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#1 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I bought one for my niece. I thought it looked like a funky punk sort of Barbie doll. My niece's bedroom is already filled with ultra-frilly pink princess stuff and almost all of her dolls have blond hair even though my niece has dark hair so I thought this would make a cool present.

Anyhow, I mentioned it to a friend of mine who told me that Bratz are controversial and that people think they encourage young girls to act trashy or whatever . . . well, the doll is wearing makeup but other than that I don't see the big to do . . .

My SIL already thinks I'm nuts. I don't want to be a horrible aunt. Maybe I should return this thing.

Anyone else seen these?
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#2 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Our 9 yo got one of these from an old friend at her 7th birthday and my husband was SHOCKED. He was very offended and even went so far as to mention not letting this little girl over anymore. It went to the garbage can.

I think it was a last minute gift that the parents probably just grabbed, but anyway I think they are not nice over all. For one they are called 'Bratz', not really something I want my daughter aspiring to become , they wear clothes made for club-hopping and prostitutes and makeup. The "Baby Bratz" wear bottles which is majorly offensive to me overall. I think they promote a lot of nasty stuff I wouldn't want my daughter knowing or seeing. But, we have a nice kid who reads, is into animals and science and overall thinks Bratz are disgusting so we must be doing ok with her so far .

I would def. avoid those dolls, there are so many nice toys to buy, Waldorf type toys are MUCH nicer and wholesome and encourage active play. Groovy Girls are another alternative, cute, funky clothes and they are soft dolls with NO makeup or smutty stuff.
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#3 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 01:48 PM
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My daughter isn't a brat and she plays with Bratz dolls.


And btw - why did the above poster label make-up as "smutty?" Bit extreme, don't you think? And Bratz clothes do NOT look like prostitutes clothes, good GRIEF, what a harsh thing to say! Your daughter thinks Bratz are "disgusting" because she is living up to your expectations of her.


Kids are only kids once. If a toy doesn't have a negative influence on my daughter, she can play with it. I will not deprive my child of anything toy that she wants unless it would bring her harm (or is of course out of my budget.)
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#4 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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I would return it, honestly. They're horrible. My dh and I call them Slutz.
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#5 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 02:20 PM
 
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My dd doesn't play with them, only because she thinks their big heads are weird. So we don't buy them for her. <shrug> But honestly... all the negativity surrounding these dolls... why?

Looking like prostitutes?? Calling them Slutz??

I hope you all don't talk about other people the way you're talking about these dolls.

To the OP, if you think she'll be offended.. return the doll. Its the polite thing to do. But you never know, she just might like it afterall.

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#6 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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I have to say that I was pretty shocked last year when we went to a five year old birthday party and everyone brought Bratz dolls for the birthday girl. Silly us, we brought dress ups, and they were tossed aside in a heap. The mother apologized for the daughter’s behavior but explained that she really outgrew dress ups when she was about three. This little girl also has a tv and dvd in her room, so I can assure you it was a household with a much different value system from ours. This was a girl my DD met at co-op preschool and she invited every girl in the class to her birthday party, otherwise my DD probably wouldn’t have been invited.

My objection to bratz is that they are modeled on older behavior. I want my 5 year old to be 5, not a teenager. The dress and make up of the dolls is not appropriate for the age range of the children who play with them, or for whom they are intended. Mothering magazine had a great article on marketing toward tweens in the last issue and I feel that this is a product that fits that description. The toy itself isn’t “bad”- its just a product of our popular culture, which in my opinion is very unhealthy.

I don’t want my kids to grow up so fast, I want to nurture them through childhood so they grow up with a sense of wonder for the world around them and a good imagination. My kids aren’t exposed to media- they don’t watch TV or listen to commercial radio, or read magazines with ads in them. I wouldn’t purposely avoid a kid or a family that had bratz dolls, but we probably wouldn’t be in that situation because we are homeschooling and most of the kids we know come from families with similar ideas. My DD never knew what a bratz doll was until she went to that party. Truthfully, she wasn’t that interested in those dolls anyway- because she hasn’t been exposed to the media that makes her want to want them.
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#7 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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"And btw - why did the above poster label make-up as "smutty?" Bit extreme, don't you think? And Bratz clothes do NOT look like prostitutes clothes, good GRIEF, what a harsh thing to say! Your daughter thinks Bratz are "disgusting" because she is living up to your expectations of her."

