Her Bad Mother

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Bratz

I am, as most of you know, on record as hating Bratz dolls. Loathing Bratz dolls. You know, in that railing-against-the-hyper-commercialized-hyper-sexualization-of-all-things-pertaining-to-childhood kinda way.

Which is why there may be some serious karmic payback for this:


Still Life with Skank-Ho



This weekend, WonderBaby came within inches of a Bratz Doll. Fractions of an inch. At one point, she even peered up its scrap of a miniskirt, regarded its black-mesh thong panties with disdain, and then flung it to the floor. It was gratifying, to be sure, that she rejected the thing, but still: I let her have that skanky thing in the first place.

Do I go to Sanctimonious Hypocrite Hell for that?

To be clear: I did not buy this for her. It was not a gift. It belongs to my niece, and was offered, to WonderBaby, as something to play with during our visit this weekend. And because I was exhausted from a difficult night with an off-her-schedule WonderBaby and was disinclined to play patty-cake and Whack-A-Mommy all afternoon, I acquiesced - with shrilly-voiced reservations - to the Bratz Doll.

My niece, it should be said, is a bright and lovely twelve-year old with a very keen sense of self. A bright and lovely and self-aware twelve-year old who makes no apologies for her Bratz Doll. She listened, patiently, as her older sister and her grandmother and her aunt disparaged the tarty plastic toy and its tarty clothes and its general tartiness and then said, serenely, I like her.

She went on: I like her clothes. I wouldn't wear them myself - and at this she rolled her eyes at us, the universal gesture for LIKE, DUH - but I can still like them. I think they're fun.

To this, I had no response. Oh, sure, there're a zillion things that could have been said, things about how such dolls contribute to the objectification of women, how such a sexualized toy desensitizes children to overt displays of sexuality, how such a toy might make overt displays of sexuality seem okay, yadda yadda yadda blah. But faced with a self-possessed, self-reflective twelve-year old who understands that her doll is extreme, who understands that these kinds of arguments can and will be made, over and over and over again by well-meaning mothers and grannies and aunties and other assorted nosey parkers, I was left with only this: the deafening echo of DUH. The recurring image of eyes being rolled, of lips mouthing the words yeah, and?

Because, really, from the point of view of a girl playing with such a doll, so what? It's just a doll.

My niece is, as I keep saying, a smart girl, a nice girl. The kind of girl that I hope WonderBaby grows up to be. And in defending her Bratz Doll the way that she did, she gave lie to many of my anxieties about Bratz Dolls: that they encourage girls to aspire to slutdom, that they make 'Skank-Ho' an acceptable look for the pre-teen set, that they teach children that hyper-sexuality is the norm for young women. For my niece, the Bratz Doll is just that: a doll. Not a role model, not a source of inspiration: just a doll. Kinda fun, kinda silly, no more realistic than - and not to be taken any more seriously than - a bepetticoated Holly Hobbie or a Spiderman figurine or an Olsen twin.

Of course, not every girl is as self-possessed - nor, perhaps, as bright and well-loved and confident - as my niece, and so not every girl is going to regard a Bratz Doll with the same degree of clear-sightedness. And for this reason, among others, I still think that Bratz Dolls - or, rather, the creators and marketers of Bratz Dolls - are, in their way, hell-spawn. But any instrument of evil is really only evil insofar as it is wielded as such, no? I'm prepared, now, to accept the argument that, in the hands of a bright and self-aware child, a Bratz Doll is, very possibly, no more pernicious than Smurfette. It's my responsibility to raise my child to be self-aware, not the responsibility of toy-manufacturers and toy-marketers and Toys-R-Us. And if I raise a bright, self-aware child, I needn't be so worried about what pernicious crap is being hocked in toy stores. (My concerns about the decline of Western civilization are, although related, another matter entirely; in any case, my fruitless anxieties about that decline should probably be kept, so far as possible, separate from my anxieties about matters over which I have some control.)

