Jess McCabe // 10 December 2008
The controversial line of dolls Bratz has been ordered off the shelves by a US judge, over a copyright infringement issue.
Elle, phd posted a very good analysis of the whole Bratz issue:
My point is, that Bratz did not look like white-Barbie dyed light- or dark-brown, and that is definitely part of their appeal:
“Barbie® did advance as women advanced. She had a doctor’s outfit, she went into space. But she was still blonde and blue-eyed when a majority of girls in the U.S. and the world were not.
Focusing on the fact that these dolls are multicultural does lead to more troubling questions though:
1) Why did the manufacturer feel the need to dress and adorn these dolls in this way?
2) Have people (particularly moms) explored why it’s so easy to call these dolls (dolls, for god’s sake!) “freakish” and “hookers” and “slutz” and “trampy”?
The Bratz are market successes because they rely on stereotypes about “ethnic” women: they are sexy (and sexual) and made cutting-edge/trendy by their “exoticness” and their adherence to an alternative/rebellious counterculture (in this case, largely hip-hop).
Ironically, these are the exact reasons Bratz are repudiated. This mom, for example, was appalled by the “vinyl whores” who, when compared to Barbie had “less boobs, more junk in the trunk.”