Monday, June 26, 2006
Kill Barbie? Sounds like an evil plot to me!
I was, and am to this day, a Barbie girl. I didn't drag some baby doll around the house, but rather escaped with Barbie to her world on a daily basis. Some of my first sewing projects were clothes for Barbie. I loved her fashion, her furniture, her home and her cars.

I had a whole cast of Barbies that accumulated over the years (in fact I am still accumulating them). My first Barbie was the ballerina who had the crown in her head. To this day, she remains my favorite. Although, she quickly moved from her career as prima ballerina to Princess and ruler of a small European country. My Barbie was CEO of her own multi-national conglomerate. She was beautiful, intelligent, powerful, married to a wonderful man, and the mother of twins. She had it all.

But this article suggests that Mattel may be giving Barbie the axe. To me, this is a travesty and a mistake.

They want to kill her because of the success of the Bratz dolls. Have you seen these things? They are hideous! They look like bugs with their oversized heads, big eyes and lips, and overdone makeup. They are creepy looking! Proportionally speaking, they have huge heads and tiny little bodies. It isn't attractive.

I know what you are going to say. Barbie herself isn't exactly proportionally accurate. Even so, I would say that Barbie is a little more realistic. Barbie at least looks human, the Bratz dolls look like plasticized versions of some Japanese anime.

They don't look like any humans I've ever seen. See for yourself: Which is more attractive? Barbie or Bratz? Which looks more human? Which would you prefer your little girl emulate?

Barbie is all class. She has beautiful clothes and a nice smile. The world is Barbie's oyster. She can be a pop diva, a grunge rocker, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She can be a mother and a wife, a fashion designer or model.

The Bratz? They look like little more than vapid clubbing hipsters in loud prints and clunky shoes. What are they going to do? Drink a fifth of vodka in one sitting? At least when she falls over she won't hurt anything when she lands on her head.

As the adult and only toy-shopper in my household, I can tell you for certain that I'll never spend a dime on the Bratz dolls. I have looked forward all of my life to handing down my Barbies to my own children, along with the myriad Wedding dresses and haute couture I've gathered for them, not the least of which are the ones that my grandmother, my step-mother, and I sewed for them. Wake up Mattel! Don't kill Barbie. While I might someday add to our Barbie collection, I'll never buy a Bratz. They creep me out.

Besides which, does it occur to you, oh pencil-pushers of Mattel, that the girls who grew up with Barbie in the 80's and 90's are now having children of their own? Don't you think we'd prefer a brand we can identify with? Or, am I overthinking things again?
posted by Phoenix | 10:35 AM


At 1:45 PM, Blogger The Maximum Leader said...

Let's be honest with ourselves here. Neither looks particularly human in the grand scheme of things. While I don't think the Barbie marque has run its course; I think the Bratz are popular because of their trashy-ness. We live in a trashy society. Those are the images our daughters see. They are much likely (unsupervised) to see some teen dressed like a Kansas City Whore than a princess. There might even be more cache to being a whore in our culture - because we see that whores can become princesses. (A la: "Pretty Woman," any number of female rappers, and - of course - Camilla Parker Bowles Windsor of Wales.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

I think that photo of Barbie in white is strikingly similar to the etheral Nicole Kidman Urban on her big day.

I mean that a compliment to both.

Believe it or not, I'm not actually being snarky, but give me a moment.

; )

At 5:48 PM, Blogger bobgirrl said...

Bratz are the Paris Hilton of dolls - fake and trashy. And icky.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger quantumflop said...

Like you, I cannot imagine how or why Bratz dolls are more popular than Mattel's Barbie's. I was also shocked to discover that their Flavas dolls didn't take off. I actually found these dolls very attractive.

Yes, Barbie's proportions aren't accurately matched to a human's but she is definitely more realistic than those incredibly ugly Bratz dolls.

If I had some advice to give Mattel, it would be to try some new moulds that are more realistic and representative of the human faces that we see around us..some less petite nostrils, bushier eyebrows, fuller lips...oh yes and continue to work on increaasing the points of articulation so that the dolls can assume even more realistic poses..oh yes, and the fashions must be really current to catch the eyes of the younger buyers.

Anyway, over the years, I have been pleased to see improvements in many areas, new moulds, points of articulation, fashions, hair and hairstyles, so I am sure that Barbie can continue to evolve. I'll always be a fan.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger sallytracey said...

I agree. Bratz are incredibly ugly plastic lumps. I know quite a few children that much more enjoy bratz than Barbie. There is no way that I will ever understand this. Even bratz video games are terrible. The graphics are bad. The games are horrible. Barbie was just getting popular again. Bratz are so babyish. You see them everywhere. I think that bratz should be going instead of Barbie. To sum bratz up in 1 word: "disgusting"

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The company that formed bratz will soon run out of labels for their dolls. Soon enough they'll have " BRATZ PIRATE ROCKSTAR BABYS!!!" (wtf?) They are very creepy dolls. And i had no idea that they had bratz video games thats just sad.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i looved the way you said bratz look like bugs! they really do! the whole thing i just heard made me rethink bratz. maybe its time i get rid of mine, and i have to admit, iawlways thought bratz were kinda creepy.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Shelly said...

I actually Have A Flavas Doll. Sittin In a box with all of my barbies and some Myscene dolls plus some Bratz, Which are not mine. I think both Myscene and Bratz are Icky. And I mean, Come on. Bratz? "Hi! I'm really annoying and would love to bug you all day!It's Nice to meet you too!" Great Name Choice. I was actually thinking about starting a Bratz collection last year, but I took another look at them and I was like, "Oh, wait. Euggh. Nevermind." I started a barbie collection instead Christmas 2007. I have 3 so far: The Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of oz), A Febuary Gemstone Doll, And Princess Diana Wedding Doll, with a 2 foot train and Everything.


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