This is probably something that every other decent parent on the planet already knows, but it hit me this weekend with all the force of a two-ton epiphany: toys don't corrupt children - lazy, inattentive parenting corrupts children. So, as a decent and attentive and only occasionally lazy parent, I needn't get my (decidedly-not-mesh-thong) panties in such a serious twist about Bratz Dolls and their ilk. At least, that is, until WonderBaby tells me that she wants a Bratz of her own, at which point I may revisit and revise this entire argument, because I am entitled, as a mother, to reverse attitude on absolutely anything I choose.

In any case, any parent who lets her child keep a phallic object as a lovey probably shouldn't throw stones at thong-wearing dolls.

(Un)Still Life with Phallic Object and Buffalo.

*******

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66 Comments:

Blogger katy said...

Of course you can change your mind, all woman have that priviledge and being a mommy gives you twice the changing power (literally). I hate so many of the toys kids play with. I refused to buy my son a toy gun when he was young so he just shot everything with sticks or his finger. I have no idea how they learn those things because then we seldom watched tv. My daughter started on Barbie when she was younger and while barbie is a little more normal than Bratz I still didn't like it. She wanted makeup like barbies and barbie had some skanky looking clothes. Mine are older now and so far they haven't shot anyone or drove a pink corvette around with only a nightie on.

4:50 PM  
Blogger slouching mom said...

That first shot may be my favorite picture of WonderBaby EVER.

I'm ignoring the Bratz doll in it.

But my word -- the elfin beauty of your child.

5:14 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

hahahahahahaha. snort.

sorry.

Like I have said before, come over to my house (the darkside) where we have a colony of ho-spawns in various states of ho-dress.

5:31 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Who took WonderBaby and replaced her with a big kid?? She used to be so wee.

And...what IS that phallic object?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

But I DO think Smurfette is pernicious. Perhaps as a result of far too many viewings thanks to one of my sisters. Of course, I have said similar things about Disney and other branded objects--and, yes, even my son's underwear has characters on it. Sigh.

5:41 PM  
Blogger creative-type dad said...

I wouldn't bend. I still don't like them' trashy dolls and their hoochie hooker clothes.

I'll just let my girl play with rocks with happy faces on it. Hopefully she doesn't put a thong on it and call it a Bratz.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I'm okay with them playing with pretty much anything. Except for anything related to personal hygiene or noxious chemicals... and even then, you know, if they really WANT to bleach the bathroom floor, I hate to inhibit that.

But *owning* and playing with are very different, somehow, in my head. We don't own things I find objectionable - specifically, toys that can be described as "skanky" or "gunlike" - but I'm not going to be That Mom at a party or a friend's house who chases them away from the water gun fight or whatever. We just have yet another captive-audience talk on the drive home, about what those toys mean and blah blah blah blah.

We parents have to pick and choose our moments of hypocrisy. They're inevitable, and can you imagine the pressure of always being firm and true to your convictions? It would be exhausting, and then poor WonderBaby would never learn about how to adjust and cope with reality.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Glennia said...

We moms have our toy crosses to bear, don't we? As Katy said above, with boys it's the guns, knives, light sabres, swords and other methods of mayhem and dismemberment that drives us batty. With girls, it's the ho dolls, starting with Barbie, who is skanking it up big time lately, just to keep up with the Bratzes, to the real life Pussycat Dolls. UGH.

I tried the wood blocks and tempura paint route, and my son fashioned a festively painted sword out of them "to keep out the invading Huns." My son evidently thinks he is living in Imperial China, some time around the Han Dynasty. I gave up the day he chewed his toast into the shape of a gun and carried in in his pocket all day long and asked me to only refer to him as "Sheriff." He know owns not one, but 3 Star Wars Light Sabres. I reasoned that in a blackout, we'll be glad to have the flashlights. I still say no to guns, but swords seem to be enough for him. My dad is aching to give him a BB gun, I guess so that he can fulfill the prophecy and "shoot his eye out."

It's always something, isn't it?

7:17 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I used to long for a girl. Pine for one. Not anymore. It's not that boys don't have their issues, but man...helping a girl develop a strong and healthy sense of self in today's world...that's terri freaking fying.

