No Bratz Zone

Thu, October 19, 2006


We don’t have a lot of inflexible rules in our house, but there are a few really important ones:

1. No running or jumping on the stairs,

2. No hitting of any kind,

3. Sharing is a good thing,

4. No Bratz dolls (not necessarily in that order).

I know a lot of moms take issue with Barbie and see her as the devil’s spawn, but Bratz Girl dolls make Barbie look like Marcia Brady.

When we’re talking about role models, especially for our young daughters, it’s not just the messages that career women are sending that we need to evaluate. I admit that, as many, I take exception with Barbie’s unnatural body proportions, but there’s something really insidious about marketing dolls to kindergartners that look like a cross between Angelina Jolie and a street walker.

Rachel knows that’s one of the few toys we will not ever have in our house and when the subject comes up, she always dutifully parrots back my words:

“They really do wear too much make-up, Mommy. They’d look nicer if they didn’t wear any make-up — like you!” (OUCH!)

She still gets exposed to them, though — through the school Valentine cards that bear their likeness, other children own them and, yes, through commercials on TV (though, thankfully, most of the shows she likes are on stations that don’t have commercials).

But we saw one yesterday for the Bratz Babyz (who also have that lovely hoochie-mama look) and the huge Bratz head (‘ho’ make-up included). Rachel knows we’re not going to buy them, but she is instantly drawn to them, and I can’t quite figure out why. Subliminal messages emitted by the TV?

Given the choice, I’d rather have my daughter playing princess with Barbies than painting the new Bratz Girl make-up head with sparkly eye shadow and Vampira-like lipstick.

Now, how to send that message to well-meaning gift givers for the upcoming birthday and holiday seasons?

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14 Responses to “No Bratz Zone”

  1. Lawyer Mama Says:

    Unfortunately, I think you have to just flat out tell EVERYONE that no Bratz dolls are allowed. There are just some areas where no compromise is possible.

    And, yes, like you I find Bratz dolls soooo disturbing.

  2. Momish Says:

    My niece is obsessed with these dolls too! I agree, they are inappropriate for the age they target. Good for you on standing your ground! I hope I can do the same when the time comes.

  3. Sarantium Says:

    I agree with you 100% I have a similar rule regarding toy weapons for my son. I flat out told everyone that he was not to recieve toy guns, sword, etc. This christmas we’ll see if it worked..

    Good luck.

  4. Mom101 Says:

    I swear, just yesterday I was doing a google search for “empowering girls” and I got a Bratz press release! I wish I could find it again but I think I blocked it out.

    I’m hoping they’re long gone by the time my daughter is old enough to consider one. Shiver.

  5. mad muthas Says:

    those jezebels! come back sindy (did you have sindy in the us? she was a nice wholesome girl – although her head tended to fall off if you gave her a bath) – our daughters need you.
    i’m rather hoping that our little girls will associate that kind of whorish display with having to remove your feet when you want to change your shoes or trousers. maybe it’ll work like aversion therapy? maybe ….?

  6. CrankMama Says:

    I think the best protection against crap like Bratz is no TV… Videos fine, but TV means commercials means horrid Bratz dolls. As far as telling relatives/friends what toys are & aren’t allowed, I think it’s fine to not allow certain toys. On the other hand, I feel sorry for all the people having to follow all the gift-giving rules. My approach is to say “thank you” and then just take the toys away after the fact… but in some worlds that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. This has only worked because my girls are still very young …

  7. Paige Says:

    My daughter still is too young to know about Bratz dolls, but when the time comes I think I’m gonna make like you and Crankmama and declare my house a no Bratz zone.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Thank goodness Mimi has not expressed any interest in the Bratz. She’s still about Disney princesses with a smattering of Barbie — and in comparison, they look like Holly Hobbie next to the Bratz girls. Interesting how much the world has changed — what will be the next big (horrible) toy?

    Nancy (in case the comment thing doesn’t work again..)

  9. Steve Says:

    Depends on the kid. My daughter, who is 9, loves them…but they aren’t some kind of “role model” for her. She just likes doing their hair (as far as I can tell, she never changes their clothes or actually plays with them in any other way).

    It’s sad when a toy becomes something a child looks to for inspiration. She should be inspired by her parents, first and foremost.

    But banning them…won’t that make her want them more?

  10. PunditMom Says:

    Steve, as a general proposition I agree that banning toys just makes them want them more. But I find them, as Lawyer Mama says, disturbing. Who would ever create a doll like this for little girls in the first place?

    I think we’re going to stick w/ Barbie and Disney princesses for as long as possible.

  11. Steve Says:

    Well…we thought the same thing (stick with Barbie and Disney Princesses). Then she turned 7…looked 9 (she’s 9 and to my Dad-tuned, frightened, deer-in-the-headlights eyes she looks 15….’cept no boobs, thank god…but I digress…) and started asking for Bratz…you can only say “No” for so long. Oh well…hope you last longer than we did! :)

  12. Blue Moon Mama Says:

    I was reading this morning that there is a new line of clothing, including padded bras, for 6 to 10 year olds with the Bratz label.

    Ugh. Sometimes I’m glad I have a boy…

  13. Anonymous Says:

    My daughter is about to turn 9. For each of her last 3 birthday parties, I have written right on the invitation “No Bratz toys please.” I don’t care what the other mothers might say about me–and I’m sure in the end they’d rather not waste their money on a gift I am going to return or throw in the garbage.
    I work at a domestic violence shelter and we do not accept any donated toys that are either weapons/military or Bratz. If they get donated despite our written statement that we don’t accept them, they get taken to the dumpster.

  14. Kaleb Ray Says:

    It’d be nice if my daughter never learned of their existence. Of course by the time she is that age, they’ll probably have something worse. . . eep!

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