Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We Hate Bratz

"We hate Bratz dolls. Right, Mommy?"

My four-year old daughter makes me proud in the toy aisle at Target. We're looking for a gift for one of her girlfriends who is turning five soon. My daughter's mimicry of my intense hatred towards a slew of popular young girls' dolls like Barbie and Bratz may be rote but it's firmly implanted. For a toy company like Bratz or Mattel, makers of all things Barbie, there is no getting around my maternal barricade; at least for as long as my daughter believes that mama knows best. This, however, is not the case for millions of young girls in this country. Girls as young as three-years old are now the direct targets of marketing campaigns hawking things like toys and clothing with obvious overtones of sex and sexuality. Add advertising and media content that over-emphasize the importance of physical appearance and sexual appeal for women and according to the American Psychological Association's (APA) latest report, The Sexualization of Girls, you've got a "broad and increasing problem" that is "harmful to girls."

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