, and I certainly won’t be buying my girl Bratz or my scene barbies or a stripper pole, but I have a deep reaction to starting in on books.

  • Izzy says:

    I totally see what you’re saying and I have the utmost respect for librarians.

    But I don’t really think of it as banning books or censorship. I mean anyone can go into a bookstore and buy them if they want to. It’s not as if the books would cease to exist. I’d have the same reaction about them selling Hustler or Playboy at a school book sale.

    I think of it more as the marketplace speaking up for what it wants.

    A sleazy commercial runs and the marketplace complains? It gets taken off the air.

    Don Imus calls a bunch of women nappyheaded ho’s and the marketplace speaks up. Imus gets fired.

    If corporations have the freedom to put whatever they want up for consumption, the marketplace has the freedom to object to it and if said corporations care about their customers, they will bend.

    Money talks. It’s the American way!

  • Thanks to Mom like you who is actually taking action instead of just sitting there letting the toy companies dictate what we should buy for our children.

    Those dolls are just plain disgusting! You tell me that kids don’t imitate what they see? I guess those people don’t have children.

  • Beth F. says:

    I despise Brats dolls, they will never enter my home. I am clicking that link and voicing my opinion now. THANK YOU!

  • Mom101 says:

    Whoo Izzy! I don’t know how I missed this when you first posted but thanks for Rita to linking back. I love when you get all feisty…and productive.

    Meanwhile I took some shit on my blog for coming down even on Barbie, but that’s where the beginning of the sexualization of childhood began. Before that, dolls just didn’t have boobs.

  • kittyhox says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I hate those horrid dolls. Why anyone would buy their precious, innocent, impressionable daughter a doll that looks like either a porn star or drag queen is beyond me.

    Little girls deserve to be just that – little girls!

  • kittyhox says:

    I just couldn’t agree with your post or Jeff’s comments more. So far, I just have a son, and I’m as worried about him and other little boys as I am about little girls! The sexualization of little girls affects all children. The kind of music children listen to, the types of programs and movies that are considered acceptable for them, the marketing of toys that are just awful… It’s so disturbing. Don’t these people who make this crap have children?

    This would be an awesome issue for Oprah to explore, since so many people seem to think, do or buy whatever she thinks, does, or buys.

    It’s just so frustrating. Childhood is such a precious and pivotal time. It’s short enough without this garbage.

  • kittyhox says:

    Love it! Moms Against Sluttifying Kids. That’s priceless. I’d join!

  • Lotta says:

    So well said (as you always are) but this article is so right on. I will be writing Scholastic and I never do stuff like that.

  • becky says:

    send the email. thanks for writing about this!

  • AnneMarieZ says:

    well written! I have bookmarked it to send to friends..
    Bratz are not allowed in my home. I even just recently discussed this with my girls and would they want to play with a brat. They didn’t know the term and I explained it to both. They shook their head and said no. They both have friends who have them and tell their buddies they are not allowed to play with them.. not even in their house!!! Yippeee !love it when my rules apply elsewhere!
    Keep up with your vigilance!

  • Jamie says:

    And I quote, “I’m talking about an entire culture of hypersexual skankiness…”

    I could not agree more. I was really ticked off, to put it mildly, when one of my daughter’s preschool friends brought Bratz Valentine’s Day cards to their party…AND HER MOTHER IS A TEACHER THERE!!! What the hell?

    As the mom to two little girls, I cringe when I see revealing clothes for little girls. Hell, even Holly Hobbie has been “pimped” out for the new generation. Pop culture embraces women as “sluts.” Not exactly the world I want my girls to grow up in, but it’s up to parents to say no to what the marketing machine deems cool. You can’t turn on MTV today without it bordering on soft porn. And yeah, I’m old, but I remember when “Porky’s,” “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and after school specials were pretty racey.

    Great post! I came via Mrs. Flinger’s blog.

  • Jamie says:

    I think my comment went into cyberspace, but I could not agree more. Especially with this statement: “an entire culture of hypersexual skankiness that seems to be accepted as fine by nearly everyone.”

    As a mom to two little girls, frankly, I don’t want them to grow up too fast. I don’t want them to idolize mindless celebrities who think about nothing but the latest bag, drinking and drugs, and showing off their cooter.

    Hopefully the tide will turn and the marketing machine that feeds this madness will get a clue. Even Holly Hobbie has been pimped out. Ugh!

    It starts with the parents. I was in disbelief a few months ago at my daughter’s pre-K Valentine’s Day part when one of the girls brought Bratz cards to school! She’s 5 AND her mother works as a teacher at the daycare. WTF?!?

    Kudos to you for spreading the news about this. I came Mrs. Flinger’s blog.

  • Lisa says:

    Jamie – that was the line that really struck me, as well!

    Great post, Izzymom – I wholeheartedly agree with you!

    I am doing the ‘combating the “sluttiness” at home’ that you didn’t want people to preach to you, but, it often seems like a losing battle, as it is so insidious out there. And also, like you said, pretty soon my influence will mean piddly little to my 10 yr old daughter, in comparison to her friends.