UMMMM...OK. YEAH.


To the above poster-my thoughts exactly. Why encourage them to grow up WAY faster than what they should, there are plenty of 'nice' toys that encourage them to be themselves, not something out of a grown up magazine. (not to mention, who is making these 'dolls'? They obviously want to encourage the use of bottles and pacifiers! and, makeup? sheesh! these are little girls!)
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#8 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, Barbies bother me more. My SIL is a Barbie fanatic and my little niece, who will NEVER be tall, blond and slender cuz she's short dark and round like her mom; has got just about every Barbie that has ever been manufactured. At least Ms. Bratz doesn't have those great big Barbie boobs and her feet don't seem to be stuck in the permanent tip-toe-for-high-heels position.
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#9 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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I am really pretty liberal in a lot of things I think... but I won't buy Bratz stuff for my kids or other people's kids.

I don't like them for a number of reasons. Firstly, the name. WHAT brilliant marketing executive dreamed THAT up??? What is the next line - dumbz? I just don't understand WHY they would use a term that no one would want their child to be.

Two, the makeup. Even the "baby Bratz" have makeup!

Three, they seem to be marketed to kids too young for the "look" of the dolls. I am not a big Barbie fan either for sure but if you look, you can find ones that are half decent re: general look.

Someone mentioned Groovy Girls. My dds (9 and 5) really like those and have some. We can all feel good about giving those as gifts and no need to worry if the parents will approve.

I do think that Bratz are controversial and wouldn't buy one for someone else's kid if I didn't know they were ok with it. Well, *I* wouldn't buy one regardless of if the parent cared or not but that is just me...

Isn't there some other "cool" gift you could get her that isn't that?
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#10 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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I don't have a problem with them at all. My daughter has two. There is no way that a doll could make my daughter do anything or act in any particular way. She makes the choices about who she wants to be, not her toys.

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#11 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Ok, the Bratz dolls are really sort of hideous.
Their FEET come off and they put on NEW FEET when they change their shoes?????
My opinion of their clothes and make up aside, snapping off their feet sort of tunred me off of them.
I'm not a big Barbie fan, I'm certainly not a Bratz fan, I second what one of the other girls said about groovy girls being a nice option, they have changeable clothes, they are more geared to a young girl audience.

Little girls do like to model after things. Giving a Bratz doll to a really young child encourages age inappropriate behaviour modelling in my opinon.
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#12 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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Many do not like them and I personally feel it would be up to the parent to buy something like that for their DD. The "My Scene" Barbie's wear makeup and have dark hair and are more fashion forward. These are the dolls that my Nieces play with, and honestly I think they look like a lot of fun.
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#13 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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But their feet come off! Seriously, when you change their shoes you take off the entire foot! There is just a little stump!
I know this because my friend's new stepson, 11, loves them so I got him one for Christmas. I found dark haired girl wearing a kimono who is, apparently, a karate expert.(Her bag matches the print on my petunia pickbottoms--however you spell that--diaper bag I have. )
I do confess, I was surprised by the make-up on the doll. It's really thick. But it's what he wanted and I like it that he doesn't bend to peer pressure and he plays with dolls.

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#14 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I don't have a problem with them at all. My daughter has two. There is no way that a doll could make my daughter do anything or act in any particular way. She makes the choices about who she wants to be, not her toys.

Right on!
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#15 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama2mygirl
But their feet come off! Seriously, when you change their shoes you take off the entire foot! There is just a little stump!

glad to see this skeeved out someone OTHER than me.
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#16 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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You sound like a lovely, considerate aunt, who wants to buy just the right thing for her niece and not tick off her parents!

