How to Explain Monster High and Other Hyper-Sexualized Dolls to Young Kids

Barbie Fashionista. Box says for ages 3+.

My youngest brother is home for the holidays, and while at Target toy shopping for my kids, he decided to go into the Barbie aisle because over Thanksgiving he had watched the 20/20 piece featuring SPARK Summit dynamo Dana Edell and was stunned at what was going on in girlhood. He couldn’t believe some of what he saw during the interview with Dana wasn’t illegal. He has heard me talk about it for several years, but he wanted to see it for himself. He lives in Costa Rica and doesn’t have kids, so a lot of what Pigtail Pals talks about isn’t on his radar.

He was shopping for Legos for Amelia and Benny, but walked into the Barbie aisle to see what the fuss was about. Over Christmas he asked me, “Why are all of the Barbies dressed like whores?”.  Valid question, pejorative aside. The Barbie to our left has a face loaded with make-up, a skin-tight shirt that reads Miss Sassy, a chain link belt, and a hot pink thong clearly visible under the metallic hot pink micro-miniskirt that barely covers her Barbie bum.

For the record, he got his niece a four foot long stuffed dolphin. Good uncle.

Why do almost all of the plastic dolls we see in the toy aisles look like what we would stereotype as a sex worker? I have yet to understand how companies are passing these off as children’s toys. But parents are accepting it, and buying them, and the cycle continues.

But for parents who aren’t buying it, and who are working hard to keep their young daughters from being sexualized, how in the world does one explain Monster High to a five year old? The thing with Monster High et al is that they are so highly inappropriate, it is kind of inappropriate to discuss with a child why they are inappropriate. Since we can’t really use words like “skid row hooker” with our kindergartners and all…

Last night on our Facebook page I was asked the following:
“How do you explain why the Monster High dolls, and the like, aren’t good to a 5 year old? How do you explain what is wrong with them? I told her once that ‘they’re just not very nice.’ I honestly didn’t know what to tell her!” -Danielle

Mattel's Monster High character Clawdeen Wolf, for ages 6+.

This was my reply when the situation arose for Amelia and I:

What I said to my 5yo was that Monster High dolls were dressed in a way that I felt was inappropriate for children, that their faces looked mean not nice, and that their bodies sent our hearts unhealthy messages. We talked about different colors of hair and skin being really cool, but that these dolls made little girls focus too much on being pretty for other people and being too grown-up and that is not what kids need to do.

A few months down the road when she asked for more info, I told her that Monster High dolls have the kind of bodies that can make girls sick, because a real person could never have a body like that, and that I loved my little girl’s healthy body so much I would never want her to have something that would make her think her body wasn’t amazing.

And when she kept pushing about the clothing, I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full. Then I took it a step further, and had her come upstairs to her dress up drawer, and picked out clothing I knew was way too small and tight for her. She put it on, and I told her to go play. Amelia said she couldn’t move because of her clothes. I then asked if she thought Monster High was silly, because how could those girls move and be teenagers who do fun things and play sports. She said she thought maybe they just stood around and looked pretty.

I told her she was absolutely right. And then we talked about other toys she had, how different they looked, and what kinds of things those dolls could do instead. I hope to grow the idea of full and happy hearts as Amelia (and Benny) age, to help her make good and healthy decisions about all kinds of things: healthy eating and exercise, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships, good behavior in school, etc. If that is our baseline, I think the things that fall so far outside of that, whether it is Monster High or music lyrics or friends who are a bad influence, my kids will see it for what it is and be that much more equipped to make good choices for themselves.

I want to teach them to use their intuition and common sense when it comes to hard decisions. It is what I do when I tell myself there is no way in hell that dolls like Monster High or Bratz or hooker Barbies will end up in my home. I respect my children far too much to feed them a diet of garbage like that.

Then another mom added this:

“My 4 year old asked the same thing. I pointed out the clothing and said that girls her age don’t wear clothes that look like that. She seemed ok with that answer at this point, but I am certain we will need to go more in depth with it soon! We had the same convo over the Bratz dolls and some Barbies too.” -Christi

Mattel says Monster High is for tweens and teens. Which would be true, if teens played with dolls and shopped in the toy aisle and stood three feet tall.


  1. Great post.

    My daughter is only 18 months old and if anyone dares to buy her one of these dolls it’s going right back to the store. I can’t believe we live in a world where it’s ok to give a little girl such a trashy looking doll. It’s pretty much telling them: Look at this doll. Please we want you to dress like this and become a whore. Sorry for the harsh words but this drives me INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • You don’t understand what MH is about.

      I have a 11yr old and she loves Monster High. She has about 23 of them. Even my 3yr old niece loves them! They are for all ages, and this is only aimed at one doll. Why don’t you look at other dolls?

      Monster High is about being yourself. They are unique and brilliant in their own way. They are even aimed at girls personalities. One doll, who is a zombie, is a genius and is BFFs with a mummy when zombies are unaccepted.

      Even the places are based on real things. At one point in what’s called a ‘webisode’, they are at a sleepover. In another, they are at a dance and another shows them at a party! In a movie, they are trying to sort the balance between monsters and humans.

      I have one question: What’s wrong with that?

      • I imagine you are the same type of feminist that complains that men objectify women. Get off of your high horse and realize that you are sending the wrong message to your little ones. When your daughter is in high school attracting all the wrong attention to herself, you should look back at yourself. Although, you probably won’t notice as that is the type of parent that allows this into their home.

        • That is the message that Mattel is trying to send. Dolls aren’t sex toys. I personally think you should get off your high horse. You may think this is wrong, but everyone has different styles of parenting, so get over yourselves already.

          • That is certainly the message the Mattel PR and Marketing departments are spewing out (explained here: Lillyan and Olivia – you unfortunately are part of the problem. As adults, you should have the proper critical thinking skills to not only be able to discern right and wrong, but also the difference between truth and marketing spin. These dolls are 100% overly sexualized and should in NO WAY be marketed to 4-7yo girls. Please wake up and start making better decisions for your young children.

      • i understand and respect what you mean with them expressing themselves and looking quirky and have ungirly features such as being half zombie and that they are not indeed real human teenage girls. so why are their skirts going up so unnecessarily high past their thighs? why do they look so similar to a stereotype that is disturbing to look at and make most mothers and people feel uneasy? people should not feel uncomfortable about a childrens toy.

        why can’t they use that concept but not make it sexual?

        • I disagree I’m 11yr old and I own those dolls and watch the shows movies and webisodes and they might have mini skirts but they do express being unique and diverse

        • So true…I do get what Lillyan is saying to a point, the concepts really are great. But they use the overly sexual designs in the dolls themselves because they know it is attractive to those who don’t yet understand it. It looks cool and trendy to have almost no nose and super made up eyes to these young kids when in fact adult women who actually look as close as humanly possible to this receive nothing but hate from everyone but ppl who “like them” for the wrong reasons. That being said, monster high isn’t as bad as Bratz (although the same company I think). Even the name is negative lol. Also, it’s more the actual doll design then the clothes that bugs me. But they are also inappropriate. A thong on a barbie? Seriously? Wow.

      • Jacqueline says:

        Your sooo right. Thats why in the back of each MH doll box it says Be Unique,Be Yourself,Be a monster!

      • Do you really think that parties, bffs, and dances are all a girl is about? And did you ever stop to think that as a parent YOU should be teaching your children about “different personalities “.. not a t.v show?? You are being fooled by these companies with the illusion of your child ‘learning’ valuable lessons… but really.. they are selling SEX to your little girls. With these images in their minds as they grow up, they will spend their life’s trying to fix them selfs to fit a fake “perfect” image. They will never love their bodies. Hair. Eyes. Worst of all they will buy into corporations that sell beauty products. Your children will look like whores by the age of 15. Cuz their mommie told them to be “themselfs”. Good job. They don’t know who they are at that age anyways. And if you throw these dolls in their faces (cuz you’re too lazy to interact with them) they think that doll is who they are. They manufacture dolls, to manufacture and create a one type woman. One who is easily controlled. One who never found her true self.

        • Maybe instead of attacking a /toy/ or being a “concerned parent” try actually teaching your child and talking with your child about these things?? They’re not stupid and by the time they’re a teenager it’s good to talk to them about things like this and to let them enjoy their childhood. They don’t think about that stuff but more of, “this is pretty.” Not “this looks like a whore.” Use your common sense. And while you’re at it, maybe look at the other dangers out there besides a toy.

      • Monster high is a good you line and the girls are learning about being unique and being themselves. .. Nothing wrong with that .. I think some parents think to much about the outfits ..
        No one had any issues with He man back in the day .. A grown man running around in a pair of animal skin Speedos ..

      • no ones telling you what to buy, but obviously something is going wrong with society, and you really think these dolls are helping? come on. get a clue




      • Monster high is meant for kids to be theirselves.The kids who watch Monster high learn lessons from the show, and if you read the back of the Monster high box it says: Be unique, Be yourself, Be a monster.That sends kids the right message to be theirselves.The people who do not like Monster high should watch some of the episodes and movies, thwn you qill probably understand Monster high.Plus I am 11 years old and i watch Monster high!

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree with you my daughter will be 7 and my youngest is going to be 15 months old I’m a 24 year old parent and my girls love them, yes my youngest is to young but she brushes the hair and my oldest don’t even look at the clothes she just plays with the doll itself, for things to be looked at actually means that in deeper into it really is. They’re not as busy people think you have a clothing is a little short but there’s no alarm tone they don’t promote sex in the video friendship they promote being me being yourself they express themselves away you’d want your own child to express herself or his self to his or her friends and nothing more than that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them I think they’re a wonderful line there’s a lot of other dolls that was out there or that isout there that show more sexual clothing andand even Sportsmens so the sexual I mean monster high isn’t bad it’s uniqueness and I think they were great and I wouldn’t change them for nothing

        • i am a collecter and 15 years old if you watch the movies it gives a good message over all

        • says:

          You are being in indoctrinated into a cult whether you believe it or not. Things your children will accept in the future will be of evil and they won’t even know it is evil. This just brings further corruption to society to their minds and the things they accept and what they believe. If your Christian and believe it’s okay you really need to start reading the Bible. People need to think about the future and think where this trash will leave their children. Once Upon a Time Elvis couldn’t shake his hips on TV. We had Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, Happy Days. Later we had Married with Children and now we have the night of the Night of the Living Dead, iZombie and Lucifer. Lucifer is known as a good guy on TV now. Many devil worshipers worshiping and pushing this evil. People who study psychology know exactly what is going on.

  2. I absolutely love this post. I try daily to have my daughter balance girly and kid. Her school has a lot of princess lovers but thankfully, I have been able to ward off too much interest in it. And the issue isn’t playing princess (I did, I’m pretty ok), but the idealism associated with looking like a princess. Mama(me) is far from princess status (I am overweight, wear jeans almost daily, and have purple hair) but my little gal tries to be like me:) I am glad I put forth an image my newly 4 year old wants to emulate. Thanks for this wonderful post as guidance for a topic I’m sure we’ll have to discuss in the near future.

    • Sorry, so it’s healthier for your daughter to have you as a role model. Somebody very overweight who doesn’t take any pride in their health nor appearance and is very judgemental than to play with a totally innocent doll that did me no harm as a child. Just helps with imaginative play. As children we overlook the clothing. We just see a doll. Its you adults bashing. I bet if you saw a fat doll in a Muslim robe you’d be happy for your daughters to have but when it comes to somebody slim, with a nice dress god forbid above her knees! It’s wrong. There aren’t fat dolls as fat is bad. Its unhealthy. Monster high are very skinny because they are usually the undead. MONSTERS! I had numerous barbies as a child. I never wanted to be anorexic or super skinny. aactually i was a chubby child, but i fixed that when i gpt older. The healthy way. You know the rule, legs on show or breast. Never at the same time and monster high does that 😉 Just saying, there’s a difference to somebody who works out and takes care of themselves and wears something nice and shows a little leg than a streetwalkers. Entirely different thing love.

    • Why on earth do you not want your daughter to love princesses? I assume you’re talking about the Disney line. Have you completely disregarded the positive and empowering messages they send in their movies? Furthermore, why are you implying that a princess can’t be overweight or have purple hair?

  3. If only the Victorian moralism had died with the feminists of that era. A girl has the right to dress any way she wants and to play with whatever toys she likes.
    Of course, this includes dressing like a whore, whatever that may entail, or playing with Barbies.

    Give girls freedom instead of trying to redefine what they are – and making money out of it!

    • Little girls do not have the “right” to dress any way they want, nor the “right” to play with whatever toys she likes. Perhaps you misunderstand the word “right.” I, as a mother, however, do have the “right” to choose clothing and toys that I feel are appropriate for my child.

      • Thank You what this mother doesn’t realize is that dolls aren’t made for little girls to model it is just because they are pretty to play with and THEY.ARE.MONSTERS leave them alone the statement “Freaky just got Fabulous” does not mean “freaky freaky” but monster scary it is a statement that is suppose to mean “BE YOURSELF. Don’t hide and copy what other people do”

      • They should. Kids have the right to feel safe, loved and healthy. Why shouldn’t we have that right, too. And don’t YOU TELL ME THAT KIDS DONT’T HAVE RIGHTS. It’s a true damn fact. Look into it.

    • It seems to me if we properly equip our children with knowledge and encourage and support them to a point of self security… Then those are the tools they can use to express and individualize themselves rather than making a statement with their clothes that may or may not send the intended message.

    • My daughter is three. So far I have been able to avoid Barbies. She prefers animals and anything involving music. She has the “right” to be whatever she wants to be one day. As far as what she plays with and her clothing, I have the right to limit inappropriate choices of both. I have already told my wife that my daughter will never wear anything clothing with words like “juicy” written across the ass.

      • I’m 15 and I find these dolls a little scary. It’s like that girl who was so obsessed with Barbie that she got plastic surgery to turn herself into Barbie. It’s the same thing with these dolls. I played with barbies and stuff and I’m a not one of “those girls” but rest assured, when I have children, if I buy them dolls like that I will be changing the clothes before my children get them.

