I've tried to make my peace with Bratz dolls -- honest: this world seems big enough for Bratz, Barbie and Barbie's breasts -- but Tuesday's post brought it all up again. And it reminded me: what happened to the Bratz movie? Oh.
Barbie and Skipper send their condolences. Midge With Teeth could not be reached for comment.
But here's an interesting pre-release bit I missed: "negative public perception has prevented the Bratz from blossoming into a full-scale entertainment phenomenon. Parents and child advocacy groups have long argued that the dolls, with their fishnet stockings, pouty lips and micro-mini skirts, encourage pre-adolescent sexuality. With 'Bratz: The Movie,' MGA and Lionsgate want to change that image." The movie versions are evidently infused with a "newfound purity" and "Bratz might bare their midriffs, cake their faces in makeup and worship stiletto boots, but they know wrong from right: they decide to teach the school a lesson in diversity." Since I didn't see the movie, I have to ask: diversity of what?
I'm fully aware, though, that Barbie has had her share of problems. Mattel at first rejected a doll with, you know, a chest and feminists very nearly turned "Barbie doll" into a slur. But Barbie has always had an admirable narrative. Even those early outfits -- with names like "Commuter Set" and "Theater Date" -- suggested an intelligent, active woman. A Busy Gal! Although the doll's changed and is now meant for a much younger child, Barbie still reflects, I think, that original spirit. Maybe I don't know enough about Bratz to know if they have a story. I guess diversity is a start.
ADDED: Maybe it's the Bratz image that pushes some parents into the loving, educational arms of American Girl dolls and their newest movie -- which just from first looks alone, seems to be the anti-Paper Moon. And if you saw Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front, how old did it make you feel that they cast Molly Ringwald as the mother? God, that devastated me.