There has been a lot of debate about Bratz dolls (whose company belongs to an expat Iranian, I recently read- how typical of an Iranian to market such a product!!!), and how they promote early and unsuitable seksuality and fashion-consciousness in little innocent girls, with their skimpy clothes and puffy lips. Barbie company is of course furious that Bratz has swallowed up a large percent of their market share (I can’t remember figures), and I actually read some solemn nonsense along the lines “With my Barbie dolls, I used to have imaginative role play. Bratz dolls are just about taking this outfit off and putting another one on”.
However I have never noticed any difference in the type of play my daughter has with the two doll types, and the bratz and barbies mingle sociably enough in her play, amiably borrowing clothes and story-lines. As a general rule, whatever is new gets the most attention, regardless of type.
And recently, I swooped upon a huge set of stickers and Bratz colouring posters at the dollar store and bought them for my daughter, who shrieked with delight at the sight. We spent some cozy mummy-daughter moments together, discussing the best colour for their outfits, hair, lips, eyes, eye-shadow, hats, skin. I made a stand for racial equality when I tried to encourage her to colour one Bratz brown, but it was doomed. Then I tried to colour the hair of one black- again no use. She insisted all of them have yellow hair, at most agreeing to let one have orange-brown streaks. But for eyes, she was prepared to compromise, and we had a pair of brown and grey eyes, as well as green and blue.
In one of the posters, the Bratz girl is standing in a very suggestive pose: she is wearing jeans, the palm of her hand is placed on top of the waist of her jeans, and she is pulling it firmly pulling down, showing the top of her panties- like Jennifer Lopez in the clip “jenny from the block”. I simply do not see what is so seksy and attractive about this pose, and even with my liberal modern western brain-washed values, I felt it really did go too far.
So when my daughter asked me why this particular bratz had her hand in her panties, I told her the truth: she was dying to go to the toilet to pee, and was racing to the bathroom when she had to stop and take this picture. My daughter found this explanation hilarious, and replied that she could tell the Bratz was bursting with pee from the fixed and intense glare of her eyes.
And thus I struck another blow for perserving my daughter’s innocence against the barrage of evil corrupted Western products determined at spoiling it.