    • Thank you for aggreeging!!! I understand. I won’t buy the dolls but we children still have that right. thank you.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I have boys whom I will teach the same things about their body being for running and jumping and learning not for looking at, and I want to try hard to teach them to see all people for what they do and who they are not what they wear or how they look. I like the search for full and happy hearts as a way to notice people, toys, dolls, etc. because it is so clearly something you can’t really see, but that you have hints about.

    You were so smart to put your daughter’s too small clothes on her to show her what those nonsense clothes feel like. Teaching them early how ridiculous wearing or doing things for image instead of real life is might just save a whole generation of kids.

    Let’s hope!

  5. I think it’s fun to encourage little girls to see the dolls’ outfits as impractical and silly. Pointing out that you can see their underwear and laughing at how short the skirts are is fun. So is saying that the dolls are probably cold because their outfits are so skimpy.

  6. Thank you for this post. My daughter is 4 and will be starting school soon. Right now, we attend a wonderful playschool what emphasizes gender equality and neutrality, where boys are just as likely to wear dresses as girls, etc, etc. I’m very concerned about what entering a more mainstream school will expose her to, but don’t want to simply hide from these issues. Thanks for these suggestions!

    • You know, I was nervous about Amelia beginning kindergarten for the same reasons, but so far, so good. In fact, the other kids find her so interesting she is very well liked by her classmates. The girly-girls and the rough-and-tumble boys and everyone inbetween all seem to love her.

      Though they might also be hypnotized by the horribly clashing outfits and spakle shoes she puts together…… 😉

  7. Even the regular barbie dress’s trashy. Even though American girl dolls are expensive I would rather my daughter play with them which have modest clothing and books as well so it’s just not a doll she also has a story books about her.Or even Wal-mart has a cheaper version of American girl doll. Playing dress up is ok too but as for the princess stuff can give little girls a complex that they are a princess and think that they should be treated as one or don’t have to listen and be waited on. It can give them the wrong idea not only how to treat people as they grow up and could affect them in the long run.That’s why my daughter will not have clothing or dolls that could give her that idea.

    • I understand where a parent would be worried about their child’s environment, but you have to consider the other aspects. You can take your child to a store and see the same outfits on barbie as on many of today’s women. The dolls clothing is made to represent the “in style” fashion whether those clothes be inappropriate or not. I am not trying to tell you or anyone else how to raise your children but you may want to look more at the world around you instead of criticizing plastic. Lastly, many people i know and myself all played with barbies and dolls in general for many years and act and dress appropriately so please find some other excuse for your child’s future behavior or personality. happy parenting(:

      • I agree with this. The clothes are supposed to be stylish. Like the above comment said, stylish isn’t always appropriate. It’s a doll, not a person. I personally think all of you need to get off your high horse,

  8. I loved this post…you have such a way with words to help out those of us who might struggle to explain this to our children. I especially liked the ‘full and happy hearts’ idea (and I’m also big fan of your ‘some people are just confused about colours but we know different’ approach to the pink/blue divide)
    I just wanted to add how much I’m looking forward to my girls (aged 2.5 and 1) learning from Amelia (and the rest of your family) right the way into teen-hood. I just know that you’ll be able to help guide us through some tricky issues and provide pointers for possible pitfalls as they all grow and learn. After all, we adults have also been immersed in this culture for quite a while and sometimes need reminders to question the accepted view (as well as ways to tactfully tell others why we are doing so!)
    Take care, and keep up the good work :O)
    Love Andie & family (UK) xxx

    • Thank you, Andie 🙂

    • My 6 year old granddaughter has loved Barbie, Princess, Bratz, etc dolls and also plays with baby dolls mothering them. This year she wanted Monster High dolls and my daughter redid her dollhouse Monster High. Her self image is not defined by a doll. A child spells LOVE as TIME. Time feeding, time making her do homework and teaching her manners. Time with Grandma at McDonald’s and in the wave pool at Dorney Park. Monster High dolls are about celebrating individual differences and loving friends despite their being a bit shallow, goulish, scattered, etc. OR overly scholastic. Monster, Monster, Monster High go inspired her into Cheernastics. Now for a zillion years those cheer uniforms have been skimpier than normal. See my BEAUTIFUL healthy weight granddaughter PROUD to wear her Monster high branded clothes on my Facebook page. FULLY COVERED top to bottom the focus is on the Bolero and beautiful wonderfully made sequined skirt. She was so proud when she was in gym doing cartwheels in her skirt and tights. She is a beautiful Individual, a warm loving child and the best mannered child I’ve EVER seen and i’m experienced because I DEEPLY LOVE CHILDREN.

      • I AGREEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am alot different to all the girls in my class, when they wear pink I wear green, when they wear skirts, high heels and jewlry, I wear my smile, hair loose, shorts like Lagoona and a t-shirt. 🙂

        • Me too. I’ve never been to feminine. I haven’t worn pink on purpose since I was 5. I wear jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, with my hair down.

      • I admire the creativity and artistry of Monster High dolls. Unleashing your imagination in a modern and creative style is inspiring. My 3 children love playing with their MH dolls and it does not affect their real life fashion statement or how they dress. They could play with their MH dolls then grab their leggings and shirts and run off to any party. When you play with toys you let your imagination free. The toys they play does not mean they will most likely dress that way. When I was 7 I loved playing with my Barbies and I loved their sexy clothesline. I am now a mother of 4 and I remain conservative, never worn any skimpy dress or plunging necklines like the ones Barbie wore. Toys are different from reality and kids definitely know that. Your only a child once and if Monster High is in I don’t want my children to feel left out or spoil their “playing and pretending” moment. My children have very high grades and remain all very decent and conservative.

        • Crystal says:

          Thanks for that! some of these posts were getting quite irritating… my daughter is almost 8… she LOVES Monster high to pieces, has every movie video 20+ dolls… she has a great body image and about the only thing MH has influenced her in clothing wise is now when i send her up to get dressed in the morning she comes down in matching cloths… its so easy to point our fingers at a toy but in all reality is is up to the parent to make sure our kids are educated about things like their own self worth or being happy and comfortable is the most important thing… I too played with barbies dressed quite skimpy but i gaurantee you all through my adolescent life i’ve always dressed appropriately

          • I agree. The posts were getting irritating. I’m seriously thinking that this is an overreaction. Little girls see dolls as JUST DOLLS. Nothing more.

        • CoolCat4Christ says:

          “Toys are different from reality and kids definitely know that.”
          Tell that to the surviving Family members of the victims when teenage mass murderers decide to cross the line between “reality” and fanatasy. They are just kids “Playing” violent video games for hours on end. After all they’re basically just toys….Right????

          • Because that’s the same thing, at all… And certainly there’s nothing else at play when people decide to kill other people. It can all be explained by a video game, right? Wouldn’t that make the world a nice, simple place.
            I say that as someone who tries to be very careful not to expose my stepdaughter to messages which promote violence or body issues or anything harmful like that, but there is thick, red line between being a responsible, concerned caregiver and blaming a toy or game for the ills of the world.

          • The only people who do that have issues. Don’t clump perfectly normal children with ones that are way older and have issues. My older cousin played with Barbie dolls, Bratz dolls and Baby Alive. She turned out perfectly fine. Conservative, kind, polite, independent and definitely not slutty or overly-revealing at all.

  9. Thank you for your post. I totally agree. Women are completely objectified and it gets worse and worse – just look at commercials these days (i.e. J Lo in the Fiat commercials, rap videos, magazine covers, reality shows, perfume commercials and the list goes on). I’m glad you are educating people on this and how badly this type of marketing is affecting our society and the lack of respect shown to women. People are simply accepting now because it has been part of American culture for so long…you can hardly escape it, even on a trip to the grocery store. It’s so sad. Girls / women should be more than an object of desire / sex etc.

  10. I really like the post except for one thing, that I have already discussed with you.

    Women who dress sexy, and Im of course talking WOMEN not girls, have every right to dress how they like, and assuming that it is because of attention is an extremely partriacrchial view point. Some women dress that way, because they love their curves, and would like to have them shown, or because it makes them, themselves be sexy.

    I think maybe I would have said that those clothes are more for adults than kids..instead of making it seem that every woman who wears revealing clothing is someone that either has low self esteem or is just looking for attention.

    What do you think Amelia will say when she sees a woman dressed like that in real life…”Wow, she probably does not have a happy heart”

    It is being anti-woman, to assume why women where certain clothes and/or should dress conservatively. This is an issue that contributes to rape culture…the idea that if someone is dressed “like a slut”, “she deserved it”.

    • Shantal –
      To me there is a big difference between dressing sexy, which means diferent things to different people, and dressing the way society says young women should dress so that they are hot and available at all times. In ALL the places I have lived and worked, the women I know who feel the need to advertise their sexuality like the Monster High or Barbie images in the post, and gain their personal value based on their value to men have very broken and empty hearts. It isn’t a judgement, it is an impression from experience.

      Years from now, if Amelia saw a woman somewhere in a store or office dressed like Clawdeen Wolf, I would hope she would do some critical thinking and ask herself why the woman needs to show so much skin and wear so many garments associated with sexual fetishism.

      This post was less about judging other women, as it was more about laying groundwork for my daughter that how we present ourselves to the world says a lot about our self-confidence and how we value ourselves, and that she has to be happy and loved on the inside and project that from the inside out. It is more about what my daughter thinks of herself, our family values, and her ability to use those to things to make good decisions.

      As I never said anything about how women should dress, conservative dress, or rape culture, I’m just going to let the comment lay.

    • I can’t help but agree with Shantel’s ideas. There are times where women with perfrectly wonderful self esteem choose to dress in a provacative way. What has struck me is the number of times in the post and comment section that the words whore and slut have been used.
      This is hurtful language that is often used by teens to ostrasize and degrade peers. As parents when we use this type of language what are we teaching our children?
      I think this is what makes me uncomfortable about this post. We are saying that we want to teach our children to love and accept others. However, I get the impression this doesn’t include women who choose to express their sexuality in a way different from what we like.

      • Sarah –
        As a sex-positive person, I have no problem with women expressing their sexuality in any variety of ways, and since you don’t really know me or where my likes/dislikes rest, you can’t fairly assume what I think of that. But we’re not talking about grown women with their established senses of sexuality. This post is talking about little kids and their toys.
        What I have an issue with is toy companies forcing their version of female sexuality onto my very young daughter, who has the natural-born right to figure that stuff out on her own, in her own time. I have an issue with toy companies mass producing products that rob children of their childhoods by sexualizing them.

        I too have an issue with pejoratives like slut, whore, tramp, hussy, etc. I do not use those words in my own vocabulary. We do need to find more classy and loving ways to discuss hyper-sexualized attire, and not make assumptions about someone’s sexual history by using words that cut them down.

        This post is not about judging people, but about teaching my children our family’s values, and to think critically about things they will encounter that fall outside of our values. This isn’t about judging other girls, but more about having my daughter ask herself if that would make her heart feel full and happy, or if she thinks it would give off other messages, and what those messages mean and how those messages make her feel. I have yet to meet a young girl who dresses extremely provocatively who does so because of her empowered sense of adult sexuality. 10 out of 10 times, the girls I meet are doing so because they do not know their inherent value beyond how they are seen and valued by men. Our pornified culture is what teaches them to take it to a level that is representative of a sex worker. If a grown woman wants to do this, that is her business. When a child or young teen does this, she does not have the ability to understand the messages she is sending, nor how to navigate the unwanted (or wanted) sexual attention she will surely attract.

        The way in which we dress is a way for people to express their feelings, their view of themself, or attract attention in some way (this could mean a favorite sports team’s jersey just as much as a micro-mini). I have an issue with toys that tell children the number one thing females should be thinking about and presenting about themselves to the world is their sex. Girls and women have so much more to offer, and that is what I aim to teach my daughter.

        • Nice reply. In my experience so far, it is 100% impossible to hold sex-positive and child-appropriate thoughts in my head at the same time. Even though I consider myself nonjudgmental when encountering women with dramatically different dressing styles from mine, I can’t help but mutter “Oh HELL NO” every time my daughter asks for a Disney Fairy doll. I want her to feel free to dress any way she wants when she grows up, and at the same time I have no way to express to her why that can’t start right now, for exactly the reason you gave — it feels inappropriate to have conversations about sexually inappropriate clothing and behaviour with her. Thanks for giving us your approach as a model, and maybe even more importantly for starting the conversation.

          • LOL. I think sex-positivity is good for kids, as it will help establish a healthy development and sense of sexuality and self. The child-appropriateness is that they don’t have to be privy to all of our dirty little thoughts, they just have to know we love our bodies, enjoy sex (when age appropriate), and that we are in loving and safe relationships.

            I have a side-by-side photo somewhere in my library of Tinkerbell and an adult fairy costume from the Playboy store. They are indentical.

            I think there is a difference in feeling confident to dress how we want (my 6yo has a strong Punky Brewster vibe going) and to dress in a way that objectifies us.

        • I do agree with Sarah – unfortunately, regardless of intention, if we say things like “girls/women who dress like this have unhappy hearts” we are providing a new way for them to judge people. Kids do this naturally anyway: ever since I told my son that smoking isn’t healthy for your lungs (just that bit of info, nothing about smokers), he points out every person he sees smoking and makes judgements I have to correct. It’s possible to discourage skimpy clothing + toys without getting into a “what is she thinking / what kind of person is she” discussion. I thought the too-small clothing demonstration was brilliant and I think playing up the impractical + unrealistic nature of this dress is more positive and age appropriate for a young child. (In teen years the “what message does your clothing send?” discussion can be revisited) Great ideas and thank you for bringing up practical ways to discuss with a child!

    • children (ages 1-13) should play with things that are suited for their age.

      “Women who dress sexy, and Im of course talking WOMEN not girls, have every right to dress how they like, and assuming that it is because of attention is an extremely partriacrchial view point. Some women dress that way, because they love their curves, and would like to have them shown, or because it makes them, themselves be sexy.”–key word in here ‘women’

      -since when do girls have to grow up so fast? if little girls and women have nothing different other than a number in age than kids should be able to go into bars with their mothers. they should be able to strip at a strip joint. they should be allowed to purchase alcohol and cigarettes, or R rated movies. now i know im going to the extreme for comparisons but im trying to get my point across… there is a time and place for things in certain ages of a young ones life. if she wants to dress ‘womanly’ when shes older. fine she can she has every right to. but for crying out loud when at a young child’s’ life is she not entitled to innocents….

