My daughter wants a Monster High doll for Christmas, just like thousands of other little girls who made their wish lists and have been extra careful not to dump any bottles of 18 dollar Chanel nail polish on the carpet. I let my daughter play with Barbie and other fashion dolls. I consider myself a feminist, and I’m trying to raise a feminist daughter (and feminist sons!) and we have all sorts of lengthy conversations about why Barbie and her pals are not the best role models when it comes to physical standards of beauty and how Barbie’s physical proportions are impossible for actual real people to duplicate in real life.
We play dolls together, and I am happy with my daughter’s playtime, how she makes her dolls go on all sorts of adventures and restyles their tiny street-lingerie doll clothes using scraps of fabric and sometimes scraps of non-fabric, things like tin foil and paper towels and markers and she has been known to give her dolls shorter hair styles and kick the ass of any dragons who visit the dolls in their beachfront condo. I like how my daughter plays. In my mind I think she gets the reasons why Barbie can do more than just be Ken’s arm-candy and work as a model. I understand why she would want these new dolls, these monster-themed plastic fashionistas to join the party. I would have loved The Monster High dolls when I was little! They look cool! They have cool accessories and sometimes little pets! They have cool hair colors and skin tones and beautifully applied makeup. And there is something refreshing about adding nontraditional beauties to the pile of blond-haired, fair-skinned dolls that reside in her toy box.
But this one doll is giving me pause, because she would be the perfect doll for my daughter, in many ways, but in others, I’m feeling all sorts of feelings and I don’t quite know if I’m overanalyzing my feelings and putting my feelings into this 8-inch piece of plastic that doesn’t have any feelings. Skelita Calaveras, according to the Monster High wiki, is a fifteen-year-old from “Hex-cio” and she is very difficult to find. But she would be so perfect for my daughter. Skelita has beautiful dios de los muertos face paint, which is what my daughter had for Halloween. I think she is a super cool looking doll and I know my daughter would love her but under Skelita’s little festive dress I’m getting all sorts of creeped out. Because Skelita is a skeleton.