I saw a commercial today for Bratz baby mermaids. They look just as slutty as the regular Bratz dolls. How can you make a baby look slutty???

7:32 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

SueBob - that phallic object is the ring-stand for a Pottery Barn Kids stuffed ring-toy set. All of the ring stuffies have been long lost, to no great distress, because it is the disturbingly phallic stuffed ring-stand that she cherishes.

7:33 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

Smurfette is, of course, highly pernicious.

(And darn! Mouse got here first to say it before me.)

8:01 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

More important, I think, than my feelings about slutty skanky Bratz would be honouring a child's attempt to be a gracious host for my child. But they're not coming into my house with their hoochie germs.

8:10 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

My mother wouldn't buy me Barbies. That didn't stop me from playing Barbie Whorehouse at my friends' houses.

Which really does demonstrate my awareness of what Barbies are good for. Heh.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I think the phallic lovey is all the evidence needed to prove your "good mother" status in the whole GGC debate. Go, Bow Chicka Maw Maw!! - that's what I'm talking about!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

My mom wouldn't let me have an Easy Bake Oven or watch the movie Grease because she didn't like the messages they send. But I had Barbies, so go figure.

For me, it's the toy guns. I swore I would not let my kids play with them & then caved the first time they spotted one at the sitter's. I still won't have them in my house, but I wonder if this is some artificial stand taking.

It was just something for Wonder Baby to play with for a few minutes and toss aside. It is a toy, after all. (But I still hate those Bratz dolls!)

8:42 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I have to admit I've never hated Bratz dolls, and I don't really think they're any more harmful than any other object (unless one of their appendages pokes someone in the eye).

But I do think anything parents makes off limits completely has the potential come back and bite them in the bum, you know, just as a reaction.

The sex thing to me is pretty interesting. Sexualizing teens seems to me something they are anyway. Maybe now the clothes seem more slutty, but Madonna's attire was pretty sleezy to my mom. And since, biologically, we are pretty much hardwired to procreate when our bodies were ready (well before our psychies and now, society) I find it interesting that a lot of people really believe in things like abstinance-only education. ... I digress.

Keeping an open mind, and learning from kids is important, too. So Good on You.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

I think Bratz will probably be something that won't make its way into my home. Notice I didn't say never, saying never means you will definitely eat your words. *lol* The boy toys have already infiltrated...swords, lightsaber, ect. For some reason I don't feel as strongly about them as I do the awful girl toys.

I think we all draw our lines in the sand...and then our kids force us to step over them someday. :)

9:33 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

You know, the decline of western civilzation has been so long predicted by doomsayers that I just can't get my black mesh thong in a bunch about that (besides which, that would be uncomfy) in general.

Bratz dolls, though? I take your point about their just being dollies, but I think they go too far, so I am, as I so often am, I suppose, at a midpoint on this. A sort of yes to Barbies (though not of the my scene variety, which are as bad as bratz any day), no to Bratz point. I just think they are yucky and creepy, when it comes down to it, and I exercise my right as the parent and purse-string-holder not to buy one. God help us all if someone thinks they'd make a great gift. Ack.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

My stepdaughter went through the "Bratz phase" and -- thankfully -- emerged unscathed.

Such a level-headed, mature and non-skankily dressed girl -- damn, she makes me proud.

(But god, the Bratz stage was unnerving. Barbies are creepy.But Bratz dolls are exorcist-worthy.Those slitted, conniving eyes... They make the Bratz look so...dare I say it? -- bershon?

10:23 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

So, if Smurfette went head-to-varnished-head in a priss-versus-skank smackdown with one of the Bratz gang, who would win?

10:29 PM  
Blogger jess said...

The scary part is that Bratz are marketed to much younger girls as well as "tweens." A 5 year old I was knew for had several and she was obsessed with "boyfriends," and "mean girls" and other "teenage" issues.

10:38 PM  
Blogger ephelba said...