      • Melissa,

        I understand that about your post, which is why I like your site. I was just pointing out that saying that someone has an empty heart, simply because of the clothes he/she chooses to wear.

        I usually dress conservatively, because, that just happens ot be my style, but every now and then I like to spice it up, and be a bit more revealing. If you were to see me outside on that day,would it be assumed that I 1) consistently dress one way and 2) that I have an empty heart?

        As for the rape culture, I understand how that can come off as a slippery slope. But I am someone who has done a lot of research into the idea of rape culture, and one of the key components is assuming a womans worth according to her clothing. To me, saying that a woman has an empty heart, that needs to be filled IS an idea that is prevalent in rape culture.

        But, and Im sorry that I did not post this originally, I did love how you used the clothes to show how impractical they are for a child. I thought that was a really awesome way to show it, without assuming anything about a woman in revealing clothing.

        You just pointed out what I was saying. I made sure to capitalize WOMAN in the post because I do not think girls should grow up any faster. I agree, these dolls need discussion. The thing that bothered me was the empty heart comment about WOMEN who wear revealing clothing. I was saying that this is not fair comment ot make that all women who wear reveal clothing (weather it fits YOUR OWN criteria of “sexy” or “over the top”) have “empty hearts”

        And sorry my answering is all out of order; this is my first time writing on here!

  11. My favorite part of this is your suggestion to have your child try playing in tight clothes that don’t fit. I think that’s a fun way to make the point that choosing clothes isn’t just about how you look but also about feeling comfortable, physically and emotionally. It could be a really concrete lesson for young children, but one that you can come back to as your children get earlier. Believe me, I have a 7th grader, and we have these conversations often but in a different context now as she is older.

  12. Here’s what I told my now nine year old: These aren’t appropriate for you because they wear too much makeup and not enough clothes. You’re more valuable than gobs of makeup & too-small clothes.

  13. I would like to point out a little known fact. Mattel stole the idea for Monster High from an adult artist named Joel Adams. Lilz were created for adults. Not for little kids. Lilz Creatures of the Night (the characters Mattel used in their copyright theft toys) were drawn the way they were for a reason. Mattel should never have used adult art to base their toys for children on. Yes Barbie also has questionable tastes but at the same time she does have perfectly fine clothes. My daughter’s favorite toy this Christmas was the Barbie laptop. Second favorite was the Barbie design a dress (more accurately decorate a dress). People villify Barbie but she has a wide range of styles to choose from. If we, as parents, help our daughters choose the more acceptable styles then Mattel will start making those styles more. But in general parents do not. We’re not in the majority so Mattel will keep making metallic minis with hot pink thongs.

    It’s like regular fashions. A few years ago I was hard pressed to find clothes for my then 6 year old that didn’t look like she should be 10 years older. I had to buy clothes that were too big and alter them just so the skirts were long enough. As consumers we need to stand up and use our dollars to do our talking for us. No we won’t buy the Barbie with the fashion sense of a street walker. Yes we will buy the Barbie with the decent length skirt (which doesn’t mean ankle length :P). Until then Mattel will continue to steal ideas and peddle inappropriate fashions.

    • does no one remember what it was like being a child?????…..when your young all you wanna do is be grown up and all you do is admire older people. and every girl finds at least one person whom they find cool and awesome. we have a job as parents, guardians and role models to teach them. that’s why Mattel used adult figurines to model towards children. because thats what they look for. someone to be just like. its a girl thing we all do it. even as adults.

      i recall getting made fun of for playing with babies. when a child reaches a certain age, all little girls notice more, and give up their youth and find more appealing things.

    • Candice –
      I did not know that about Lilz Creatures. Thank you so much for providing that info, I will be looking more into that.

    • That’s completely incorrect. If MH was based off anything, it would have been the far-older movie, Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. These Lilz Creatures look nothing like Monster High; far more like chibi anime girls.

  14. Elizabeth T. says:

    A daughter does not spring forth with a mature female figure. She is supposed to be an immature child. I do not want her to focus on her sexual development from day 1. Providing dolls that emphasize sexual maturity prevent children from enjoying an asexual developmental period that allows them to discover their gender before being confronted with discovering their sexuality.

    Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. I do not mean this in the sense of transgendered people confronted with a gender identity different than their biological nature; although that goes equally to the heart of the matter. I mean simply that one ought to develop one’s sense of self while being a girl before trying to address how to be a woman and have a woman’s relationship as a sexual being with other women and men.

    Sexuality is a healthy part of our life & should be welcomed as such. We fail in our obligation to children if our approach to SexEd is “here you go, sink or swim”. Handing a little girl or boy a toy dressed in sexually provocative clothing without any further thought is such a failure, and one of epic proportions.

  15. I have two boys so I don’t have Barbies in my home. We have had the talk about not playing with guns but then I notice that his friends have toys and he plays with them there so I talked to him about playing pretend and real life and how people do not come back like in the movies or cartoons like Bugs Bunny. I would not by my niece a doll with a thong but i do talk to them and other little girls about how what you see on tv or in a magazine is not what you have to wear to be beautiful or confident.

    I hope to teach my sons and nieces to be happy and to love themselves for who they are but also not judge others. There are girls who layer with short skirts and leggings or people who are goth who are happy, confident and well adjusted adults. Look at the adults who dress conservative that we think are well adjusted who are now on trial for whatever reason.

    I think it is our job as parents to teach our children between reality and what is put out there commercially for us to strive for weather its money, clothes or body image.

    • Nicole –
      My Tim Burton-loving daughter is well on her way to becoming a little Goth, I think. I’ll be fine with that. Because this post isn’t about judging people, but rather interpreting for ourselves what messages clothing sends. It is about what we would choose to do, not judging what the other person did.

      I think it is great that you are having those conversations with the kids in your life. Kids need more of that from the adults they love and trust.

  16. I have a little girl, and thankfully she’s still in the crawly stage! I fear what trials will await her in life. I am a Baptist minister and I am constantly shamed by what I see the world turning into. Even for those of you who choose not to have a faith in God, what about simple morals? Don’t you watch the news? How many little girls get raped, molested, or worse!? Don’t you think its bad enough that grown women choose to dress provocatively? I guess that they’re at least old enough to possibly protect themselves if they so choose to dress that way, little children can’t. It gives me GREAT HOPE to see those of you who feel that this sort of thing is “inappropriate” for young children! I want to say thank you!!! To those of you who don’t, I guess we all have a choice. But don’t come crying to me when your child ends up molested, hooked on drugs, pregnant, or God forbid, dead.

    • Wow, I keep hoping people are past that “she asked for it” mentality when it comes to rape. It has been proven that a woman is just as likely to be raped while jogging in sweats and t-shirt as she is while in a mini skirt downtown. But to apply this bias to children? To say that a child was molested because of the way she was dressed? I have no words. As a former victim of child sexual abuse, I can tell you with absolute certaintity that it had nothing to do with the way I was dressed – I lived in jeans and sweaters and refused to comb my hair. Child molesters do so because of a sickness and a history, not because a kid walked by in a short skirt! Same goes for drugs, pregnancy and death. Dressing provocatively does not lead to these things anymore than dressing like a chef makes you one. Like Melissa said in her post, most often people who choose to dress like this do so because of an unhappy heart, the same thing that may lead to drug use and inappropriate sexual activity. They are signs that something else is wrong. To say that provacative clothing leads to these things is sad and ignorant, they are just symptoms of a greater problem. We need to teach our kids morals and self-worth from the time they are born, but I don’t believe that means teaching my daughter that if a man touches her inappropriately, that it’s because of something she did.

      And for the record, I agree wholeheartedly with these dolls/clothes being inappropriate and have no intention of my daughter ever having one, but I think your reasoning is so far off base, I just have to shake my head in sadness.

      • This. Yes. To all of it, yes.

        • I don’t agree for the most part. I was a very attractive child and had some unwanted attention and experiences. I agree it had nothing to do with my clothes, but that doesn’t mean its that way in every other girl out there. As a mom I am not about to let me 7 yr old child go prancing around in high heels, and a mini skirt. I teach her if you dress a certain way you are letting men know you are available to have babies. How else do they know, if you don’t put some signs up for them. These signs don’t need to be trashy or you might get the wrong kind of daddy for your babies. I have to teach her from a young age what taste is so my grandchildren have a father. I can’t believe all the parents in the christian school I send her to are spending their money on trashy dolls. What are parents for?

          • I grew up with a single-divorced mother, father had no custody of me, not even allowed visiting, mom is definitely someone who believes that women should definitely have equal rights to men. So, yeah a feminist. I was still allowed to play with Barbie and Bratz, I only saw them as dolls, not sex objects. Little girls don’t see dolls as anything but dolls.

      • It is sometimes hard to gather all your thoughts to get your ideas across clearly when typing about a subject. I must apologize if what I said led anyone to believe that I felt dress alone would cause a child or a women to be raped or mistreated. No one deserves to be abused or mistreated at any time for any reason. I do however feel that the decisions we make, such as how we dress or the places we choose to go, have a direct effect on the events in our life. I agree that a grown women, deciding to dress inappropriately, normally does point to a larger problem, but we’re talking about children. Allowing your child to dress in a manner that would cause “unwanted” attention, and not just the dolls but everything we subject them to that leads them to believe it’s ok, can lead to abuse or worse. Forgive me if I sounded like I was implying that “they are asking for it”. But whether it be religion or society, they teach us that there are consequences for our actions. I believe we can all agree that however you teach your children and whatever you allow them to do and take part in will have a direct effect on how they turn out as adults.

        • When I was 14 I tried to dress like how I saw people dress on TV. I was still really ignorant at this age about dress and sexuality and how they related to one another. People at school started calling me a slut and that I looked like a hooker. With their insults, I was broken hearted. I didn’t understand how people looked up to actresses and musicians who dressed like that and then looked down on me. I just wanted to fit in at school. Dressing provocatively at 14 also brought unwanted sexual attention, that I didn’t know how to cope with. I ended up losing my virginity at 14 and was very fearful, angry and bitter. I ended up seeing that dressing a certain way got me attention, but it did not bring me any attention that brought me respect as a human being. Women who dress sexually in general, in my opinion are not true role models to little girls. I wish that I had had guidance in the area of clothing when I was growing up. I do believe it could have saved me a lot of pain. There is a saying: “If it’s not for sale, why are you advertising?” I am now a grown woman and am tired of other people’s sexuality being shoved in my face. Ladies, I am not interested in seeing your breasts hanging out, I am interested in knowing who you are as a human being.

      • I don’t think he meant that just because you dress that way you will get abused etc. I think he just means little girls will dress the way they are taught and the way they learn. How else will they learn but the toys they play with. Role models can be more than actually physical people i.e. dolls, and movies. so my daughter will never have one of those dolls or any other inappropriate doll!
        In regards to abuse and little girls, I was abused myself as a child. I also did not wear inappropriate clothing I actually went the other way to avoid any attention. BUT I do think they are men out there who love to see young girls dressed inappropriately sooo WHY would you dress your child or let her dress in way that would provoke bad thoughts in others!! I myself do not dress in a way that would make others “lust” after me and I can tell you I will NEVER let my daughter wear anything not appropriate! Why are we letting our children make decisions?? WE are the ADULTS WE are supposed to make educated decisions for them because they dont see the dangers we are to protect them from. I hope and pray that more parents take a stand against these things!

        • I am more than saddened to hear about anyone being mistreated. I want to say how brave I feel you all are that they’ve confronted it made the choice to make a difference in not just your life but your children’s! You all deserve praise for enduring that and staying positive individuals.

          Even though I’m a minister, I don’t believe in forcing religion on anyone. I believe in a choice, the whole cause and effect, for every action there is a consequence. This can apply to religion or society either one, and I’m very passionate about it. I value, respect and welcome anyone’s opinion or idea. I know my first post could have seemed a little harsh. I just see and hear these things a lot being with the public and trying to make myself available to talk to if need be. It’s bad enough that abuse or unwanted attention happens even when someone is trying everything they can to avoid it. So as some of you have said, why advertise it? If I sat at the bar all the time and every time someone saw me I was at the bar, I’d probably get labeled as a drunk even if I never drank a drop. I shouldn’t be surprised when the cops pull me over either. I hear it all the time, “I don’t understand how that happened.” The world is so “oversexed” today it makes me physically sick. It’s everywhere you look TV, movies, commercials, music, magazines, TOYS, and have you seen what they’re calling kids shows these day!? Kids are not talking about the girlish or boyish crushes of days past, they’re talking about relationships where they’re sexually active! If we subject our children or our self to these sorts of things all the time, then what do you expect to happen? I’m not saying that we have to live in a bubble, but we can try to minimize our exposure to it.

  17. My daughter is only 18 months old, but I’ve printed and saved this for when she’s older. I think your patience, and how you walked your daughter through this by having her put on old clothes, is really effective.

  18. i already left comments on others posts of what i think…

  19. My eldest daughter is 5y and this isn’t something I’ve really had to deal with so far as I’ve managed to keep it away from her. One thing we do do though is the whole princess thing. I do call my daughters (I have 3) princesses and I think they are, as a Christian I think they are too as daughters of the king. I see it differently though, I don’t let them think about it as a sense of entitlement but as a set of values, I guess to go back to my faith that it’s like the idea of the Servant King. They are told princesses are good, kind, caring etc and my girls are naturally that anyway. When we moved house my eldest was almost 3y and my second daughter newborn. I told her I was going to give her a princess room and I did without a single Disney Princess in there. It was lilac, purple and silver, lots of different fabrics, lots of scatter cushions.

    • I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your post. Well, I enjoyed reading a lot of these posts and probably won’t repost on all of them I liked, being a minister the faith based ones give me great hope and enjoy. 🙂 Thank you!

