Okay ladies, I need some input of Mothers with little girls. I am doing my final essay for an english class, and the essay that I have to reply to is about young girls and barbie/bratz dolls. I dont have a little girl, but I do have common sense, and I personally wouldn't buy/allow such dolls for her. However, since I don't have girls, I can you can say I am biased to the subject, since I dont have a little girl asking me to buy her such things. So, here is the essay, sorry it is a little long. Have at it ladies, let me get your opinions :). Thanks for reading my novel LOL.
Who do you think is responsible for keeping such toys out of our little girls hands, parents (gift givers) or toy companies? do you buy these toys? do you see problems with them
****Let me just ad that i did NOT write this essay. it was provided by my teacher. i just have to respond with my own personal opinion and write another essay based on this one, which is why i am asking for you ladies ipinions :)***
Let's Stop Teaching Preschoolers to Be Sexy
By Jane Doe (from Glamour Magazine)
Cleavage bursting out of sparkly bras, micro-miniskirts, super high heels pouty, red lips. A scene from a soft porn flick? Nope, just the dolls at your friendly neighborhood toy store. Seeing these dolls made me wonder: Who is most responsible for placing (or not placing) these dolls in young children's hands?
For years, the makers of Barbie caught flak for her sexed-up shape; in real life her measurements would be about 38-19-33. But now My Scene Barbies and Bratzes-more bustalicious and hoochie than those old-school dolls-are being marketed to six-year-olds (since their 2001 debut, 125 million Bratz have been sold). Similarly disconcerting: several years ago Abercrombie & Fitch sold preteen sized thongs with messages like "eye candy" and "wink wink." And last fall, tesco.com came under fire for a new toy offering: a pole dancing kit (now sold solely as a "fitness" item).
True, sex is everywhere nowadays: an uninhibited sexuality and a good sex life are things Glamour celebrates regularly in these very pages, but this is a magazine for adults, not children. Sexual stuff marketed to little girls can be extremely harmful, according to a startling new report from the American Psychological Association (APA) that examined existing research on how merchandising, media, and advertising influence girls. "The consequences are very real," says APA task force chair Eileen L. Zurbriggen, Ph.D. "We have ample evidence to conclude that the sexualization has negative effects on girls' physical, mental, and sexual development."
Girls' perceptions of their femininity and appropriate behavior are largely formed before they even hit first grade-good reason to consider the dolls a lot more than child's play. "Until children are about five, they can't distinguish fantasy from reality," says Lynn Mikel Brown, Ed.D., co-author of Packaging Girlhood. "So what they see is how they think the world operates and what it means to be a girl."
"Parents tell me their kids dress up like Bratz dolls and pretend they are Bratz dolls," says Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., a professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston. "Instead of doing creative imaginative things like playing house or school, girls make like they're going on dates, going dancing at clubs, or competing with each other to get boys." Girls may start thinking they need to dress provocatively to be attractive. They can also grapple with eating disorders, the APA report found, and low self-esteem.
A backlash is brewing. Last summer Dads & Daughters, a nonprofit group focused on creating a safer world for girls, protested Hasbro's intention to launch a line of dolls based on the Pussycat Dolls, the burlesque-inspired girl band previously untapped to serve as role models. "We encouraged fathers to write to Hasbro's CEO, asking him to think about his seven-year-old granddaughter," says Joe Kelly, the group's president. "Would he want her showing off her body that way?" Within days, the company called off plans for the doll.
Kudos to Hasbro, but what can the rest of us do to make sure the little girls in our lives grow to become tomorrow's happy, confident women? Well, we can start by being good role models-and stop telling kids it's cute when they act sexy. And gift givers can focus on more age-appropriate playthings. True, those popular American Girl dolls can cost upward of $100 with accessories. But at least they look like actual American girls, as opposed to 30-year-old, silicone-enhanced strippers.