What bothers me about these dolls (and their ilk) is more subtle. I'm not worried my daughter will see them and think "I have to be slutty too!". I worry more that she isn't seeing something else. I don't know how to say just what I'm thinking, but it's something to do with how the people who make the dolls have taken an object that should be a thing that girls impose their imagination on,(ie, this doll is a Doctor, or Superhero, or Witch, or whatever they make up at the moment) and turned it into a slutty girl. Your daughter can choose to explore her ideas about slutty girls with such a doll in a more or less healthy way, such as your niece seems to be doing, or she can choose to identify it with the image and want to emulate it, or maybe she can try to ignore it, but it seems a shame to me that teh subject has to come up at all. It bothers me that my kiddo would be playing with a doll that says "How do you feel about slutty clothes? Do you want to be a slutty girl or not?" It seems like the doll should be silent and let the kid do the work. And please, please, America, can the kid not have to be thinking about sluttiness when they haven't even menstruated?

10:44 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

I'm totally with you on not liking what the Bratz dolls stand for, but I find that with most kids, as soon as you say "no", that's when they want it. It's the lure of the forbidden. I know that's the way I was. So maybe if you don't make a big deal of it, it won't be a big deal. Does that make sense?

10:48 PM  
Blogger Maman said...

I have to admit that Bratz dollz creep me out, not because they look like ho'z but because they have interchangeable feet.

11:46 PM  
Blogger jen said...

phallic lovey, indeed.

it's the shadow side, Bad...it'll always come back and bite us in the ass. it's our divine teaching.

11:57 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

those Bratz dolls are foul. Skanktimonious! BABIES DO NOT WEAR THONGS!!!!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

If I had been just a little faster with the camera today, I could have added a "small boy with giant water gun" picture to match your small girl with Bratz doll. And we could get flamed together by sanctimommies everywhere.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

lol @ Flutter and Skanktimonious!

I always learn something new at HBM's place :)

I hate Bratz but I have to admit that at someone else's house, it's not really my place, unless asked, to spout off about them. As one commenter noted, you have a captive audience in the car ride home to make your case if need be.

1:05 AM  
Blogger MamaLee said...

No hoochie mamas in THIS house, except for ME.

I'd take the phallic object or the buffalo over the demon spawn doll, ANYDAY.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Laural said...

You could have had this conversation with my mother about 25 years ago. Except replace the word Bratz with Barbie.
She was totally against her three year old daughter having a Barbie because of everything it represented. But, I begged and pleaded and she eventually gave in. (Unusual for my mom).
And, then she played Barbies WITH my sister and I. And, she realized that despite the boobs and skinny waists we were far more fascinated by the bendable legs and the brushable hair.
I think Bratz are way more sexualized, but at the same time - it was a similar argument.
You're right - it's more about the parenting than about the toy.

9:03 AM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

Hmmm. Interesting little sculpture there. And don't even get ne started on the Bratz issue!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bratz dolls and the rest of those toys that sexualise childhood are disgusting.but you are so right about the parenting being to blame and not the dolls.now for the record i have 3 daughters.we have gone through sailor moon and sailor scout dolls,barbies ,baby dolls and yes i have one bratz doll in my domain.the bratz doll belongs to my 6 year old.when i took the changeling to the toy store for her b-day,she wanted a bratz doll.so i told her yes but find one that is appropriately dressed and i will buy it.so my 6 year old who is a brave and fearless child found one with clothing covering all of her and i bought it.i think the problem is children who aren't aware of who they themselves are as a person and are led on by all the media focus.if we raise our daughters to be strong and self assured and ok with who they are we won't need to worry about bratz dolls etc. LAVENDULA

10:49 AM  
Anonymous l said...

Well, truth be told, for me anyway, I don't have a problem with the doll per say. Now the marketing and theology behind it maybe a bit. We have to remember that this doll is not a living and breathing thing. I'd be more concerned if my sister in law or a close family friend dressed in this way or projected this image - those are the women my daughter loves and respects that is where her identity will come from. You noticed it in your own niece, although there are girls out there that will succumb to this "hoochi-izm" if it was not this it would be something else. Lets make strong capable young women that can make choices. To do that some times the wrong choice has to be made and we must not forget to talk to our sons and daughters and model for them, it is not just a girl thing, who propagates all if this?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Jozet said...