  20. My 8 yr old SD and I have had this convo a few times now – mostly it comes up when she’s on the phone with grandma talking about what she would like for her bday/xmas etc and I am in the background loudly prounouncing “If grandma gives you one of those brat dolls I am taking it RIGHT back to the store!!!”.

    Like some of the other posters here – I allow both my girls to play with Barbies – we only allow ones that have reasonable outfits and I kind of like the idea that barbie can be anyone – DR, VET, Teacher etc – while bratz and the rest seem only capable of looking desperate for attention. As for Barbies proportions – yes they are unrealistic but they are dolls – talking puppies, tigers that bounce and magic care bears aren’t real either.. its about balance.

    One big key in our conversation about the clothing they wear etc and that she wears is this – I believe that as long as your dressing for the attention of others and to make other people (boys) happy or notice you then its for the wrong reasons – when they are old enough to decide how to dress in a way that looks pretty but just to make themselves feel good then they can wear clothing that is “sexy” – but i think that advice applies to adult women including myself as well. Its about confidence in feeling awesome and sexy yourself not about whether a man/boy thinks your sexy. This usually goes hand in hand with our conversation about not being so worried about what boys think of you – the boys should be worried about what you think of them.

    Each girl is different though and what works for one child doesn’t work for another!!

    • The newer Bratz dolls are definitely more realistic. Less revealing clothing, closer to realistic clothing, more humanely proportions. Get caught up on things before you criticize them.

  21. I just wanted to say from a child’s perspective, that how they see their mom dressed is just as much or more of an influence than they way they see a doll dressed. I remember being a child and wishing I had shiny disco tights, just like my mom. I don’t know if I had any idea at the time, that it was something “sexy”.
    I was brought up pretty liberal, and it did not make me more comfortable with my sexuality as an adult. I wish I had not been exposed to so many adult concepts as a child. I wish I could have been allowed to just be a child and experience innocence and discovery. Thank you.

  22. My youngest is 10 and she wants a Clawdeen doll and has a lot of bratz and barbies that relatives sent her.I don’t understand why people hate dolls.They’re DOLLS for crying out loud.

    • Tamara – if you look up what a Brand is – either the definition or as a marketing concept, you’ll find that people intentionally try to get consumers to identify certain ideas, values, and a look & feel with a brand.

      why am I saying that? because this is the same thing. If you flood the market with certain ideas and communicate that those ideas aren’t just acceptable but preferred and sought after, then that becomes the new “norm”, and becuase it’s everywhere and everyone is subjected to that message and that look, they become desensitised and start to think it’s ok, because it’s everywhere and no-one else is saying it’s wrong.

      And that can be a problem.

      Especially when those ideas are that it’s ok, right and sought after for little girls, anything from 3 and up, to be emulating these kinds of dolls with regards to how they dress and how they think they act – or do act when there’s a cartoon network series to go with the products.

      so, actually, no, people don’t hate dolls. they simply strongly object to the messages those dolls are sending our kids, boys and girls alike.

  23. Women and girls are victimized by objectification, so why are they are the ones who get insulted with words like “Whore?” What, are we asking for it? No one insults a man for insulting women, or for treating women as “whores.”

    Whatever women wear, they are objectified by sexists. Changing our clothes does not change sexism. What constitutes “whore-ishness” changes by culture and by season, but the sexism of this concept does not.

    Good girl/Bad girl concepts divide women into homogenous groups of “whores and nonwhores.” However, women are individuals, we are more complex than those labels! Therefore, the real insult in that Barbie aisle isn’t the crop of mini-skirts or clown make-up, but the bland sameness of it all.

    • Amen!
      Wearing conservative clothes will not save you or your child from a sexual predators gaze. Heck some of them LIKE the innocent look! Would you therefore suggest kids dress trashy to avoid the predators that like innocent looking children (as most pedophiles do?? Its sad the myth that covering more flesh will somehow protect you from violence is being repeated here. As a counselor for sexually abused children, I’ve seen too many parents shocked because they “did all the right things”.

      Thinking that clothes can make you somehow ‘more safe’ is only a defense mechanism. i.e. you believe that people who dress skimpy are more likely to be attacked, it follows that you falsely think that you are safer because you don’t do what they do (dress like that).

  24. I’m just wondering if you’ve ever watched the cartoon on Monster High’s website. I think it’s really positive, especially when it comes to issues like healthy vs unhealthy relationships, overcoming prejudice, and being an indivual. It might be a little mature for a 4 year old, sure, but I think it’s unfair to blacklist the whole franchise.

  25. I’d like to add my 2 cents…… As for the Monster High dolls, they are Monsters! Not people, not little girls, not normal like you or me or anyone. That’s all I wanted to say.

  26. zakkarrii says:

    I love the way you spoke to your daughter about the dolls. I don’t have kids, but i collect the monster dolls and i was just thinking, “mattel is going to promote this body image one way or another.” I know a lot of people are just collecting the dolls because they are new and beautiful and that’s fine. But unfortunately it sends that same message to girls. That women are supposed to look beautiful and that’s it.

  27. Hello everybody who reads this, I am a Christioan tweleve year old that read this to find out if my fave book character dolls are related to the book. I bouht the book and it taught me alot, like never to change your appearence just to fit in but you were made the way you are. Book 2 taught me the meaning of friendship and book three taught me to be myself. I can’t wait for book four but then I started wondering about the dolls and I looked up on the web and found this. I looked at some pictures of them and felt a little offended at the sight of the Draculaura doll which looks nothing like the book describes her. I looked at them all and was shocked, if I look at the tiny drawings in the book in the beging of each chapter they are not wearing this!!!! Mattel should py attension to Lisi the author of the book. Draculaura wears legging and a skirt on the doll but in the book she wears a cashmere dress with leggings and high boots,Frankie wears something similar, Clawdeen wears JEANS and a fluffy t-shirt, lagoona wears surfing shorts and a t-shirt and high wellingtons etc. They dress like my friends and I and we are in a Christian school. Honestly the books are realy good and teach valuable lessons but the dolls teach the oposite. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      The books are actually based on the show and dolls, I believe.
      And in reply to a few of the other posts, I grew up with Bratz and Barbie, and I turned out pretty good. 🙂 (That may have to do with my parents, but they’re actually trying to get me to wear cuter clothes besides my jeans and t-shirts. I’m also 17 and like Monster High… If that matters.)

  28. Patricia says:

    Monster High is about being yourself it is called MONSTER high that means weird and kind of scary but they learn to accept their differnces not being sexy. My 10 year old daughter enjoys it and so does all of the girls in her class. Its about being fashionable and not caring what other people think about you and how you look. Have you even listened to the lyrics in one part they say Come on dont be shy/ Freaky chic and fly/ and they say Monsters Monsters yes we are! Most of it is being different but everyone still excepts you and you dont care, but you still have lots of friends!!!!

  29. Jennifer Sotelo says:

    I agree they are a bit scantily dressed but so was barbie. Id never let my kid dress that way so its a doll. I agree to empower our girls and make them aware that barbies and MH dolls are fake not real for play only, their bodies are unrealistic. She gets it your kids are smart. I re-clothed my daughters MH dolls anyways. It’s basically a barbie in costume now big deal. I think we need to raise smart confident kids but not everything is taboo really. Barbie was super important to me and if my kid likes MH fine. Im secure with my parenting and I’m sure my daughter will eventually be a happy teen and then blossom into a beautiful young woman full of morals and standards.

  30. Angie Sanchez says:

    I, myself, am a teenager. I collect the Monster High dolls, I think they’re fun and different from the dolls I had growing up. I played with Barbies and Bratz when I was younger, and I turned out just fine. Want to know why? My parents provided a loving&positive environment. My parents taught me right from wrong, and always set reasonable rules regarding what I could wear, what I could listen to, etc. My family was always encouraging and built my confidence. I’d say I have a pretty good sense of judgement, and my parents raised me right. Dolls don’t teach your children, you do. Dolls are inanimate objects, and not all Monster High dolls, Barbies, or Bratz dress provacatively, there are quite a few who are actually modest. Dolls never influenced me. I don’t wear tons of makeup or wear revealing clothes. I’m a modest girl who wears jeans, tee shirts, and sneakers. Although I do agree with some of the above statements, such as how sexualized everything is nowadays, it’s up to the parents to convey a healthy image as well as a positive mindset. If we bestow morals onto our children, they’ll learn right from long. With everything the media shows, i firsthand know what it’s like to feel pressured, but I learned from a young age that I’m just fine the way I am, and that I need to love my body and take care of it. Hope this sheds some light on things from a younger persons point of view (:

    • Hi Angie –
      Thank you so much for your comment. It sounds like your parents have given you a truly excellent foundation, and you sound like a wonderful and confident young woman. I think you are correct in that overall, parents have a huge influence over their children. It sounds like your parents gave you the skills and context with which to interpret highly sexualized dolls like Monster High. I don’t think they are fun, I think they are a horrible representation of females, and my little girl doesn’t have the maturity or perspective you do to be able to read them in the way you do. That is the developmental difference between being a teenager, and being a little girl who worships teens.

      We don’t parent in a vacuum, and our culture gives girls very strong messages about who they should be and how they should look, even as early as the preschool age. It is unfair to put all of the onus on parents, as the sexualization (which has gotten worse since your parents parented you as a young child) is like wallpaper. It is everywhere, and while you are absolutely right that it is up to parents to convey a healthy and positive messages, it often feels like fighting a tidal wave. So while one doll won’t undo years of good parenting, we have to remember that not all girls are fortunate to have parents like your sound to be, and that media literacy is a tricky thing that shifts with our culture that seems to increasingly steal girlhood away from our very young girls.

  31. Angie Sanchez says:

    Oopsie. I made a typo.. *right from wrong! Not “right from long.” 😛

  32. I disagree, Monster High is NOT inapropriette, yes on maybe 1-2 dolls the clothes may be a little small but other then that no way! I have a collection of theese dolls and their clothes are not inapropriette. And two much makeup? Little girls love pretty dolls! Be honest when you were a kid, wouldnt you want to get the most prettiest looking one? The dolls bodies are just made like that. I would buy these dolls for my daughter (If I had one) I am not going to be offensive to anyone but if your child LOVES Monster High or Barbie, then you should trust them enough to know they wouldnt DARE to do that. I hope this helps change your mind about Monster High. Best regards. Be Yourself Be Unique Be a Monster!!


    • I agree with Skylar, especially if parents let their daughters take after a doll because if so they’re obviously doing a horrible job at parenting! I think the dolls teach kids to be unique and of course be yourself, the webisodes themselves teach important lessons and kindness! You guys are just overreacted, I am a teen who collects them and they are way different from other dolls and the lessons have built me more self confidence. 🙂 (If that makes sense.) In no way do I see them as “slutty” just by wearing skirts and sometimes showing a little bit of their stomach.

  33. I’M ALLOWED TO HAVE THEM THE ONLY ONE THAT SCARES ME IS GHOULIA BUT SHES SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-PRETTAY So why don’t you let kids have them and if you call mattel and tell them to stop making monster high I’ll just have them make them again -.-

  34. blah,blah,blah monsterhigh supports your differences and I fully support them. My daughter has almost all of them, and i will keep on supporting her if she really does like them. You people are crazy kids have the right to like what they want. You cant force your kids to like anything they don’t want to like, so just stop bulling mattel’s toys.

  35. I dont wanna tell my name :] says:


  36. There is nothing wrong with Monster High Dolls! I buy them for my daughter. She doesn’t expect to look like them!! You are stupid crazy people who think monster high is sending bad messages to kids!!! Did yu expect to look like Barbie as a kid??? Monster High has partnered with we stop hate. THEY WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR DIFFERENCES NOT MAKE YOU DIFFERENT!! They send a great message to kids!!! It’s ok to be different. Monster High Dolls are the least of your problems in this country. Complain about the economy not innocent children’s toys!!!

  37. I came to this website looking for reviews about the books…It doesnt sound like anyone has read them, am I wrong? Now I feel like I have to say I dont think your giving these kids credit for their intelligence and sense of selves. I am a mother of 4, I have worked with children for over ten years and have a child development associate. Early child professionals spend the years 0-5 supporting the growth of the WHOLE child, we limit what they are exposed to but the main point is letting them make their own choices so that by the time they enter school their choices will be well thought out. My daughter is now turning nine. She knows what is right and what is wrong, she will make wrong choices but she will learn from them. She knows who she is and who she isnt. She knows what kind of person she wants to be, notice i said who SHE wants to be not who I or anyone else wants her to be. She has a collection of Monster High Dolls she plays sometimes with but mostly they sit on a shelf because she is past the stage of playing with dolls. She does not want to dress like them, be like them, or act like them just because she likes them and that is my point. We as parents of school age children are no longer their biggest infulence, school and the other children are. It was my job to teach her to be herself and will always will be.

    As a side note you do realize that kids at this age are already being introduced to drugs in some areas….I am much more worried about that than a doll that is by right a fictional and unrealistic character.

    • Hailey –
      Though the post’s title should give it away, no, we are not discussing the books here. We are talking about the toys, because when my six year old child is shopping with me at the store, the books are nowhere in sight and are a moot point. But the highly sexualized dolls are right at her eye level. I allow my child to make a large number of decisions for herself. Other times I step in as the parent and say “No.” At almost 9yo, your daughter has more advanced critical thinking skills, more life experience, and more maturity than my 6yo. She may very well be better able to unpack and understand the messages from Monster High. She sounds like a very confident young lady. I’m surprised at not even 9yo she is “too old” for her dolls.

      My daughter is also a very confident gal, knows what she likes and doesn’t like, expresses what she does and doesn’t like, and knows right from wrong. In our house, she learns all those lessons without sexualized dolls in her toy box and without being rushed through her childhood.

  38. I came across this article while I was looking up ages and dolls, my daughter is 2 and has a monster high sweet 1600 Frankie doll, I don’t think her clothes are skimpy., let alone whorish So I had no problem with that doll….now on the other hand she does have barbies that look like street walkers in their fishnets given to her and she has no interest in them…I also like the liv dolls but those dolls are often dressed similar to her

  39. Michelle says:

    I think theres a probelm with Barbie but Monster High? I absolutely love them. I’m 22 right now and I own 3 dolls for myself. i think they are cute and its reaally cool to see a werewolf, sea monster, frankeinstein and other stuff. so i see no probelm with it.

