Group discussion (Group two ?)
A bit confusing... its hard to keep tabs on a flowing conversation...
In talking about the differences btwn Barbies and Bratz we felt as though Bratz presented very commercial ideals- the loved shopping and seemed more materialistic. We also felt that they were more "cool", "trendy", and even, "urban". They have disturbingly skinny bodies, accentuated by their big heads- seemingly promoting the celebrity "bobble head" phenomenon among hollywood celebrities.
Barbies too loved shopping, but we give these dolls credit for at least having aspirations. In relation to Pink Think- this doll however does present us with a more ladilike perspective of how women should be.
We found Barbie to be created mostly around white culture.
While we didnt think the dolls were good role models, we also posed the question of whether a doll can actually be a role model? We felt that moreso, they are a tool for children with which explore/ play/ and imagine.
We wondered why they had to make these dolls look as they do? Why so sexualized? Are the Bratz more of a teenage ideal? This outlook is a reflection on youth oriented culture.
In the case of Barbies, we felt women's careers were more feminized.
Neither doll reflected the image of a real girl- Did the producers choose the skinnier role model because of the media? Are they promoted this way because they ARE an ideal? we felt that 'yes' answered both of these questions. You can't strive to be a 'normal' person- these are fantasies... but then this brings us back to the question of if these dolls are role models, and do they provide appropriate fantasies?
Why did Barbie begin so sexualized? The makers claim that is what the consumers wanted- but times were different in the fifties- women's roles have obviously changed.The doll should have changed with the times. Advertising for these dolls gets even the strongest of feminist parents to cave. The doll companies don't have to create the dolls the way they do. Children adore them because of their popularity- if a less sexualized doll was promoted the way Barbie was, there might not be so much controversy... and since that obviously isn't happening, we felt as though parents should take a stand- parents should show a well rounded view of the world- no matter how hard it is.
At the end of class the question of which was better Barbies or Bratz came up- I had a different response. it seemed the general response was that they were both bad in different ways, however i feel like the dolls are both bad in the same ways... they are both sexualized, they are both materialistic, really, I think, it is their redeeming aspects that differ.