There are few toy products for little girls out right now as controversial as the Monster High doll collection (Bratz
Baby Prostitots Babyz being one of them). Fans of the dolls, like Eve Vawter, cite their celebration of unconventional beauty and the themes of feminism, girl power and sisterhood found in their books and movies. Detractors are uncomfortable with the dolls’ ridiculously unnatural physical proportions, overly-sexualized dress and makeup and lack of racial diversity — a rather large lack of diversity that becomes more and more pronounced with every new release. I can understand the arguments from both sides, but if you ask me, they are just TERRIBLE.
1. They look like something Charlie Sheen would need to make disappear out of his trunk after a coke binge
You gotta admit, there is something very dead hookerish about these dolls. Especially the one pictured above. She’s dressed like a lady of the night and she’s supposed to be an actual corpse.
2. They cater to the lowest common denominator
There has been movie and TV show/product tie ins for decades now. But never in history has it been so blatant. It used to be that a movie would lead to a television show which would THEN lead to products. Now they build the shows, movies and books around the products, with the ultimate goal not being entertainment but maximum profit. Everything else is just an advertisement. Now, I’m not an idiot; profit has obviously always been the goal, but dammit I liked at least the illusion of artistic integrity.
3. They are hypersexualized
(Photo: Sweet Monster Dolls)
I know this horse has already been beaten to death and is totally dead, dead dead (just like the dolls!) but I just can’t help but make this point. These dolls are very sexual. Of course, they are’t the first doll to be sexualized. Barbie has been doing it for generations. But the particular brand of sex that Monster High sells is troubling. It’s darker and more direct; where Barbie just hints at being sexy, Monster High comes right out and says it.
4. They aren’t just disproportionate. They look dangerously skinny
(Photo: madame gurke)
This is probably something I’m more sensitive to since I have a troubled history with food and weight, but I feel like Monster High dolls are too. Damn. Skinny. Yes, Barbie and her ilk have impossible body shapes. But at least Barbie has breasts and hips. Even the old school Skipper dolls were more curvy. Monster High dolls don’t even look prepubescent. They look downright skeletal.
5. They celebrate differences only as long as you’re conventionally attractive
For a brand that claims to celebrate diversity, this line of dolls certainly lacks in that department. Yes, they might have superficially “strange” flaws, but they all meet the standard level of conventional attractiveness. All of them, with the exception of the one male doll, are feminine, skinny, cisgendered, and are either white or have caucasian features. There are NO black Monster High dolls whatsoever, and even the few who claim to have “freaky” qualities are made to reign them in.
Example: “Clawdeen Wolf” a werewolf, is said to have hair worthy of “a shampoo commercial” (and that’s just what grows on her legs). But instead of that being an awesome feature, it says in the booklets that come with the dolls that, “Plucking and shaving is definitely a full-time job, but that’s a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous.” WUT?
6. They reinforce stereotypes
Mean girl-esque Cleo de Nile and “dorky” Ghoulia (complete with chunky “geek” glasses!) are annoying enough, but the show has episodes where the girls gossip, backstab, and try to change themselves so their (always male) crush will like them more. Yes, it’s typical tween-age television fare, but for a show that touts itself as an alternative to all that, they sure do fit the mold.