    • You are an adult at 22 and have a better understanding of boundaries and self respect than a 6 year old.
      Also, you should be old enough to know that deep down they cater to our vice of vanity. As an adult I can admit that I recognize that infatuation with these dolls is not a wise choice for the whole mind body and spirit.
      I can also admit that I recognized all this inside myself while photographing my step daughters MH dolls.
      It is suggested we should all dig deeper than skin into ourselves to see what is truly innocent behavior.
      Even if it is already 2015 it’s never too late to get to know ones self, God knows I’m still trying.

  40. I don’t think that Barbies are all that bad. I feel that if a child is restricted from playing with them, they will desire the dolls even more. As a child, I played with Bratz dolls. I never thought too deeply about their choice of style, and I never mimicked their make-up, clothes, or “personas”. As an adult today, I still don’t wear make up. I believe that people should showcase their natural beauty, and my clothes are appropiate. My nieces play with Barbies all the time, and Barbies haven’t negatively affected their perspective on life. They are 8 and 9 and are allowed to choose their own clothes. The only problem we have is trying to convince Amy (the 8 year old) to match her outfits. (As I type this, Amy is outside wearing a lady bug shirt and blue and yellow stripped leggings under pink overalls and playing with her Barbies). The Barbies have not sexualized her, or her sister’s innocent mind frames, and they won’t. Both girls imaginative play with their Barbies include going to the mall, playing sports, going to school, and going on vacation. All is appropiate, and will remain so.

  41. If you’re child presses for Barbies, and you don’t like their choice of clothing, why not compromise? MAKE homemade clothing for the dolls. Not only will this teach your daughter a new and valuable skill, but it will bond mother or father to the child for a lifetime. What child won’t remember when mommy (or daddy) used to help her make cool new (and apprpiate) Barbie clothes for her favorite doll? It can be a fun learning experience for all parties, and will even instill clothing choices in the child.

  42. My girls love these dolls…not because of what they wear but because they’re different…most of the time the clothes come right off anyway lol. My daughters will not grow up wanting to look like them (they are technically monsters) because I, as their mother and leading role model, have no body issues, am healthy and very open to talking to my daughters about anything from their bodies to sex. We don’t sexualize things in our house…a skirt is just a skirt, the length of it doesn’t make you a prude, or a slut. In our house if you think you look nice and that makes you feel good then go for it and that is the main thing. It seems to me that if you grow up in an environment that labels women (skid row hooker) then you’re no better then those people that you’re fighting…judgmental, sexist and hateful. My daughters have a range of different dolls, each with a different skin tone and body structure…I see no harm in any of them. Choice is a a big thing in my opinion…why should I dictate what my girls like over my preconceived notions…like pink being only for girls not for boys. However I do understand where you’re coming from…if a doll makes my daughters feel insecure or inadequate then I will step in…until then it is just a toy.

  43. I accidentally saw this article and decided to leave something from myself. As a child I used to play with Barbie dolls. I remember that they hadn’t skimpy and whorelike clothes, they looked normally. I still remember lifeguard Barbie I got on my 6th Christmas Eve. She wasn’t whorelike. Now, when I look at all of those dolls, they are the same. Pathethic, too small outfits, tones of makeup, wicked body structure and their message is to accept someone’s difference. Excuse me, what difference? I don’t get what difference we are talking about. Do we have real monsters in our life? No. So that difference can’t be accepted if it doesn’t exist. I have no children (I’m a student at my 3rd grade), but my 15-year-old sister is enough to work with 😉 She likes the books of MH, but hates the dolls. Actually, as I read the book, the girls of MH were more “normal”. Mattel-crap has made them into b*tch-like dolls.

  44. this is stupid. im sorry but if your child asks, mummy why do i look like that doll?. you tell them ‘ because its NOT REAL. its a doll. i hate the look of bratz doll. i think they wear too much makeup. but if my daughter wanted one, fine. shes not choosing it because it looks slutty. shes choosing it because it looks fun. if any of you had even looked into monster high even a little you would see monster high is a show on the web which teaches tolerance and understanding of people who are different.

    when i read these comments i picture the women writing them to be the type who steers the kid away from a lady with blue hair whispering to the child “shes a bad person”
    Monster High teaches children that you can have blue hair, blue skin, or be really skinny or be really fat, and still be a good person. you dont have to look a certain way to be “good” or “nice”. When your child was saying the dolls dont have nice faces did you say “thats because shes a werewolf or a zombie?” or did you say “oh all people with non-pretty faces are bad stay away from them”?

    also the monster high boys and girls are 16-18 years old. HAVE YOU SEEN REAL LIFE 16-18 YEAR OLDS???????? are you trying to tell me the REAL girls where you live NEVER dress like this? besides there a lots of different monster high dolls. in all different styles of clothes. pants, skirts, dresses.

    did you ever ban barbie because a child asked ‘ why dont i have long blonde hair and blue eyes like barbie?’ lets all go get plastic surgery and bleach our hair to look like a doll’?

    PLEASE teach your children the difference between reality and fantasy. the monster doll figures are as realistic as barbie. (which is not realistic at all!!!)
    please dont teach your kids that being different is bad. you see worse things in real life and on tv than you ever could in a doll isle

  45. Look, i understand that the Monster high dresses are shorter, but really, in the webisodes and everything, the message that they put out, is not “look sexy, and you will be the most pretty girls in school” its ” be yourself, dont let others judge you because of your differences” My cousin plays with them, and honestly, she feels very confident, and less shy, just by being around them. Also, if you listen, little girls want the doll, because they look fun, and free, not because they look like they have slept around with 20 guys. i mean really, if you keep these from these girls, then you will see, they could think of different as bad, telling them those dolls have died hair, so they are bad, is like telling them that that girl on the street with green hair, is mean, and hates life, when really she just wanted to look DIFFERENT and STAND OUT from the crowd!

  46. Kaitie-Lynn Cohen says:

    I remember Momma & Daddy going through a lot of effort to get dolls that were dressed decently for me to play with- or going through the trouble to find things for my dolls to wear that they would allow ME to wear. It was important to them that my dolls not be allowed to look like they were meant for the pages of some soft version of Playboy… It really is sad that everything has become some sexualized, even things for children. While I see no reason to make it shameful for certain things to be seen (such as a cartoon character in a leotard or something and her butt showing briefly), so long as it’s innocently done (which is the same way children see these things)… But I have a real problem with the gratuitous undies shots, boobs hanging out, and skirts entirely too short to be “decent”! I understand it’s not the cartoon, tv/movie, or toy makers’ jobs to teach children respect for one another or modesty… but a little self-control on their part would go a LONG way!

  47. I totally agree with you, dolls are hypersexualized nowadays. Moreove I find your way to explain it to 5 years old pretty good.
    However, it’s not true that teens don’t play with dolls. I’m 16, and I still have my Barbie dolls and plays from time to time ; one of my friends loves her Little Ponies. I think we keep a part of our childhood. (and I’m not especially immature ; I’m one of the most mature persons of my class)

  48. My 5 year old loves MH. Honestly I think it’s great. These dolls/show is to accept everyone for who they really are. Some of the clothes could be considered provactive, but not really. Trust me my daughter would never be allowed out wearing skimpy clothes, and she’ll know about healthy vs not healthy. But my daughter also has a disability and she needs to learn to embrace rather than hide from it, just like the “kids” do from monster high

  49. Monster high is not telling people they should become anorexic or wear tight clothing. If you did more research on the doll or even the website you would just so happen to know that monster high is about celebrating your differences and being imperfect. Monster high shoots campaigns to stop hate and bulling around the world. their “we stop hate” message has inspired thousands of people to help each other and pass around kindness to all. In many of there websites they remind people that it cool to care and that bulling is uncool. yes many young children may ask about the clothing but if they want to to dress like them for fun. if the clothing is to thigh on them then i would suggest that you buy them a size up so that the clothes are loose ad they can move in them. you by telling your daughter she cannot be a princess or dress like a Monster high character is like telling her she has no life and cannot pretend, like she has no imagination. you have only a few years with your daughter until she does not want her mother around. spend time with her and let her pretend and imagine. let her paint out side the lines, and think outside the box but don’t let it go to far. look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.

    • Hi Caitlin –
      I’ve actually met with the creators of Monster High at Mattel corporate head quarters, so I’m very much aware of what the brand is about. Also, “We Stop Hate” is an organization created by Emily-Anne Rigal, and she is who has inspired thousands to be kind. Monster High teamed up with her for some corporate good-washing last year.
      If you care to explore more of my blog, you’ll very quickly learn that my daughter, Amelia, has an amazing imagination and wild spirit.

      When it comes to sexualization, the glass isn’t half full of half empty. It is full of bullshit and I see a great need to call it for what it is.

      • I’m sorry but I love the monster high dolls and if you look into it I think you will agree that if dolls where put on shelves whith baggy clothing they wouldn’t look good at all.and if your child is dumb enough to be influenced by this you shouldn’t let them out of the house

        • Cassandra says:

          You’re SO right Destiny. I know I surely want my 6 year old step-daughter to know that her value is in her long, silky hair and trim tummy. And my sons know that women who dress reasonably and try to think (hahahaha… “thinking women”… I almost can’t even type it, it’s just so contradictory) are dangerous and unattractive.
          Bottom line: women aren’t beautiful for bravery, intelligence, kindness, and humanity. A woman’s true beauty is found on her face and body. Amirite?

    • They might SPEAK of accepting our differences, but that doesnt seem to stop the characters from being dressed like hookers which still makes them absolutely inapropriate, your argument is like saying McDonalds is great cause it tastes good( it really taste like S*** ) but that doesnt change the fact that its the unhealthiest ‘food’ on the market and is now considered along with other junk food to be the leading cause of child disease in america. Kids are basically thaught by the shows they see and the things they are subjected to, if all they ever see is monster high dolls , and want to emulate the characters ( who are really dressed like whores ) they will associate the way they act, talk and dress with the ultimate exemple to follow. And if their parents dont make an extra effort to make them understand that something isnt necessarilly good just because its popular or advertised then they will also become trend victims like 90% of our society, poeple who are more concerned with the price of an ipod than the raising cost of food lol(and it usually works the other way around in fact, a good exemple is a hammer ,a knife, a wheel, rarely if ever advertised, best tools ever made, McDonald, Coca-cola, advertised every 5 minutes, worst poison ever created, SUVs advertised like crazy, basically the space of a medium car, gozzles gas like a truck and falls apart after 5 years lol )

  50. I’ve been playing with Barbies all my life, I watch Winx Club obsessively (which I’m sure you hate as well, Melissa) and my mother gave me two Monster High dolls for Christmas two years ago (I’m thirteen). I’m fairly sure the last time I wore a skirt that was more then three inches about my knee I was four years old and doing ballet. It isn’t the clothing or the dolls that ‘sexualize’ the children. It is the way the children respond.

    I have an anorexic friend and I’m pretty sure she’s not starving herself so she can be like Barbie or Clawdeen. I’m pretty sure she’s starving herself because of some very rude girls at my school who cannot accept people who don’t fit their molds. if we got rid of all of these ‘sexualized’ toys, those girls would still be rude.

    If you think that your daughter will be influenced by the dolls or shows that ‘sexualize’ girls, then you are simply doing your part as a good parent and mother to ban these things from her life. But my mother simply taught me well enough that I know that dressing like that is wrong.

    And for the record that’s the only Monster High outfit I’ve ever seen on the show with a midriff. 🙂

  51. This article pisses me off a lot. It’s about the clothing choices on the Monster High Dolls Mattel is selling. The lady complaining tells her daughter :
    “I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full.”

    Uhem, hold the presses. You told your daughter what?? The length of your skirt has nothing to do with your happiness, and how low your shirt is cut doesn’t display your values. If i wear a small dress, i’m still the same person i am when i wear jeans and a hoodie. Parents should be teaching their kids to get to know others before judging them on superficial things like their taste in clothing. Parents should teach their kids that your character is what makes you a “good” or “bad” person, not your dress.

    • I understand that some parents don’t like these dolls and think that it’s negative to little girls and women, but I played with these types of dolls since I was a child. I don’t understand why people are hating so much on an inanimate object that can’t even fight for itself, only it’s creators.
      Here’s how I see it:
      Don’t like it?
      Don’t buy it.
      Think it’s bad for your kids?
      Same as before, don’t buy it;
      but remember,they’re kids.

  52. You created an identity that you applied to the monster high dolls and then perpetuated that identity onto the creative psyche of your child. In effect you created the identity of a girl that “dresses like a whore”. You decided that wearing short skirts and showing your skin is wrong and is equated with sexuality which you as well deemed disturbing and unnatural, something a 5 year old couldn’t possibly understand. You are the one that perpetuated a stereotype and promoted an idea that your 5 year old had no clue about. Later she will believe that these cultural ideas that you enculturated into her are native and wont remember that you are are the one that created that identity and not just “society”. By changing these perceptions of identity and sexuality we can change the social situation of woman (you and me). You are basically presenting the idea that woman’s bodies are polluted and should be covered “modestly” in order to be good and acceptable.

    • I am a different Amber, then the one above. lol

    • Amber –
      Not. At. All. Am *I* doing that? Or is Mattel giving my daughter those messages and I’m forced to clean up the mess because the marketing is ambient and my five year old is exposed to it and there is nothing I can do. I didn’t associate hem length with sexuality, I associate “all sex, only sex, all the time” as not a good avenue to take for a girl’s self worth.

      And I won’t back down on that.

      Nudity and women’s bodies isn’t the problem. Sexualization is. The difference is big, and the difference is an important one.

      • You missed my point. Why is sex associated with self worth?

        • No, I got your point. I disagreed with it. I am not associating sex with self worth. I’m directly associating self objectification with self worth, and girls thinking that worth comes from being a narrowly defined version of all-sexy, all the time.

