Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Barbie vs. Bratz

In case you have not heard the news from Toy Departments across America, the Bratz dolls will be leaving the shelves very soon. Apparently, Mattel (the maker of Barbie) filed a law suit claiming that the creater of Bratz came up with the idea while working for Mattel.

Although I am not a parent, I have a five year old sister who plays with dolls. This Christmas I refuse to purchase anything Barbie or Hannah Montana. This is a decision for parents to ultimately make, but as an adult with a very young sister I have concerns too.

I am concerned about the number of decades the image of Barbie has dominated the toy aisle! Forget how the ethnic Barbies are never named Barbie. Forget the unrealistic body, the blonde hair, the companion Ken doll, the various Professions, and the material items Barbie accumulates....

Images like the Barbie Doll contributes to the inferiority complex minority girls spend their adult years trying to defeat.

Bratz is a legitimate competitor. For once we have dolls on the shelves that emphasize non-European physical features. The arguments most people have about the Bratz dolls include the Urban wear and physical features. I think most of the physical features are a reflection of non-European women. Sure the clothes could be a bit more modest, but Barbie too has her share of interesting fashions too. In the end, I advocate for Bratz because of the diversity and the proximity to real features of ethnic women.
What I will miss about the Bratz dolls:
1. The Lips
2. Their shapes--Barbie eat your heart out!
3. Their names (there is a Sasha in the group ode to Sasha Obama living in the White House)
4. Their Diversity

I really think that people are upset about Barbie finally having competition. The Bratz dolls are more of a reality than Barbie for lots of girls in my family. The Bratz phenomenon is about someone finally getting the message that there are girls of different shades around the world that cannot relate to Barbie. Unfortunately, too many Americans consider Barbie a classic and shy away at any real diversity in the doll world.


Anonymous said...

Always its race when you lose. Issac Larin Bratz MGA owner stold an employees idea and him from Mattle.The jury & The judge saw through smiley Issac Larin and he is a looser .

MsBlake said...

I never once said the lawsuit was racial. In fact, I have nothing at all to say about the court findings until I know more about the case. However, I will stand firm in my belief that Barbie was running scared. I will also own up to my opinions about the effects of images the Barbie doll has portrayed for decades.

So sorry to upset your assumptions, but I never said anything about race regarding the court case.

La Reyna said...

I don't understand why people in general get all defensive when it comes to race, gender, and class issues. The Bratz dolls are unique among all dolls because they are inclusive of America. Black, Latina, Asian, Native American, Jewish, Arab, East Indian, Pacific Islander, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Meditteranean, and Multiracial girls at least have something they can relate to unlike the WASPY Barbie doll and her equally WASPY Ken doll.

This is an issue we need to face especially with the ever increasing ethnic and racial diversity of today's America. The face of beauty is no longer WASP. It's multicultural. Even Betty Crocker image had to change with the times. In fact, whatever happen to the new multicultural Betty Crocker? I haven't seen her much since 1997.

What are your thoughts on this?

Stephanie B.

MsBlake said...

I'm at a lost on Betty Crocker too. Perhaps she was overwhelmed with trying to please critics. Images of men and women on food items have been ridiculed for years...I think these historic images have been ad execs worst nightmares.