I'm torn.

I think that there is a back-and forth dynamic in which both good parenting and The World At Large play tug of war.

I know self-posessed tweens who know that "a doll is just a doll" and who can see the entertainment for what it is and not something to aspire to.

But when I also hear 5-year-olds of truly good parents say things like "I'm too fat. I don't look like Cinderella" while pointing sadly to their Barbie Cinderella or 6-year-olds of other good parents who do ostracize another 6-year-old because she doesn't "wear sparkly clothes", I do wonder at what point a doll is just a doll and at what point it becomes a reinforcement of pervasive media messages as to "what girls should look like".

My girls might come out none the worse for wear because of my excellent parenting; however, on the other hand, why make my job harder? I think that it's perfectly okay to say "we don't play with these things - these aren't for our us right now" and for whatever social stigma it may cause on the playground, I think that kids will also come out okay with good parenting.

That said, there are about 20 Barbies in my daughter's room. As a compromise, they dress mostly in 1970s crocheted dresses I bought on eBay.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Jozet said...

And dang, your child is gorgeous.

She puts the Bratz doll to shame.

11:36 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

I wouldn't make a big deal if we were at someone else's place. But there's no way in hell one of those skanks will find its way into our home!

How did WB like the zoo? We're taking my mom and Cakes next week. I can't wait for her reaction.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

I'd choose Smurfette over the Bratz skank anyday....

Well said Catherine. As always.

Thankfully my daughter is not interested in the Bratz corruption of today's childrens toys, but if she were I'd dig in my heels.

There is only room under this roof for one mesh thong wearing skank, and that, darling, is me.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

I have yet to weigh in for fear of condemnation...we have several Bratz dolls at our house. The first was a gift at a children's Christmas party and while I mentally went through all the arguments in my head I did let her keep it. After that we received another as a gift etc.

Papoosie Girl at six treats them the same as all her other dolls including the FP Little People. They all play together in some kind of stange neighbourhood way and she understands (even at 6) most of the arguments your neice does. She calls their clothes costumes and seems to understand real people don't look like this. She really does just treat them like any other doll.

Do I like them? Of course not. Making a big stink about seems silly when it is all quite innocent. If I think it is turning any other way, I will chuck them for sure. But to see her Bratz in the Little People Garage helping at the car wash you have to believe it is not all bad.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ephelba, I know what you mean about these dolls limiting imagination, but at the same time this is true of many contemporary toys (although not all are as morally questionable as Bratz). It drives me nuts to see any dolls sold with only one role or function: doctor doll, model doll, fireman doll. As if the clothes make the role.

It discourages kids from the great old game of "let's pretend."

My mother used to worry about Barbies, too. Then I was given one as a gift, and I promptly lost the halter-dress that came with it, so I dressed it in a burlap bag. Then I named it Mr Jones and pretended it was the mailman. At that point my mother realized just how clueless I was about gender identity, and that it was going to take much more than one doll to co-opt me into the beauty myth, or whatever...

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Leigh said...

You stated this much more eloquently (and much more witty) than I ever could. And while you utterly make sense...I'm still not so sure I'd want a Bratz doll in my home either, even if my daughter was as tuned in as your niece. And wow, there are no words for the phallic toy.
Leigh

3:09 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I feel the SAME way about those darn dolls! I hate them. So my brother got one for my Lil'G. And, being a oddly girly girl, she loves all th (slut) colorful makeup she wears. So now her name is Hussy. She is Hussy. My daughter says, "The doggy is running away with Hussy!" LOL

No more allowed.

:)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Bon said...

i dunno, sometimes i look back and wonder if Smurfette wasn't really terribly pernicious after all.

but i love the photo of your beautiful elfin Wonderbaby and the skank-ho.

5:31 PM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

Bossy is waiting for Milton Bradley to package The Corner Office.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

I used to have a whole slue of issues...
Like Ariel, Cinderella and the like... When Scooter was a baby I was trying to keep the wrong message away from her... Like men were the saviors and if you are pretty, and patient, all things good happen... all those Disney Gals sell that package...and then Scooter received endless videos of these dames...and I could not turn a gift away even if I had my principals...

and as life has gone on...she has had her fair share of Bratz, she has a gazillion barbies,They are all fads...