  53. The thing is that ‘we’ (the bad, sex-loving, Barbie-doll, midriff wearing girls who enjoy shows like Monster High) are supposedly sterotyping the girls who dress ‘modestly’. But isn’t saying that ‘girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full.’ a stereotype just as much as everything else?

    I hate to see crudeness in the media. Lady Gaga, Nikki Minaj, and all of their cohorts need to be banned from the public eye. However I don’t see why, if we have so many other things we can do to shield young children from sexualization, we have to focus on Barbies, etc. Bratz I can understand (‘brats’? I mean, c’mon) I saw one with a belly piercing once, but I don’t think that shows that do perpetuate good values like friendship are the worst we can do for our children’s education. Shouldn’t we be more worried about the women singing, practically naked, on the radio and in every iPod about getting drunk and grinding some guy at a club?

    You are completely right when you say that ‘all sex, only sex, all the time’ as bad for children. So some parents raise their children to understand (not think) differently. As I said in my last post, if you think your child would be negitively influenced then by all means ban the toys. But when I watched a Barbie movie I didn’t see her perfect hair or size 0 figure. When I watched a Barbie movie I saw friends working together as a team, I saw the importance of being good, and the importance of determination and perserverence. ditto with the MH dolls

    These seem more important then the way someone dresses. I would think you would understand that more then I.

  54. I LOVE THIS ARTICLE American girl dolls for life!!!!

  55. I dont know why you guys make a big deel out of this like really the dolls and shows are just trying to tell a kid they are perfect just the way they are if you really pay attention to what there saying youll know dont just judge them for there clothing lets face it girls now a days wear that kind of style anyway theres no need to get mad over MH dolls or barbie dolls

  56. Please wake up… does anyone see the demonic side of this. Do any of the parents turn the box over and read how these dolls are spawned and who their parents are?

    How can you allow your little girls to play with dolls with parents all from the dark side, and hosting horns from the devil and blood on their lips.

    Where oh where are our morals, and God truly help your children and grandchildren. I know my Grandmother and mother would be shocked to see my two girls play with these horrible ugly dolls.

    If you love your children please don’t let them play with these dolls. The dark side has the power to sugar coat everything. You only need a drop of poison in a crystal clear perfect glass of water to make it deadly.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly! I love my children and don’t let them play with these dolls, or watch their shows, but I even have girls at church that bring them to church to play with and don’t understand why my girls aren’t allowed to play with them and watch them, and these are kids with church going parents. It is sad that even Christians don’t pay more attention to what they allow their young girls to witness and associate with!

  57. And to add to that: Words of an 18yr old Emily-Anne Rigal who blogs for “The Daily Beast” Hello does anyone else see the title “Sexy Beast Entertainment and Fashion” blog a tad down on the moral rictor scale. This would never be allowed in our day, and I am only 45. What will our girls face when they grow up? A world that has no morals, it’s heart breaking.

  58. It’s funny how many women here are defending toys that for the most part function as role models that will put little girls straight on the path of being seen as purely sex objects for me. Shame on you!!!! Are you really so silly as to think that the take home message a 3-year old takes home from a Bratz doll whose sole advertised function in life is frivolity, excess, superficiality, and basic idiocy will be something worthwhile? Children use play as a way of developing their skills for their adolescent and adult lives. I’m not saying fun and fantasy have no role in children’s lives. But to expose a young girl to those type of dolls is irresponsible. It’s funny…you want men to respect your little girls and protect them, but you would have them from the very ages start practicing how to be a sex object. I have a feeling half the moms who feel this is appropriate for their little girls wished they looked like the dolls themselves (thin, able to pull off a pink mini and be 16 again).

    Thank goodness for women who speak up and are not pawns of corporate America’s toy industry!

  59. It’s funny how many women here are defending toys that for the most part function as role models that will put little girls straight on the path of being seen as purely sex objects for men. Shame on you!!!! Are you really so silly as to think that the take home message a 3-year old takes home from a Bratz doll whose sole advertised function in life is frivolity, excess, superficiality, and basic idiocy will be something worthwhile? Children use play as a way of developing their skills for their adolescent and adult lives. I’m not saying fun and fantasy have no role in children’s lives. But to expose a young girl to those type of dolls is irresponsible. It’s funny…you want men to respect your little girls and protect them, but you would have them from the very ages start practicing how to be a sex object. I have a feeling half the moms who feel this is appropriate for their little girls wished they looked like the dolls themselves (thin, able to pull off a pink mini and be 16 again).

    Thank goodness for women who speak up and are not pawns of corporate America’s toy industry!

    • Look, I belive that any child who is strong willed and has never had anything to do with this kind of sexuall looks are smart enough to make there own choices in life. Now I ask have any of you women actually seen your children in a situation like what u are describing? And if that ever happens you can take action but before you protest like this whatch some of the monster high episodes and find something wrong before seeing them one time and hating them and look at the back of the box it says ‘be yourself,be unique .be a monster and I find who ever said parents all from the dark side, and hosting horns from the devil and blood on their lips to be stupid I mean grow up

  60. Sorry…correction to the first sentence. It is disturbing moms don’t mind exposing their daughters to things that will push them into becoming sex objects for men.

    • Thank you Annie!!! Because I was scrolling down and reading those disturbing defenses for those tasteless and perverted toys. Those defenses from moms just explain how shallow their minds are saying that Monsters High embraces differences…it is ok if you are different(with vampire or demon ears)as long as you ware a lot of make up and little clothes … we except you. Chubby dolls with freckles for example would embrace the difference, or magazines that do not embarrass and harass movie stars for cellulite or pot bellies, ridiculing it like deadly sin on every newspaper shelf.
      Only reason I was on this web site was for my psychology of women class. We study sexualization of girl’s toys and gender segregation and separation in the society. Those attitudes come from illiteracy and poor education.
      I do not think monster high or bratz dolls will “ruin” little girls, but I do think that they are not helping to raise healthy children.

  61. I came across this site after googling on the whole MH craze as my neighbor just gave them to her daughter. We have two young girls and they were so confused as to why they would allow dolls that look like death into their home. My girls know of these dolls from the newspaper ads or from the toy stores. What is their imaginary play like with a doll or stuffed animal compared to a MH doll? My guess would be totally polar opposites. Why would I put that in that hands of my daughter?

    I already feel like there is so much out there competing for my kids (we have four, two girls and two boys) attention and while they are in my care, I refuse to let them choose darkness over the light of Christ.

    The popularity of these dolls, along with everything else out there that paints death as something to be desired or cool just shows how we are opening the door to our hearts to be taken over by evil. I’m sorry, but not on my watch.

  62. WoW, this article is very EYE OPENING! I didn’t like Monster High dolls when they first came out and I thought they were scary/ugly but my grandaughters other grandmother introduced her to them by buying her one, but she could have just as easily picked one herself going through the toy isle. When it comes to the anorexic body parts, compare these to LaLa LOOPSIE! She’s even worse! The dolls are geard to looking pretty, (with “defects” of scars, etc) but like Barbie hasn’t stereotyped that it’s all about being “pretty”?! And wasn’t Barbie the doll that stigmatized the BLONDE to be “the” hair color to be born with? Although she has since come in many hair colors, Barbie has been promoting the idea that it’s all about being “pretty” since she came out. Maybe Monster High shows that if you have fangs (crooked teeth) or scars, etc. – -you can still be pretty. One nice thing about Monster High dolls is that if the child looses their body parts, you can go out and buy these! My grandaughter is crazy about Monster High, the cartoon is what brings the characters to life as to who and what they are about. Althoug I can’t comment on this as I have not seriously sat down and watched it in its entirety but so far not liking what I’m seeing, too scary I think. In one episode the monsters ran away from the police, I told my grandaughter you NEVER run from the police!!! (good way to get shot! didn’t tell her that though!) So I don’t know…to me, looks like Monster High is here to stay. Little girls are in the doll stage for a long time and my granddaughter still likes Barbie too. And they have “grown” on me as well despite the fact I can’t get used to the fangs, I would like to see Matell remove these because other than that they look like any other doll but with “colored” skin. I don’t see these dolls as “death” either, like one woman commented. You could say they look more Halloween than Death, no different than Halloween costumes and we know how much children love dressing up as various “monsters” such as these (dracula for one, and you have “Draculara,” the doll?)! So maybe that’s why kids like them, it drags Halloween out all year long?
    I like keeping kids in fantasy of fairies, princesses and the like as long as we can in childhood. I agree the “High School” theme behind the videos is too mature for them at age 6. And last comment I want to make is, my grandaughters birthday was yesterday and she got nothing but Monster High and loved it! Cake, decorations,clothes, toys, hair barrets with the two tone hair strands, but in the last picture I took of her with her mom and dad I caught her making a “monster mean face.” Yeah- -I agree. Maybe they are not a good idea.

  63. Mama Marie says:

    Monster High is HORRIBLE!!! These dolls look like strippers. The show does not teach kindness, it teaches how to be mean. They are interested in boys, they bully and did I mention they look like strippers? WAY TO old for the age they market to. It is gross.

    • I love Monster High says:

      Ok so I have been thinking, if you include Monster High in this and NOT Winx, I’m surprised. They all wear midriffs and really short skirts. But all of the three shows (MH, Winx, Barbie) show how important it is to co-operate and have fun. They go to the beach, concerts, school, birthday parties just like normal kids. Have you ever seen them saying “Come on bitches, let’s go hook up with some dudes! Oops, almost forgot the condoms!” or going to a club, drinking alcohol? Of course not! Monster High is all about celebrating the difference and flaws of each monster. Giving a message, even to disabled kids. I think the ‘monsters’ are actually supposed to be the people who stutter (trust me it is hard, I have it) are paralysed in some parts of the body, have sicknesses, etc. NONE of these monsters are evil, so how could you even associate them with the devil? I mean, vampires, werewolves and zombies don’t even exist in the religions, they are FOLKLORES. I am 13, I play with Monster High, so what? I dress in jeans and t shirts and skirt that go to my knees, and when I do wear them, I always have tights underneath, unless it’s like 100 degrees outside. I’ve been watching Barbie and Winx ever since I was 3 years old and I’ve never (not even now) thought of them as sexual and trying to get boys to hook up with you. And I understood, when I saw them, that it isn’t possible to be that skinny! If you wanna complain, complain about Nicki Minaj or Lady Gaga. The thing is, I play with MH just as I would play with any other doll, for example: Draculaura (the vampire) wakes up and has her breakfast (she is a vegetarian, so there is no blood drinking) she gets dressed and goes to school where she invites everyone to her 1600th birthday party. They have fun at the party, they eat cake and she gets presents. I agree with Kseniya, the reason kids like these dolls is because they show that you can be pretty with scars and crooked teeth! And by the way Anna, if you don’t like these, why don’t you ban Halloween on top of it! It’s the same thing! They are dressed up for Halloween, only it’s all year round!! 🙂

  64. I am 11 yrs old and I loved monster high they were a big thing in my class but my BEST friends are the best but in 2010 I got a monster high doll of Father Christmas then I showed my best friends and then over the years they started getting as I would call it obsessed with them they pretended they were the characters clawdeen and Abbie bominable they did Heath and Abbie dating and clawdeen and holt dating it made me uncomfortable so I do not know what to do I hate monster high they will ruin your child’s and your life and i watched videos of monster high they are very very inappropriate I had nightmares listen to this!!!

  65. I’m a 17 year old guy who loves Monster High. I plan on buying the dolls for my birthday. While I agree that the dolls are over sexualized I have to disagree with you not letting your daughter play with them. From what I’ve read I could see that your daughter is very intelligent. I think that she would have no influence whatsoever with Monster High. Dolls don’t define who you are as a person. Dolls are a form of play time for boys and girls. This doll line is very unique and different than the dolls I used to play with as a young toddler. Monster High embraces your flaws and the webisodes teach good moral values. You can have your opinion but I truly think these dolls are amazing and that is why they are so popular. Mattel decided to join the vampire/werewolf band wagon and they found a hit.

  66. I used to play with Barbie, Bratz, and even Monster High, and I turned out just fine! When you’re a kid, you don’t care about the clothes or the looks. All you care about is the ability to play. Just because you play with a doll, it doesn’t make you act/dress like the doll. I mean think of it this way: you give your kid a basketball. Does that instantly make him want to join the NBA? No. Not really. Same applies to dolls. Just let the kid play with a doll, but make sure it isn’t TOO inappropriate…..

  67. Im sorry, but how anybody can look at these dolls and say that they send a positive moral message is absolutely beyond me. Seriously!? First of all, the name alone “Monster High” should tell us something. I am a father of 2 young daughters and a little boy and I will definitely refuse to let my children have those “so-called” dolls in our house. Call me narrow-minded and irrational all you like, that’s quite okay with me. But if its narrow-minded/close-minded to want to defend and protect my children’s innocence, then consider me the most narrow minded man in the world.
    I mean, let’s face it, this world eventually gets a hold of all of us and strips us of some of our purity and innocence, but why allow that to happen to our children at such a young age. And children are not intelligent enough to make these judgement calls on their own. They are CHILDREN and we should let them be children. Children will always be influenced and molded by what they play with and the games they play and the other kids they play with. When I was a boy I played with GI Joe and guess what… I wanted to be a soldier. And then I began to play sports as a young boy and guess what… in my mind I was a football player. If we give our daughters toy prostitutes to play with I wonder what will happen. I’ll never understand why anyone would encourage their child to have a doll like that. We are influenced everyday by the media! Everyday, every second. Companies spend billions in advertising and marketing because they know how weak we are when it comes to the lust of the eyes. We are influenced as children and we continue to be influenced as adults.And Madi, when I was a kid and I was given a basketball,Yes, I immediately felt like an NBA player. That was the whole reason my friends and I played those games. So that we could pretend to be the real thing. Sorry so lengthy. Got a little passionate about this topic. Just taking a stand for what I believe in.