I'd suggest either asking her parents if they're ok with Bratz or just picking something else, though - as you can see from the above, they bring on some pretty strong feelings. Personally, I don't care for them at all, for a lot of the reasons above (had no idea about the feet, though), even though I've long since given up the ghost and given in with Barbie. I don't know if I'd 'ban' them in our house, but I wouldn't buy one for my daughter, and if people giving her gifts want suggestions, I'd suggest something else.

I agree Groovy Girls are great, and really popular these days. Polly Pockets can be fun too, although they're pretty clothes-oriented. Do they still have Get Real Girls? They were around a few years ago, a bit Barbie-ish, but with more realistic bodies, and sporty.
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#17 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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I am not a Bratz fan. I think they do look slutty and dress inappropriately.
I do not buy them for my dd. To date she has none. If someone bought her one I would not throw it out. She could play with it if she desires. I suspect it would hold as much interest as her Barbies. They are in a box and rarely touched. She is not a doll girl.

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#18 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 05:26 PM
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I would ask the mom. After all, the girls that really like them, REALLY like them so it would be a cool present if she was one of them.

As for me, I do not want those dolls in my house. I find them offensive. If someone were to ask me about them, I would ask them not to buy one for my dd. However, if someone just got her one, I wouldn't be snotty about it. After all, a lot of times I let my dd choose the presents she give friends (with some guidance) so if they are acceptable in someone else's house it would make sense that someone would choose one to give. I don't like Barbie's much either although we do have some. They were the lesser of two evils I guess and I didn't buy any (ours are second hand from cousin) so if we got a Bratz I would probably exchange it for something else, maybe even a new Barbie.

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#19 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 05:41 PM
 
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I don't have any daughters or young nieces but if I did, I wouldn't ever buy them a Bratz doll. They are too over the top for little girls. I wouldn't go as far as to call them slutty--they reflect some of the fashions that I see the teenaged girls around here rocking. But I don't find that approprate. I think Bratz are far from innocent; even Barbie is a better option IMI. Plus I think all these dolls place to heavy an empasis on fashion and make-up--a reflection of our society as a whole. I'd like to keep any girl I love away from that obsession with the outward. Those groovy dolls are really cute though--can't wait to have a baby girl!!!

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#20 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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I think a Bratz doll is something you should ask the parents about first. We won't have Barbies or Bratz in our home. Obviously, others think they're fine. I'd just ask first.
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#21 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 06:34 PM
 
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I am no fan of Bratz dolls either. I would ask the parents first because you don't want to waste your money for one thing! My daughter got a few when she turned 5 from one of my aunts and they went straight to Goodwill.
I really have a problem supporting the company because I find it disturbing that the Baby Bratz are so sexualized. It creeps me out and I don't like adding to any problem of girls being sexualized at younger and younger ages...kind of goes with my dislike for The Limited Too selling thongs in my 6 year olds size.
I am not a big fan of Barbie either because of the unrealistic portrayal to young girls....no girl could ever look like Barbie...but I think they are a bit better...though not by much...We were able to find a Barbie with a bit smaller chest than she once had...I think I read something awhile back about Barbie having a breast reduction!
My daughter LOVES the Groovy Girls as well, and they are pretty inexpensive. I think they are a bit too focused on changing clothes and going to parties, giggling etc...but they seem to be a bit more tame...and "wholesome".

Anyway, I would definately check with the parents, or just pick up something else if you want to be safe.



Just thought I would add to the opinion poll.
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#22 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 07:51 PM
 
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I personally can't stand Bratz dolls. They represent a life-style that we don't think is worth modeling, especially by little girls. My girls don't watch TV and they don't have friends that have Bratz, so they haven't asked for them. I would never buy one and if we got one as a gift I would throw it away. DH and I work very hard to surround our girls with positive role models, and I don't think that my 4 year old is going to benefit by playing with a teenager-looking doll that is all about sex appeal. No thanks.

There are other dolls that are more appropriate for little girls, I think. I don't really like Barbie, but I saw that Barbie has a new like of cute dolls out called Wee Three Friends (or something like that) that seemed more oriented toward younger girls. Groovy girls are nice because they are widely available and are one less piece of plastic coming into your home.

