Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fashionable ‘Living Dolls’: Healthy Roll Models for Children

No mater if the Washington Post tries to convince you otherwise, do not let your children see this movie. In fact, just reading the Post’s interview with the actresses might entrench some negative gender stereotypes in the kiddies’ brains, so keep them away from the paper for once. I am willing to bet that the makers of this film are self-aware enough to know that they are risking young girls’ self images in a callous attempt to sell more clothes. However, Post reporter Jennifer Frey is embarrassingly enthusiastic about the most shameful aspects of the film. She entitles her piece “”Bratz’ the Living Doll: Young Actresses Add Wholesome to the Toys’ Rep,” and gushes with delight about giggling with “…the four dolls-come-to-life.” Why, you might ask, is a professional writer so giddy about the chance to talk with teenage actresses who portray “Living Dolls”? Well, that’s what I’m asking too! The review is mainly about how the live actresses will not be dresses as trashy as the dolls on which their characters are based, so parents need not worry. Fearlessly selling readers a feminine ideal based on pretty, not too trashy dolls is not enough for Ms. Frey, however. She decides to delight in the film’s racial stereotypes as well, reporting that each Brat has her own personality in the movie, like “…Jade, the Asian American Brat, a science and math whiz with high-pressure parents and a side interest in clothing design.” Has the Post gone mad? The article ends as the girls “…link arms, elbow to elbow, four across, their shiny hair swinging behind them, as they head back to the SUV.”

Yes, this review is over-the-top and completely lacking in self-awareness. So read it if you are looking for a laugh, but, whatever you do, don’t let your children watch this movie.

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