On my Facebook page I stirred up a great discussion about whether or not I should buy a Monster High doll for Bee, my soon-to-be eight-year-old. I've steadfastly banned Bratz "You Can't Spell Slutz Without a 'Z'" dolls. But now Bee has come a-begging for a Monster High doll, and my husband and I must decide if we want to blacklist yet another, albeit more clever, teen-cum-streetwalker fashion doll.
These Monster High and Bratz babes are little more than vacuous, teen stripper characters. Teens who are ready for the boudoir and marketed directly to my eight-year-old. Teens with collagen injected lips, more-is-more eye make-up, and in some cases, pre-shod, twist-off feet. Well, at least Bratz owners don't need to keep track of pint-sized plastic pump pairs; they only need an evidence baggie handy for the severed feet.
Where have all the Skippers gone?
Skipper: Hi everybody! It's meeee, Skipper.
Skipper: Oh, silly gusses. You know me. Stop playing around.
Everybody: Wait, we've got it. Gilligan's Island, right?
Skipper: Gilligan's?! What? No, Skipper. From Mattel?
Everybody: You mean that busty blond babe with the tiptoe deformity?
Skipper: Well, no, that's my big sis, Barbie. I'm her teen sister, Skipper. You remember me.
Everybody: Oh, right, Scamper. We think we remember tying you to a bottle rocket in 1988.
Skipper: It's "Skip-ER."
Everybody: Right! Shrimper. Sorry about that, Scurvy.
Skipper: You're not even trying.I miss that spunky gal. Sure, I never played with her and I don't actually know anyone who did play with Skipper, which may explain why she's not widely available for purchase. But if Mattel took a page out of it's own Monster High playbook, we could have a more-appropriately-proportioned vampire doll for our girls to make believe with. Where's Zombie Skipper? One with skirts that are at least as long as two inches above the exposed kneecap. One whose breasts don't get in the way of her attempts to eat brains.
In terms of cool factor, I really get the appeal of the Monster High dolls. They are the amalgamation of two fantasies: the woman young girls wonder if they will become, one with hard-as-granite, perky breasts that fill out a miniature sequin tube top so well, and the mythology of werewolves and vampires with super fly accessories to match. I get it. I'm even attracted to it. I daresay I like it. I just wish it came without all the hyper-sexualization.
For the record, I still haven't decided if we will get Bee a Monster High doll. Because OMG the clothes are so SQUEE! But if we do, rest assured we will make her feel terrible about playing with that doll as often as we can. That's good parenting. Crumbling under the combined pressure of your child's nagging requests despite society's treatment of young girls as future sex industry employees while making your child feel guilty about the whole thing.
*UPDATE: We're getting her a Monster High doll. May the judgement of the internet masses be kind.
Earlier this week . . .
Elsewhere on the internet . . .