Posted in Beauty, Business, children, culture, Education, emotions, entertainment, family, fashion, kids, life, media, mental and physical health, news, opinion, parenting, school, teens, television, well-being, tagged accessories, adults, advertising, age appropriate, airbrushing, anorexia, appropriate, bad girl image, Barbie, Beauty, body image, botox, boundaries, Bratz, breast augmentation, children, conduct, contract, copyright, culture, demand, designer, dolls, emotional development, fashion, good girl image, grown up, healthy, industries, infringement, lesson, magazines, marketing, Mattel, media, MGA, obesity, parenting, photo retouching, plastic surgery, predators, products, schools, self concept, sensualized, support, teaches, television, toys, values, world view on August 27, 2008|
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Ok, here we go…a few months ago, i heard about a lawsuit on one of the ABC news programs between Mattel, the makers of the Barbie doll empire, and MGA Entertainment, Inc the makers of the Bratz doll line. The issue seemed to spring from Mattel’s allegation that the designer Carter Bryant was working for them when he came up with the concept for the Bratz doll line; and therefore, they felt that it infringed upon their copyright since he was under contract to them at the time of the design; the jury seemed to agree.
The jury awarded Mattel $100 million dollars in compensation today. Wowie…that would pay for a whole lot of Barbie cars, Barbie swimming pools and certainly alot of Barbie mansions. Now that $100 million, was nowhere near the amount that Mattel was seeking; it was more in the area of $1Billion dollars that they felt MGA should owe them with the success of the Bratz dolls, toys and other assorted items MGA endorsed with the Bratz line.
I don’t know if you have ever seen the Bratz dolls but their heads are large…and they wear exceedingly seductive outfits and they have long hair and heavy makeup on these dolls. They are very sensualized dolls that have been marketed to young girls and preteen girls as the heighth of fashion dolls. In comparison, Barbie has been a mainstay in the toy market for years..but, since the sales began on the Bratz line…Barbie sales have fallen. The competition seemed to pit the “good girl image” with the “bad girl image”…what image do you think young girls in a hurry to grow up wanted mom and dad to buy them? Their choices are influenced by the things they see in our culture as “grown up”. With growing concerns about body image and a healthy attitude towards their self concept…we need to understand the connection that takes place in a child’s world view and how that affects their emotional development!
Teaching young girls to value their bodies as something more than window dressing to get attention used to be the norm; that is no longer true. Experts have been dealing with an increased awareness that young women are not happy with their bodies and will go to extremes to try to achieve the “look” that is in vogue. We have young women (and young men) who are tortured with anorexia, who are struggling with obesity, who pay for plastic surgery to get their bodies to fit a certain mold, putting foreign substances such as botox into their bodies, breast augmentation, etc. Educating them to the truth that the images they see in magazines and on television are adjusted with the magic of photo retouching and airbrushing techniques…that no-one has a perfect face or figure. It is time to stop and teach young people the importance of self acceptance. Stop allowing them to think that they don’t measure up to someone else’s standards of what is the ideal.
We really need to examine the culture that we expose our children to from magazine articles, to television shows, to media advertising, to fashionable clothing lines that seem to say it is ok to dress our young girls in clothing meant for older teens or young adult women. Everything is sexualized or sensual in it’s design…this marketing technique needs to be addressed. We are allowing this, when we purchase these types of products for our children and then wonder why behaviors seem so out of synch with the type of behaviors that should be appropriate to their ages.
Parents are the ultimate stop gap for their children…it is their money, for the most part, which purchases these items. If we raise the bar on what we expose our children to…then, the industries that our dollars support will have to adapt to the demand for a more traditional age appropriate level of decency in the children’s clothing, toys, accessories, music, television programing, advertising, etc.
In an age where we try to protect our children from predators on the streets, in our schools and in every other area of life; we need to understand that if we send the children mixed messages about what is appropriate role modeling; how can we expect them to know when someone inappropriately crosses the line in their conduct? Children learn their boundaries from the adults in their lives who set limits…so we need to re-examine how we condition our children by the choices that we make.
Children may still want the Bratz dolls over the Barbie dolls…who knows…children don’t always know what is in their best interests; however, the adults who care for them should know…shouldn’t they?
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