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“Please wait… it takes time to look this good!?

Bratz-Fabulous.jpg

Available at Target, Toys’R’Us, eToys, Amazon.com, K-mart, JC Penny, WalMart, KB Toys, Macy’s, and BestBuy.com, Bratz are sweeping the nation as the elementary school girl’s new favorite toy and role model.

By just glancing at the different Bratz dolls, one would think that the creators did a good job of including many races and ethnicities. However when you actually look at the dolls and start to read the “’Bout Bratz? section of the website, you become startled at what you find.

On the outside, each Bratz doll is mixed and matched a skin and hair color combination. Then, these combinations are applied to the same prototype of a ridiculously skinny teenage girl with full, pouty lips, big breasts, high cheekbones, and sexy almond-shaped eyes. What is most troubling is all of the Bratz have background stories that hint at their race, ethnicity, hobbies, favorite music, etc. This implies that in order to be cool (my six-year-old cousin has informed me that Bratz are “just about the coolest thing on the planet?), a young girl must fit into this mold of an unattainable physical perfection, love fashion, be entrenched in pop-culture, and have a hobby of some kind that she is very good at. According to Dana’s profile (Dana is a Bratz doll), it’s acceptable to be a bookworm as long as your goals are fashion oriented (she spends all her time studying… because she wants to open the first shoe store in space).

Aside from the ridiculous physical standards upheld by the Bratz dolls, their profiles also provide hints to young girls about different races/ethnicities and the stereotypical social characteristics of each. For example, Sasha (an African-American Bratz doll), is not afraid of confrontation, and is interested in Dance (what else?), Hip-Hop, Beyonce, and J-Lo. With descriptions like these, young girls non-African-American girls are going to enter the social world thinking that all African-American girls are confrontational and love to dance. Furthermore, this sets another standard for young African-American girls to live up to.

The Bratz dolls website, Bratz.com, is loaded with bright colors and catchy music. The dolls themselves represent our society’s unattainable and unrealistic standard of beauty. These dolls look like supermodels and actresses seen on TV, on billboards, and in movies. Why wouldn’t young girls want to be like the Bratz? They are the epitome of cool, but, to me, they are just adding to the pressure women face in their struggle to conform to the dichotomous structure of gender that urges women to be as feminine as we can be.

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