I say live by example... and all the things you think are horrible... end up fading away... my daughter has not played with a bratz doll in two years... and yet she loved 'Chloe' because she was 'nice and kind' to her friends...This is all my wee gal saw in the Brat... Chloe is now tossed aside to live in a pile with the princesses, unicorns and alike.....
The model Scooter built with her dad for her Playmobile village has taken over her bliss... and at the age of nine, we are soon travelling out of toys... but hope that toys stay with her until the age of twelve...as I hate to even think of the next stage....
And by the by and by... whoa! a very entertaining time at the zoo...

6:22 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Just to be clear I also hate Bratz dolls. With that said I used to strip nekkid my Barbie and Ken dolls and had them do all manner of things to each other. And yet I'm not a sexual perv or anything.

That you know of anyway. ;)

6:36 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

This puts to shame my freak-out when Thalia was offered a mere Barbie. She was naked, yes, but it was preferable to the thong in my opinion.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Metro Mama - it's not the Toronto zoo, actually, it's the High Park zoo (which, by the way, is a sweet little diversion for small people and a little more interesting than Riverdale Farm)

7:50 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Oh, and Mom-101? I did have my own little freak out, but it was well-restrained. I felt much, much better when she flung it to the floor in disdain and then ignored entirely. Saved me from dealing with the issue.

And Barbies? Dude. My Barbies got up to some seriously dirty shit, naked and otherwise.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Animal said...

Hi HBM,

I've been stalking your blog lately, and wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying your writing! As I'm going to be a new parent in mid-July, I've found great stress-relief in reading the blogs of parents with wee ones. Thanks for posting.

Oh, and Smurfette? Total whore. Even Gargamel knew that.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Tracysan said...

Oh wow, I'm going to have to TOTALLY disagree with you here! Just because a girl can articulate that she realizes that "it's just a doll" does not mean that being surrounded by such dolls and their ilk doesn't have a subconscious effect on her. I am an educated adult and I still struggle to overcome the self-esteem problems caused by evil-marketing-geniuses. Because the more unhappy we are with ourselves, the more shit we buy to "fix" ourselves. Bratz and Barbies are a way of undermining a girl's self-esteem at a young age so that by the time she gets a job, she'll be more than willing to fork over the dough.

God, that totally sounds like I'm some sort of conspiracy theorist, but I hate to see women give in to the evil-that-be because "It's just a doll."

Chuckie was just a doll.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Tracysan - 'Chucky was just a doll.'

LLLLLOL. I'm totally stealing that line one of these days.

Here's the thing - I have the same anxieties that you do about those dolls - and the Barbies and the princesses (I ESPECIALLY hate the princesses) and all that crap - because it seeps into the psyches of young women and messes them up without them even knowing it. Which is why I won't be letting one into our home. BUT, I have to recognize that she's going to come across them, and that the best way to defuse the bad messages is to not let them have any power - to raise her to be critical. To encourage her to fling the thing to the floor. And maybe stomp on it. And if not, maybe just get her to understand that SKANK IS BAD.

(For girls, that is. Bad mommies get a pass.)

9:27 PM  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

That mommy-right to reversal of opinion...is there a statute of limitations on that? 'Cause that might explain my relationship with my mother.

On a totally different note, it breaks my hear that beautiful little WB might one day aspire to look like the Skank Ho next to her in that shot, when nothing could possibly compare to her sweet, sweet face.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

NSS - If WB ever articulates the slightest aspiration to skankdom I may just have to introduce the burka to our household.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Manic Mom said...

WHere have you been all my life, Her Bad Mother!?!?!? WHy have we not cyber-met yet? This is awesome! First, I found you from that adorable little cherub with the Mutha Sucka shirt--TOOOO CUTE!
Then I get a load of Still Life with Skank Ho and Child with Fluffy Dildo Thingamagig.