  68. If the toy manufacturers really wanted to teach that it’s OK to be different, have flaws, and have handicaps, why don’t they have dolls and characters that look like the real kids they interact with every day? Wouldn’t it make sense to portray real life situations if you are trying to teach kindness and tolerance? These dolls are teaching little girls that their worth is based on how they look and whether they have a boyfriend. It’s teaching them that wearing provacative clothing is the way to be hip and popular, and that the smart kids are less cool and that cheating is OK. I’m referring to an episode where Clawdeen tries to copy off of Goulia during a test, and Goulia, who is supposed to be smart, is not even able to talk right. They portrayed the popular girl as being vapid and shallow and the smart girl as being geeky and clumsy. No, this is not teaching tolerance and understanding; it’s reinforcing the very stereotypes that have kept women from becoming all they can be, and allowed men to objectify them. How do I know this? Because I have an 8 year old granddaughter, and I’ve watched her play with these hideous, ugly dolls and act out the episodes she has seen on TV. I didn’t buy the dolls for her, and I never will. When she brings them over, I put them up and tell her to play with the American Girl or Madame Alexander dolls that are patterned after real little girls. MH dolls, and all the dolls like them are an insidious way of teaching wrong values wrapped up in a “pretty” package. When you open it and really look at it, it’s full of ugly rotten garbage.

    • Since when has anything in a child’s world reflected reality??! Do you think 5 year olds regularly go around driving cars and traveling great distances with out adult supervision (Dora the Explorer), is it possible for animals to talk (every talking animal show in existence) Do fairies exist (Tinkerbell)… NO! We use things that are unique and fantasy to reflect reality. Because that is more interesting to a child, and some ways more obvious and easier to understand. If they can accept someone who is blue, with fins, and completely different from them, then surely they can accept someone who looks exactly like them but maybe is in a wheel chair or plays differently like with autism. Then its not as much of a stretch for them to accept them, because I mean, c’mon its not like they are blue or anything 🙂

  69. Wow! Okay, I will not have one of these dolls in my kiddo’s possession (not in their original outfits or boxes at least), but I think Melissa has way overexplained things to her daughter in a very judgemental way that possibly does as much harm (if not more) than buying her a Monster High doll.

    If the little girl doesn’t understand/agree with what her mom told her, she will end up resenting her mother and rebelling later in life either by buying the same outfits as the dolls or getting the dolls for her own daughter later. While there are things in life we should never compromise with our children, I think you have to pick your battles versus using your child as a medium for your political views. A toy a child repeatedly asks for over and over again is one of them. Unless it’s too expensive and/or dangerous, there’s always a way around it where everyone can be happy.

    I say this as someone who agrees too many fashion dolls are hypersexualized and someone who’s mother raised her without Barbies. I have many feminist friends who grew up healthy and happy with a Barbie, and have later given them (and Monster High dolls) to their kids.

    Last Christmas my daughter asked for two things from Santa. The big one was a Barbie. Her friend had them and she fell in love. This caused me a lot of conflicted feelings as eating disorders run in my family.

    But then I realized the things that can damage a young woman the most was how her parents treat women (including how her mom treats herself). Years of hearing my grandmother obsess over the value of skinniness did far more harm to my cousins who lived next to her than owning Barbies. Each female cousin ended up with eating disorders. Likewise, hearing my mother speaking hatefully about her own weight was one of the most painful things I ever heard as a little girl. Mothers are goddesses to young daughters. They are their child’s perception of beauty.

    So, what did I do? I went out and bought a Palentogist Barbie. My only beef was she had blonde hair (my daughter is a brunette) and a bit too much makeup. What did I do? I found a swimming Barbie who was a brunette and had very little makeup. Then with the dolls in the boxes, I used a hair dryer to warm the heads, pop them off, and swap them. What a joy to see my daughter’s face on Christmas. Does her Barbie wait at home for Ken? No. She goes out with the She Hulk to find dragon and dinosaur bones to store in the trunk of their purple VW Beetle. We have all sorts of outfits – vetrinarian, doctor, martial artist, and astronaut. Most of them we bought hand-made locally off of Ebay or Etsy.

    While I will never rush out to buy a Monster’s High doll and will casually discourage my kid from having one, I’d buy her one if she didn’t drop it. First, they are very well-made dolls. Second, not all of them look “mean.” Some actually do smile. Third, they are original. Fourth, you can buy/make them new clothes or easily alter their outfits to look child-friendly.

    The skinniness is a shame, but guess what? There are thin people in the world. A doll isn’t going to cloud your child’s perception of herself if you raise her with love and treat other women with respect (including yourself).

    If you want to raise a healthy confident little girl, what toy you give her will not matter as much as how you carry yourself and treat other people (men and women). If you want to avoid your daughter (or son) becoming a complete zombie to the media, do the following:

    1. Get rid of cable! Commercials on children’s television destroys brains–making children think they *need* certain toys and killing their attention spans (actually commercials do this to adults too). Really, no one needs it these days except for sports fanatics and that’s even questionable. The internet has opened a world of possibilities. You can buy a Roku Box to stream Netflix and Amazon Prime off of. A big benefit is a more focused child who doesn’t beg after seeing a commercial and saving $50-100/month.

    2. Take toys out of the boxes before giving them to the child. If not, remove the pamplets.

    3. Learn to give a little. If you kid wants and wants and wants a special toy that disagrees with your values to the point it is the one thing he/she asks for at Christmas, find one that is the least offensive and alter it. The beauty of dolls is most of them can have their outfits changed. You can usually easily alter a doll’s lipstick by using acetone and paint (glass paint). There are many tutorials online for how to do this or you can hire/ask a favor of a talented friend.

    There are loads of Barbie/Monster High outfits that are child-friendly on Etsy and Ebay.

    4. Teach your child to look beyond looks–this even goes with clothes. You want to raise a child who gets sent home for calling her classmate a “slut”? Go ahead and psychoanyalize women who dress provocatively. But I think most of us agree we’d want better of our daughters and sons. We have to start with ourselves. Kids (espeically younger ones) don’t need big answers for everything. A simple “we don’t do that in this house suffices.” I find confidently saying “You don’t need that” works *very* well 99% of the time.

    5. Never every talk bad about your body or weight in front of your chlid. Never talk about her weight either. Focus on being healthy. Eat right get exercise.

    6. Spend time with your kid. Make friends with positive people–especially happy confident parents. Kick the destructive, negative people out of your life or make lots of space from them.

    Balance is key to everything–but all the more so with parenting. It’s not about raising a child who looks perfect to others. It’s about raising a child who is happy, confident and caring who can learn to think for his and/or herself while respecting the loving adults in his/her life.

    • you are missing the point entirely- this isn’t an article to criticize parenting. This is to criticize companies who feel that manufacturing dolls like this is acceptable. You are entitled to your opinion that you feel that Melissa went into too great of detail with her daughter but you don’t know her child and what she responds too. This argument is about the toy itself- not parents and how they teach/educate their children. Sure I agree with you to not focus on weight, to be involved with your child and so forth but for some children saying “you don’t need that” isn’t enough. Great for you, if that works for YOUR child, but thats not the case for everyone. Let’s focus on the complete obscene doll that Mattel is marketing to SIX year olds and judge their character.

  70. I started buying Monster High when I was a teenager, and I’m still buying them now into my early twenties. A lot of people in their teens and adult lives buy these dolls.

  71. I admit I haven’t read all of the reply posts listed here, but I feel compelled to add my own. I have a 5 year old daughter. She expressed interest in the Monster High dolls. I had only this to say.

    Women are not monsters.

    To which she replied, “No, mama, women are mamas and friends and hard workers and they should take good care of themselves because everyone needs mamas and friends and hard workers. Those dolls don’t look like they take good care of themselves. They look creepy.”

    As I said, women are not monsters. Neither are men. Merchandisers who think they can sell the combination of sickly and sexy – to children – and pass it of as empowering individuality are monsters.

  72. I honestly don’t think you get the point of monster high. If you’ve read the books, you would know that they are about being who you are, even if you aren’t like society says you should be. Matel did maybe go too far with the clothing and what not, but honestly, your four year old isnt going to dress like monster high dolls when they probably can’t even dress themselves now. I honestly don’t see why you should not let your child play with the dolls just because you think they’re sluttly. Your child doesn’t think like that. She thinks they are fun to play with. They are to innocent to think of it the way you do.

  73. All that goes WAY beyond dolls. Just google Monster High Costume, and see how they want your little girls dressed as sluts. MH does this, Barbie does this, most of the Haute Couture for Kids Industry does this. They’re all sexualizing your kids under your nose. You’re all arguing over the Doll itself, when it goes beyond this. It’s about the clothing/fashion industry. Check out Tokyo Top Kids Collection on YouTube and see for yourselves what’s coming. Did I mention Dance Moms? There’s a big push made by the powers at be since about 2008 to make paedophilia acceptable in the years to come.

  74. Concerned Mother says:

    Simply put:

    Do you really think all of these posts in defense of this brand (from mothers lol) .. are actually from who they say they are from ???

    Half of these comments look like the are from corporate “shills” (look it up), promoting logical fallacies to defend the (often despicably marketed) brand.


    As this show is. I have watched it, and the movie. I dare you to count how many times the “appearance” (that they want to sell you) is bundled with positive association/reinforcement…

    It’s all marketing. It’s a “brand” lifestyle. One that focuses on the most base elements of humanity. Sexuality & peer acceptance.

    And it consistently ties Mattel’s “unique brand” with acceptance.

    You would have to be really stupid to not see that.

  75. Ok, the ONLY reason that I am even interested in these dolls is because I am out to write about “bad toys” for a research paper. The defense comments that I am reading is truly baffling. Who the hell can say that these dolls embrace “differences” and “uniqueness”?! These dolls are marketed for 6+ year olds. Has ANYONE read the back of the packaging for some of these? Here’s a great line from the “Werecat Sister Doll Set” (these are the dolls fun facts)- “Least favorite subject: Home-ick, Age:15, Favorite subject: mad science”
    AND on the description: “With their Killer Style and fiercely loyal friends, you’ll see them and have to scream ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous!'”
    These aren’t dolls that embrace uniqueness amongst others, they embrace sex, confidence based on looking “hot” and being a lazy screw off student. These dolls are 15 years old, so why are they marketed to a 6 year old? I have a 3 year old daughter and theres not a chance in hell she’ll ever own a supercharged sexual doll like this.

    • I just had a conversation today with another mother who was upset about a post I made about my 5 year old being invited to a “Monster High” birthday party. I was so surprised at her vehemence and defense of these toys, which blatantly promote sexualization of our young girls. Jackie S.- I hear you! I just wish more moms did. I too have written multiple papers , presented on this topic, and worked with middle school girls on self-esteem issues and media literacy. Melissa, your comments are so well articulated and we are lucky to have you as an advocate and educator on this issue. I know that society has normalized this phenomenon, largely as a result of marketing. But I thought when presented with this information, more mothers would pause and reflect, take it in, and perhaps decide on a different path. I am shocked and disappointed to see all these comments defending MH dolls. With moms united on this issue, we could change the world for our girls… and boys! I thought it was just a matter of “getting the word out”. I didn’t realize until today that it is such an uphill battle. This is one mom who is on board!

  76. Elle Ibanez says:

    Hypersexualized dolls telling young girls to be overly sexy, too early. Yuck. These dolls look trashy, despite whatever “positive” message they claim to be sending. If you really believe these scantily clad dolls are sending positive messages to your daughters, guess what?? Their marketing is working.

    Great write-up, hit the nail on the head!

  77. Children do not think about the length of the skirts on their dolls, or the tightness of the shirts, they think about colours and ruffles and fun patterns. Adults are the ones who have solid presumptions as to what a ‘slut’ looks like, and what girls who wear skimpy clothing think of themselves. Monster High is not telling your children to dress ‘provocatively’, and your child will not think of it until you decide to tell them about it. While the figures of the dolls are very skinny, they are not teaching your children anything more toxic than what you are.
    Children enjoy fantasy and so Monster High caters to that. There are dozens of lines of ordinary dolls that live ordinary human lives, but kids aren’t drawn to the relatable, they are drawn to dreams and aspirations. Childhood is a time for them to be able to dream big, so let them. Monsters are just another form of fairy, mermaid and princess.
    Monster High characters dress like teenagers because they are teenagers. They are supposed to be fashionable not because they’re insinuating that that’s all a girl is good for, but because it is a fashion doll line. It would be weird if they dressed like eight-year-olds.
    It’s important to teach your child to be safe, to be cautious, to be smart and independent. Telling your daughter that girls who dress scantily are unhappy equates to telling her that homosexuality is bad. It is your choice what specific ‘moral values’ you want to teach your children, but it is not up to your secular government to ban things based on your narrow-mindedness.

    • Kathy –
      I published your comment because it does not violate any of the terms I have established for this blog. That said, I disagree with the points I was able to understand in your first two paragraphs and find the rest of what you said to be just left of crazy.

    • I completely agree! Exactly what I was thinking. The dolls were made for any of the article’s supposed reasons.

  78. I just don’t really understand this article… I can see why parents would be concerned and yes sometimes their skirts are short but often the dolls wear many other clothes that cover their entire bodies. They’re in no way meant to be revealing or for them to make friends. The whole series is about individuality and being unique. Their tagline is “Be Unique. Be a Monster.” How great is that?! They’re not encouraging people to look like Barbies but the complete opposite. The dolls are fashion orientated so they have been made with high heels and skirts for some of the dolls to look good but if you watch the episodes it’s nothing to do with them being sexualised. I really don’t think that threatening to young girls. Like I said some of the dolls are completely covered and the series is about friendship, what it’s like being a TEENAGER – so the dolls are mainly aimed at the tween market. Not for very young girls. That’s just what I think.

  79. I have a good mind to know that before you go and rant about something you should at lest see what its all about. Now dolls are just dolls and it is the massage along with it that counts. That message is not to be a little whore, its to be your self and to love yourself flaws and all. This thing you wrote hear makes me wonder if you even read the back of the box or even did research what the brand was all about because I know for a fact that if it was to make little girls dress for men, then the brand wouldn’t even make it to testing.

  80. My biggest point of contention with this article comes from the Monster High Dolls being the main target. Barbie, Bratz, and all of their spin-offs are much worse in terms of body type and clothing; Bratz for their racial stereotyping, Barbie for anatomical impossibility masquerading under realistic proportions, and both for the complete lack of any variation in facial and body features.