  • Melanie says:

    IzzyMom, this post should be front-page news in every newspaper. Thank you for articulating so well how I’ve been feeling since my daughter was BORN. It IS incredible how desensitized that our society has gotten to what commercialism has done to our girls — sexualizing them and teaching them to objectify themselves. I just had to link you in a post for it. Seriously, there should be an organized movement that could address Washington about this subject and get the public’s attention — and I nominate you to head it! ;) Seriously, you should think about it, though. Thanks again for a great post!

  • M says:

    I am no fan of Bratz dolls nor the prostiTot-ing of our little girls. But as I read all these comments, I must ask: Has anyone actually READ any of these books? What is the CONTENT like?

    Clearly the concern voiced here is what the Bratz portray and represent. But as a librarian, I would absolutely take a look at what is inside a book before I complained about the outside.

    Our school is having a bookfair next week and I will definitely be on the lookout for these.

  • Izzy says:

    I haven’t seen them but two of them are called “Catwalk Cuties” and “Dancin’ Divas” They sound like porn titles.

  • Izzy says:

    Good for you. I’m all for combatting sluttiness at home. (but I didn’t want people throwing that at me as a catch-all solution. To me, that’s like insisting that promoting abstinence stops teens from having sex when we all know it doesn’t.)

    Good luck :)

  • Great post. I came over by way of Zero Boss. I’ve sent a personalized email over to Scholastic. Thanks for spreading the word about this.

  • Great post. I came over by way of Zero Boss. I’ve sent a personalized email over to Scholastic. Thanks for spreading the word about this.

  • Had to correct my mistake in the last comment. I actually came over from a link on Triple Venti.

  • Had to correct my mistake in the last comment. I actually came over from a link on Triple Venti.

  • Mom says:

    I did it. Felt great! I actually have a meeting to talk with the director of my dd’s school about getting rid of scholastic altogether. Bratz are awful, but even without them, the advertising has outweighed the benefits in my mind.

    Thanks for the link here!

    Hope you’ll visit my blog too:
    http://www.outside-the-toybox.com

  • 14 years Charlotte, who isn't a harlot! says:

    Holly Hobbie hasn’t been “pimped out” for the new generation. She dresses in some lovely craft-kit-esque ruffly clothes and some other boho-chic nice country fashions. She’s the great-grand-daughter of the original Holly Hobbie. She has a new show on Nick Jr. about her friends and her new life on the farm (they moved to the farm.) It’s a very charming series.

    But I agree with your opinions on Bratz dollies. Three years ago, when I was eleven, I was in just-about-I’d-say the demographic for them. I didn’t like them, their clothes were weird and they had huge eyes and lips, with no noses, their faces made them look like those grey aliens. They were really edgy and cartoonily designed and packaged. A very little few of the outfits were nice, but I didn’t want to buy them as I am used to not buying nice toys and we are and were poor. Also, I didn’t ever like girl dolls. I’ve only ever liked virtual pets/Tamagotchis/Neopets/Pokemons cute fluffy animals/creatures and Rubic’s Cube types of colourful puzzle things and adventure things when I was younger. These dolls didn’t do anything particularly intresting. Some came with bobble-headed pets, but they were secondary to the dolls so these cute animals played second fiddle to humans. I didn’t have any friends when I was younger.. I had some pets though. I liked animals more than people, they were cuter. I didn’t ever like rap, it was too adult and mean. The singers’ voices were too low and not like the squeaky voices of cartoon rabbits. So I deemed them ugly and gross.

  • 14 years Charlotte, who isn't a harlot! says:

    Holly Hobbie hasn’t been “pimped out” for the new generation. She dresses in some lovely craft-kit-esque ruffly clothes and some other boho-chic nice country fashions. She’s the great-grand-daughter of the original Holly Hobbie. She has a new show on Nick Jr. about her friends and her new life on the farm (they moved to the farm.) It’s a very charming series.

    But I agree with your opinions on Bratz dollies. Three years ago, when I was eleven, I was in just-about-I’d-say the demographic for them. I didn’t like them, their clothes were weird and they had huge eyes and lips, with no noses, their faces made them look like those grey aliens. They were really edgy and cartoonily designed and packaged. A very little few of the outfits were nice, but I didn’t want to buy them as I am used to not buying nice toys and we are and were poor. Also, I didn’t ever like girl dolls. I’ve only ever liked virtual pets/Tamagotchis/Neopets/Pokemons cute fluffy animals/creatures and Rubic’s Cube types of colourful puzzle things and adventure things when I was younger. These dolls didn’t do anything particularly intresting. Some came with bobble-headed pets, but they were secondary to the dolls so these cute animals played second fiddle to humans. I didn’t have any friends when I was younger.. I had some pets though. I liked animals more than people, they were cuter. I didn’t ever like rap, it was too adult and mean. The singers’ voices were too low and not like the squeaky voices of cartoon rabbits. So I deemed them ugly and gross.

  • ReikiTech says:

    Yes i found it was buggy as well, the pages here load very slowly. I suppose it happens sometimes with sites

  • Jack Lusby says:

    Interesting and thanks for the share!

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