Bratz Dolls and Barbie Dolls have been criticized for years about the level of sexiness in their images. The big lips, tiny waists and oh-so-short skirts of these dolls are often frightening to parents. They think that giving a child a toy with these attributes will force the children to believe that that is what they are supposed to look and dress like. So, should parents withhold certain toys from their children because of how they look?
The truth is, many people overthink this. Yes, children are very impressionable, they remember everything they see and everything they hear. But they also have their own opinions and looking at any doll with their level of innocence they certainly won’t think “this doll is sexy!”.They just see a doll they like and they ask their parents to buy it for them.
The parents should take a note from the kids: don’t overthink it.
Still concerned about what these dolls are impressing against children? We must look at the idea of internalized misogyny to fully understand this topic. Are you worried that your child might want to look like these dolls if they own them? Well, maybe they do! If your child wants to dress like their new doll, there is really no problem. A problem only arises when we force misogynistic concepts upon them without even realizing it. The child will only think the doll is inappropriate if the parent tells them. And these dolls still aren’t even dressed that scandalously. Telling our children that a girl cannot be deemed appropriate when they look a certain way is what is harming the child, not the doll.
Still not convinced? If you truly think these dolls are inappropriate, just remember that we are born naked. There is nothing inherently wrong about a small amount of clothing and a child will only think that there is something wrong if the parent tells them. But once again, these dolls aren’t even close to being naked. At all.
So if you were thinking about buying your child a certain doll for the holidays this year, but then rethought, just buy the doll. Instead, rethink the misogynistic idea that has been forced upon you that looking a certain way is not acceptable, which you were about to force upon your child.