The Full Scope

The Full Scope is a Film and Video game blog specifically designated to the topic of Gender and how it is portrayed in the media

Inspired and Utilized by my Senior Seminar MASCULINITY (And Gender) in Film

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I Love me some Eye-Shadow: In Defense of BRATZ

  it's my birthday and I should be doing something else with my time but I have a rant, regarding this:

 and of course THIS:
disturbingly sexist article about something that should just bring more diversity to the doll world
  As some people may have seen the Bratz dolls from our wee years have been all over twitter and the internet this week because someone in Tasmania gave the dolls make-unders. This woman has been praised for 'desexualizing' the dolls and turning them into little innocent forest children, instead of bad influences.
the little angles... are a bit obtuse to me


The article, notice, only puts up the most tantalizing photos, such as this:
along with the tag "she looks like a hooker." Its probably just from the 80s lineup of dolls.

Well, what about all the other options? 70s look fine to me. Though I didn't mind the 80s either.


1. What's wrong with options?

As someone who likes to put on make up most days, it's rude and dumb to make snap judgements about intelligence based on their outer appearance.
People have been saying these dolls have 'inner beauty' because they look 'natural.'

she wants your soul.
Um... No they don't, they're dolls- and having the option of natural looking dolls is great but believe me I have met some real assholes who didn't wear makeup while knowing many lovely women who do. Dolls however, have no personalities and unless there are rainbows in that inner husk of theirs, they have about as much inner beauty as an empty Pringles can.


2. De-sexualization? Really?
Girls can be cowboys too. Er, cowgirls.

I think my biggest problem with the desexualization fight is the ignorant question of who is sexualizing these dolls. Speaking from the perspective of someone who played with said dolls at a young age, I don't think I eroticized them in the same way that adults do. The bold colors and patterns of the clothes may have stimulated emulation but it was because the aesthetic was interesting, vivid, and not constantly 'pretty in pink.'

Some of these collections are really freakin' cool. A Masquerade collection? Sign me up!
 Do girls explore sexual discovery through playing with dolls? Honestly yes- but that can be done with any set of dolls- and to blame the clothes is preposterous- all I know is that when we played with the dolls and someone wanted to have a baby, doll clothes would hit the ground faster than you could say 'lack of genitalia' - and reenacting 'sex' with the dolls was so incredibly inaccurate that instead of sex positions that made sense we'd just make the dolls scissor, regardless of gender, and boom a baby happened. Children don't sexualize the dolls. They don't look at the clothing the dolls wear and think, "this is sexy and all the boy dolls will want to fuck her." Parents do. Saying the natural dolls are better is a form of slut shaming so ingrained that we are forcing it on inanimate objects.

These dolls are seriously cool - Rocker dolls for the non-traditional set
That is one slutty hunk of plastic. The problem isn't so much that we treat the dolls as pariahs of bad influence- it's that we treat women the way we treat these dolls.


3.Just Look at this Diversity
two white girls and they ain't taking center stage.

Can we quickly discuss how diverse Bratz dolls were for their time? Even now they lead the doll market as far as diversity is concerned with tons of varying race, ethnicity and even social groups represented. They have no single 'token' person of color doll but many who are given equal weight in advertising.

And, unlike Barbie, all dolls have their own, equally cool, style, individual face shape, makeup pallet and fashion sense.


4. BUT BRATZ DONT HAVE CAREERZ
I think yes. Your look doesn't define your intelligence. They're teens, they should dress funky and figure out their careers later!

One of the biggest butt-hurts people have had with the franchise is that the bratz dolls don't promote any type of non-traditionally-feminine interest. I wonder though, does Barbie, who has a wide array of forms and jobs, actually promote play within those ranges? When I was a child, I would choose the coolest looking bratz or Barbie doll and, regardless of clothing, made them paleontologists, veterinarians, marine biologists myself. The commercials may show bratz dolls going on trips to the mall for fashion, but mine was most certainly a prosthetic limb engineer.
And if you actually look at all the doll lines, you'll notice a lot of them do have jobs:
Fighting Crime is legit work

As are all of these - Like, you can be funky and hot and beautiful and have a job - and all of these are legitimate jobs so take that society.
Musician is a job

Heck, this one is even a pirate! She got the booty AND the BOOTY



Long and the short, I'm not saying the refurbished dolls are bad or stupid, but I do think they are an alternative option that should be available without vilifying the dolls already out there. The girls and boys who play with them should not be scolded for enjoying a vibrant aesthetic or praised for preferring a woodsy one. Just get the kid the doll they'll like, and as long as you don't see signs of anorexia as a result, let it be. Adults, please stop sexualizing your children's toys. That's what you have your own for.





Do not turn off the power while your progress is saving.
LEX saved the Game

Also! This post was featured as a guest post on Wandering Womb. Check out more posts on exploration and self discovery here: Wandering Womb

2 comments:

  1. Julia O'ConnellJanuary 26, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Awesome post!
    Also, how did I not know about all of these amazing different lines. I want the Rocker one!
    I loved my Bratz, and the ethnic diversity was definitely a plus. It wasn't something I even noticed as a child, but I think that was part of the amazing thing about Bratz. When you bought a black Barbie doll, you knew you were buying the Black Barbie. But there were so many ethnic Bratz, that the white girls weren't the norm and none of them stood out as the token ethnic doll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of the reasons I got super irritable about the fact that everyone seems to be trying to vilify them all of a sudden. Like, we talk about the "hyper-sexualization" but if you look at them, they don't actually have enormous boobs or butts. Literally the only thing that makes them "sexual" is their make up and big lips. I love how diverse they were and they didn't make any ethnicity better than any other!

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