Where have you been all my blogging cyber life. You are a riot!

11:36 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Oh my Word. That's her LOVEY?

Gotta love kids.

11:44 PM  
Blogger modmom said...

i don't even take my daughter down the bratz aisle at target. is that a ring toss thing?

1:36 AM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

WonderBaby looks so grown up! When did that happen?

As for the Bratz dolls, I cringe whenever I see them being advertised. Totally skanky. I pray neither one of my boys ever brings a girl home who aspires to emulate these...these...plastic pieces of garish hell. Because I'd have to hurt them. Badly.


So. What exactly is that phallic object...?

7:48 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

ModMom - Bingo! It is indeed a ring-stacker thingy (rings long since lost!)

8:45 AM  
Blogger Fidget said...

right now I tell my kids how much we disdain those dolls. they are young enough to believe me. I am dreading that first birthday party where one of their unsuspecting friends presents one of the with a Bratz.. I'll be holding my breath and snapping a picture.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous mom of 6 said...

As a mom of six, 3 of them girls, i have to agree with the Bratz are skanks theme but.... I caved in. My 9 year old begged me for anything Bratz and so she got the Race Car Driver (only one we could find that was covered from head to foot) and guess what - was her favorite toy for about a month and now she can't even find it.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

When I began my idealic journey through motherhood, I swore that my children would NEVER have toys that look like whores. It would never, never happen. I would most certainly die on that hill because it is my duty to protect my daughters from such things. Fast forward four years. Emma's best friend has a million Bratz dolls. Emma knows their names and which ones are "good" and which are "bad." To this day I have no idea whose qualifications those are. For Christmas, Emma's maternal birth-aunt and birth-family friend sent her gift cards to Toys 'R Us. On the drive there, she couldn't set still. "I know what I want, I know what I want." she said. She simply glowed with happiness. "What?" I asked. "My very own Bratz doll." Her happiness was infectious, even if I got a lump in my throat when she said that. In the end, my one attempt at being a "good" mother was to make her pick a Bratz doll that had some sort of substantial outfit. As she floated on her cloud to the register I decided that some battles aren't worth dying for. She'll learn more about being a woman from me and living role models than she will from a silly doll, who is rather cute, actually.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

At the pediatrician's office last week I saw a 3 year old dressed like a Bratz doll. It was jaw dropping.

I can see now how hard it is not to be a judgemental parent.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Slackermommy said...

My girls have Bratz and Barbies and to them they are just dolls. In fact my girls think the Bratz are ugly. They have never asked to dress like them. I've watched them play with them and basically they are mimicking what they see the adults around them do. Which brings me to the point that we can blame dolls and toys for our children dressing like prostitots but it really is their real life adult role models that influence our children the most. They are like sponges and it is so easy to teach them to think how we think and do what we do just by how we live. I have always pointed out how silly girls look in their short shorts and crop tops or that celebrities may dress sexy for the stage or tv but it is not appropriate for real life. If their friends are dressed inappropriately I will comment that it is so sad her mom isn't teaching her better. Now my girls will ask me if the clothes they choose are appropriate and if they see a prostitot they will point out how ridiculous she looks. No worries if your daughter plays with a Bratz doll or any other sexist toy, she's already becoming the woman she's going to be just by watching you.

You do good her bad mother.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't like the word "slutty", period. That bothers me more than the Bratz dolls do.

7:30 PM  
Blogger radioactive girl said...

I tried to write something similar months ago about it being about the parenting and that these are just toys. People were not happy. I do not buy my kids Bratz dolls, but other people do. I let themplay with them because we have a good relationship and I know that ultimately I need to teach them right and wrong or whatever degree they choose in between myself and not let a toy be what they look to to see what they should be. I still can't articulate what I mean, but you did and for that I thank you!

1:48 PM  
Blogger Eve said...

I'm getting bored of Bratz. What other nasty things can be turned into dolls?

I KNOW. How about lewd construction worker dolls with their asses hanging out, and when you pull their finger, they shout, "NICE TITS!"

We could call them Pigz.

2:56 PM  

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