Just some ideas.
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#23 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I don't have a problem with them at all. My daughter has two. There is no way that a doll could make my daughter do anything or act in any particular way. She makes the choices about who she wants to be, not her toys.
Don't you think, though, that the toys you give your child send messages about cultural norms? That a child could get ideas about what is expected of women and girls in our cultural from the toys she plays with? I don't think that a doll has some magical ability to turn a girl into something she's not. But I think it's part of the package of media messages about femininity. She is sure to get exposed to these messages eventually living in this country, but I feel a big responsibility to be the bearer of alternative messages. And Bratz dolls, to me, send a pretty obnoxiously mainstream message about femininity (and, as pp have mentioned, it is a message that is waaaay older than the 5-6 year old girls who are nuts about these dolls).

I hate these dolls and would never buy them for anyone. Ny niece is really into them and wanted them for her birthday, and we got her this set of cool paper dolls instead (well, they weren't paper exactly.... it's hard to explain, they are thick cardboard and come with scraps of fabric, bricabrac, glitter and whatnot to make clothes). She loves the gift, and I felt like we were able to find a happy medium. I like Groovy Girls, too.
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#24 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AndiG

Little girls do like to model after things. Giving a Bratz doll to a really young child encourages age inappropriate behaviour modelling in my opinon.

And you are definately entitled to your opinion, but obviously not every girl is being encouraged to do anything inappropriate from a Bratz doll. My own daughter and her friend have felt no pressure or influence to be like a Bratz doll. I think it can go both ways, and depends on how a girl has been raised up to getting the doll.

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#25 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tara
Don't you think, though, that the toys you give your child send messages about cultural norms? That a child could get ideas about what is expected of women and girls in our cultural from the toys she plays with?
Well, yea she could get a lot of ideas but that's not a concern. Ideas are a good thing. We discuss stuff. Everything from clothing, to how we define real beauty, to expressing ourselves through our clothes, make-up, self-esteem, media depictions of women (and men), sexuality, and so on.

My Dd (12) would actually wear some of the clothes that Bratz dolls wear. She would also wear a sweatshirt and jeans and no make-up. She likes to knit, sew, skateboard, cook, and play the drums. I think she is a lovely, strong, charming, intelligent female not afraid to be who she is. Bratz dolls are a toy she enjoys playing with, not the only image of womanhood she thinks there can ever be.


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#26 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:41 PM
 
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Hey, Unschool - your daughter is a bit older than the other girls mentioned in this thread, no? I think it makes a difference if we're talking about a 5 year old girl or a 11 or 12 year old who has more years of deconstructing social messages behind her...
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#27 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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Cross post!
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#28 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I don't have a problem with them at all. My daughter has two. There is no way that a doll could make my daughter do anything or act in any particular way. She makes the choices about who she wants to be, not her toys.
Whether the dolls are good or bad is irrelevant, IMO. The OP is asking if this is a controversial gift and if her niece's parents might not appreciate it. I think you know that many parents object to these dolls. Are you recommending that she disregard this and just risk giving an inappropriate gift? I mean, I know your personal stand on this as you follow TLC, but what is your opinion about whether she should give this gift or not?
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#29 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tara
Hey, Unschool - your daughter is a bit older than the other girls mentioned in this thread, no? I think it makes a difference if we're talking about a 5 year old girl or a 11 or 12 year old who has more years of deconstructing social messages behind her...
My daughter had her first Bratz doll at 6, and she has NEVER expressed a desire to wear make-up or be a prostitute. Furthermore, the dolls we have gotten her are dressed really cute, nothing that I wouldn't let her wear. One has an evening gown type dress which is quite long, another a ski outfit which is really cute and another one a blue jeans outfit. All of which are modest AND trendy/fashionable. But yet, my daughter doesn't dress like them, and the clothes she picks out are nothing like what her Bratz dolls have.

Honestly, I think some of you guys read waaaay too much into things that are a lot more simple than you make it out to be.
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#30 of 149 Old 12-19-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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I'll say it again: I don't think a doll has some magical ability to make a child be something she is not. I think it is part of a package of cultural messages and I choose to provide alternative messages (seeing as the mainstream message bombards you from everywhere else). That's all.
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