High-heeled slip-on shoes available for babies, sexual slogans printed on girls' underwear and magazines "blurring" the lines by using child-like models, were highlighted to the equal opportunities committee. And one of the most popular brands of dolls on shop shelves came in for particular criticism as the launch of the inquiry into the sexualisation of children. Bratz dolls, which have been challenging Barbie for supremacy in the girls' toy market, were condemned by the NSPCC as the committee opened an inquiry into increasing levels of sexual imagery in goods aimed at children. Tom Narducci, a senior consultant for the NSPCC, criticised the way dolls were dressed in short skirts and fishnet stockings and said they were sexualising girls as young as five. There were also worries about young girls being given all-day beauty treatments with make-up and hair stylists, instead of traditional birthday parties. But MGA Entertainments, which makes the Bratz dolls, hit back, saying that the problem had far more to do with what youngsters saw on television screens at home.
Girls aged 5 sexualised by toys like Bratz dolls, MSPs told
Girls aged 5 sexualised by toys like Bratz dolls, MSPs told | The Scotsman
C oncluding two years of research, a task force appointed by the American Psychological Association has just presented its findings on the sexualisation of girls. Although the task force focuses on US culture, its first and most eye-catching example of sexualisation is available here, too: "Toy manufacturers", it regrets, "produce dolls wearing black leather miniskirts, feather boas and thigh- high boots and market them to eight to year-old girls". The allusion, of course, is to Bratz dolls, whose feather boas are already suspected, by many sexy-toy experts, of having corrupted the minds of innumerable young girls. If their clothes are too provocative, Time magazine has also criticised their "jaded, bored, if not actually stoned" facial expressions. At the Daily Telegraph, which presides, somewhat fitfully, over a campaign to protect children from the modern world, a writer promptly shared her disgust for "these hideous creatures", with their "heavy-lidded, post-coital gaze", and proposed that parents should begin their revolt against inappropriate toys with a boycott: "Say no to Bratz.
Over-sexed and over here: The 'tarty' Bratz Doll
Audio: Listen to this story. To hear more feature stories, download the Audm app for your iPhone. Bratz dolls have swollen heads, pouty lips, spindly limbs, and chunky-heeled shoes. Their waists are barely wider than their necks.
Two weeks later, a dozen little girls turned up at our house, most dressed in old-fashioned frilly party frocks. But one child arrived wearing a sequinned crop top and a short plaid skirt that would have been inappropriate on a year-old, never mind a little girl of four. When it came to the present-opening, the little girl wriggled excitedly in her seat as my daughter unwrapped her gift.