    The Monster High Dolls, who are actually on the whole wearing longer, though admittedly tighter clothing, and who are far skinnier than either Barbies or Bratz, have figures which are so overly cartoon-like I doubt many children would believe they were meant to look like that. The monster aspect of it also separates kids from their dolls since these dolls, again unlike Barbie or Bratz, were not intended to look like real people.

    The one point that makes me much happier to buy them for myself, and to buy them for any children I have in the future is that every one of them has a unique face shape, there are several different types of body which are of different heights, thicknesses, breast size, and skin tone — not to mention all of the decorative additions to the skin such as rivets, vines, and fins. They even have a Dia de los Muertos inspired character whose body is a complete skeleton! Is a little girl really going to think that she’s supposed to look like an actual skeleton?

    The focus of Monster High is much more on character design and personality, and from my experience with the dolls and with the kids who have them, they care much more about who they have than the clothes they’re wearing.

    • Remy,
      Do you think the little girls who grow up to suffer from eating disorders think they need to look like a skeleton? Do you think 25% of seven year old girls dieting and 80% of ten year old girls reporting they want to be thinner is helped or hindered from unrealistic body proportions of their toys? And while I agree with you a plastic doll does not bear the sole responsibility for negative body image, is the look of that doll reinforcing every hurtful beauty myth, thin ideal, and sexualized message our girls see elsewhere? If you cannot distinguish between the two and one is a representation of the other then perhaps we should give pause to how appropriate these children’s toys are. Or are not.

  81. You guys are all idiots of parents.

    I had Barbie dolls and Bratz dolls growing up. I had all their houses and accessories and they were by far my favorite toys to play with as a kid.

    I’m 19 now. And fine. What I remember from my childhood dolls and their fictional characters online and in movies that inspired me was that I do value myself and how I look. And I value my personality and friendships.
    If your daughter is going to play with scantily clad dolls and then as a teenager dress the same and become a streetwalker, well maybe that’s just who they are. You can’t hide everything from them. And the things you keep from them are the things they will want the most.

  82. Monster high are Monster’s that is why they look so werid to u. Monster high tell’s little girls to be yourself,be unquie and it also tells u to be careful what u wish for. It is a good show for girls n’ boys.

  83. rainbow dash says:

    I get asked a lot “you have to buy the monster high dolls??” The answer is, no, I don’t have to buy them, but I’ll tell you why I do. I am proud of Monster High. The team is so passionate and cares and works harder than anyone knows. I am proud of all the work that goes into each doll – it’s a much more difficult process than anyone realizes. I know they painstakingly work to capture all the details they possibly can. I know they found new ways to achieve what they wanted when told no. I know they love what they do. I know that I am willing to pay for a line that stands for so much. Because I know that being different is a good thing. Because I believe what we do is worth buying. Because I believe in Monster High.

    That is why I buy the Monster High dolls

  84. I have been researching these dolls and stumbled on this discussion. This is the best articulation yet of this topic. I am the mother of a nine year old girl and we are a family of artists. My daughter has been exposed to all kinds of people and we are not the judgemental and /or overreactive parents that try to suppress our daughters interests.Luckily when she first saw these dolls she was horrified. She likes Barbie and we discuss body image and appropriate clothing and my daughter is even more old fashioned than I am. She alters the Barbie clothes to be more appropriate. But these dolls just plain scared her. At the time she couldn’t articulate it but the death symbology and sinister appearance got to her first, and then we had to talk about the revealing clothing and just what it implies. It was tough to gently tell her just what message it sends now that she is old enough to talk about sex a little bit. As she is very outspoken especially about this topic I have allowed her to speak about it with Mattel. She kept them on the phone for an hour and hung up angry because they just fed her the stale company line and didn’t address her issues with the doll. So she has taken to blogging. I moderate her blog but this has been a hot button topic for her. She has made some very clever memes which I think could actually drive home the point to kids and adults. And like someone earlier posted, she is getting bombarded with corporate shills, some with the sugar coated product marketing campaign. But more disturbing are the nasty comments obviously written by adults to belittle her and make her feel like she has no place having an opinion….that she has been brainwashed by someone to think this way. She got so furious, she made an excellent meme and post this evening.Her blog is thatrubyshow at I would love it if you could give her some positive commentary as she has been blasted with teenage nastiness and corporate shills and she is so brave to stand up against all the peer pressure. Thanks again for a great discussion.

    • Melissa Atkins Wardy says:

      Hi Grace –
      Thanks so much for your great comment. I’m going to email you, I would love to get in touch with you and your daughter!

  85. motherofalittlegem says:

    in short they are completely unwholesome from the undead personas to the revealing clothing. being yourself is what is inside not out. my daughter of nine years has never asked for one if she did I would have no trouble saying NO as I am the parent not the child.. – Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. proverbs 22:6
    yes there is a chance your daughter could end up dressing like them but don’t be fooled, most of the harm these dolls do to our daughters is invisiable it takes place on the inside and you and she may never know how it manifests itself.
    I love the innocence of my children. Their minds so uncomplicated by the world. I want that to last as long as it was intended to.

  86. Charlotte says:

    I totally agree with you, when I was a kid i used to play with all of my boys toys (even though I’m a girl) and would build forts in the garden and pretended to be a spy. Then all these silly sexual monster high dolls came in I got so mad cause my 2 girls always wanted to be pretty and really skinny and inhumain like these dolls. I’m glad now that there starting to understand
    that monster high and barbie isn’t good (thank god :D). Now I’m getting them into movies that are good like I, Frankenstein instead of that monster high crap. Once one of my daughters friends got her a barbie and I could not stand it, I took it back to the store and swapped it for something that she likes (I got her a Maroon 5 CD). I can’t stand these dolls.

  87. This is just so silly. These dolls might not be for people whose children are way to easily influenceable, but they’re fine for most others. This doesn’t mean they’re bad or shouldn’t be bought, it just depends on what type of kid you have. I’m 20 now and I grew up playing with trashy barbies and bratz dolls and now here I am wearing professional dress clothes (even though I don’t have a job lol) that goes for my friends to who had hundreds of trashy anorexic dolls, most of us are average size or just a tiny bit chubby. You can say the early 2000s are different than now, but it’s just as bad only with different people. Monster high dolls came out when I was in high school (old enough to know “right” from “wrong”, but still very influenceable) but all these dolls whether they were barbies, bratz, or monster high dolls inspired me to start designing clothes and now I run an online shop doing what I love. I never thought trashy doll clothes were good looking. Whatever dolls I liked depended on the quality of the materials the clothes were made out of, I guess that’s why I became a designer but honestly I just don’t see how other children think these clothes look good enough to actually wear, they’re not any more stupid than I was, so stop treating them like it. I’m only 20 so you can say that I don’t know antyhthing about raising children, but that’s just my experience growing up as a child after 2000.

  88. Monster High dolls may broadcast the message, “Be unique…love yourself just the way you are,” but it’s misleading. If you look at the dolls, the message they’re sending is, “Your skin and hair can be any color you want, but to be worthwhile you have to be skinny and long-legged, wear edgy fashionable clothes, and have a glamorous career like singer, fashionista, or model.” That’s not true diversity. If the makers of these dolls care so much about encouraging girls to be true to themselves, why don’t they make dolls that mirror what girls want to do in the real world? Where are the dolls who aspire to be doctors, soldiers, homemakers, computer technicians, scientists, and all the myriad other professions that women follow?

    • I can’t stand something pretending to be one thing while actually being another. Fools here see these dolls a sort of empowerment for girls, when that’s just the marketing pitch, duh. How gullible can you be? What catches the kid’s eye, what sells them is sex, power. Children grow up noticing who’s powerful in our media – beautiful leggy sexily-dressed women are marked as winners and leaders wherever they appear in TV, film, advertising. And most of all they have that old caveman winner quality – sex appeal – rooted deep even in our kids’ psyches. Probably great, if you happen to be a beautiful, powerful, educated, career woman – like most of the women in the conference rooms who come up with these nasty toys. Take away a woman’s education and wealth and opportunity – what happens when you live in a trailer and drop out of high school? Where is dressing like a Barbie or a Monster High girl going to take you? Maybe you could become an astronaut, like Astronaut Barbie! Media, TV shows, branding and the free market are in control and until idiots realize that, it will only get worse.

  89. My feelings about Monster High and all of those similar toys are mixed…
    I do think that they promote some very disturbing ideals, and I do think that they are inappropriate, and find it shocking that they are marketed to little girls, an I further think that the whole “individuality” argument is a huge scam that has been going on since well before I was born (We all KNOW that we can dress how we want, because that’s been used to market/justify sexed-up plastic toys forever, but do we all know the other, more important important ways that we, and our sons and daughters, can be individuals?)
    THAT SAID… Our children will inevitably be exposed to these toys and messages, and if their friends have the toys then there’s a good chance they’re going to want them, too. And many of us have aunts and uncles, grandparents, sometimes the other parent who will not agree that these dolls present a problem, and should we really take them away, or even try to make our kids not want them? Should we need to? If our children can be so threatened by a piece of plastic that we must ban it from our home, are we doing our job right?
    My 4 year old stepdaughter has been asking about these dolls, having seen commercials for them at her grandmother’s house. Her mother just gave her her first Monster High doll during her visit today, and frankly, they’re worse than I’d thought! Dad and I had a talk about it, and decided to check in to make sure she knows that the dolls do not represent real life or real girls, and that the doll’s choice of clothes are not an appropriate or practical choice. She took to the conversation really well, and in the end we all agreed that it was fine for her to play with her new “wolf-girl” even though (we all agreed) her clothes were too small (and, she added, it’s kind of weird to want everyone to see your butt). All in all, I came away with the idea that she already has a good grasp of the things that we discussed, but it didn’t hurt to check in, and evaluating the doll’s choice of outfit did seem to take a bit of the allure away for her (which I don’t mind a bit).
    Basically, I think that yes, conversation should be had to do damage-control/check-in about the messages being sent to our kids by this type of toy, and it seems like the blogger found a great way to do this. The things that toys/games/tv tell our kids are far from harmless left to themselves, but we disarm these things by being effective, supportive, communicative caregivers. I’ve never known a stable child in a stable home with present parents/caregivers to end up hooking because s/he had a barbie, or shooting up a school because s/he had a cap gun. I loved both as a child, and I seem to have come through it in one piece, thanks to my awesome parents.

    tl;dr: MH dolls are very sexualized among other things, but if you’re a decent parent then these dolls aren’t going to ruin your kid’s life. As long as we keep talking with our kids about the important things, toys are just toys.

  90. (This was a reply to a comment but I chose to just comment my statement, I apologize for any confusion)

    I was a huge Barbie fan, a goth in high school and still have a good goth streak in me (deep inside). There’s nothing wrong with that, as an adult, I guess, well actually…

    The fact of the matter is: you can’t claim these dolls clothes, appearance, features, attitude, etc. didn’t have an effect on you and won’t have an effect on future generations. The sexualizing, abnormal and unhealthy body shape, the seriously gross attitudes ALL these dolls have are subliminally being covered up by statements like “be yourself” so mommy hears that and it’s all good right?
    Beware of your advertising. After studying advertising in college I was shocked to find out what things were just being fed into our little pea brains, as long as it sounds like a good deal. And don’t let anyone fool you, they know what they are doing.
    Just something to chew on.

    My biggest pet peeve is a parent who parents with the concept of “it was (whatever controversial) way when I was a kid and I’m alright” while most adults, mommy’s too, (in America) are on prescription medication and are depressed or riddled with anxiety self-doubt and shattered self esteem. We value things like money, vanity, popularity instead of virtuous things. Think Benjamin Franklin’s 13. Or google it.
    OR parenting with the great idea that “our kids are just being desensitized” hmmm,… That is the goal then? Just desensitize everyone right? Sounds like manipulation to me.
    Have you ever stopped to wonder why we aren’t going in the way of becoming more conservative and really taking our physical and mental health seriously? Or why having respect for ones self is not a trend but a black mark on an individual and is considered as being weak.
    I’m pretty sure that if Miss Clawdeen Wolf had any respect for herself she would smack that look off her face and quit trying to manipulate and change herself to get the boy. Maybe we should just let the uncool “hater” moms teach their girls to become self-aware and accepting of their qualities and value most those who can respect that and spread awareness to others who struggle with it.

    • As a teen with body issues I can tell you that these dolls are not completely to blame I myself have had these dolls but I found them to be a relief not a hindrance to my problems . When I first saw a monster high doll i was in love with the fact that the message was to be yourself and not about what others thought of you is was a new concept for me that a doll was out there with that message, but with that being said the cloths are a bit risky it true but you are in fact forgetting they are dolls. now im not saying that its ok to dress this way i certainly don’t. And if you happened to know anything about the series than you would find that Ms. Clawdeen does not have any romantic interest in boys at all but in fact study to be a designer and goes out of her way to make sure her friends are ok and safe she does not take any lip or listen to people who are mean to her or her friends and honestly that’s better than a lot of my friends now. Yes dolls are just dolls but that does not mean they can’t have an impact on a young girl or boy but id rather good messages than none yes there cloths are small, yes there skinny but they try to make young girls feel good about themselves they (in the web show) have difficulties and flaws there not perfect cold one be a bit thicker yes could one be a bit more modest sure. but don’t just blame dolls blame tv ads magazines blame society blame how the media shows people but don’t just blame dolls

  91. I strongly disagree you don’t know what you are talking about……..I am a 11 year old boy and monster high inspiers me to be me.

    it sends a message across to other children to never change to allways be true to your self

    maby if you watched some films then you’ll under stand

  92. Hi.I just wanted to say…that I’ve grown up with lots of Barbies and Bratz.Bratz used to wear SOOOO LITTLE skirts…And I never did that.I liked them because they were dolls,they were pretty,and I played with them.Never questioned why they were wearing this or that,it was ok.It was me and my imagination what created the storys and names of my dolls.I think the ones that are perverting the dolls is the society and women like the one who’s writing in this blog.They are the ones who are seeing “sexualized dolls”.Kids just see dolls.Or at least,when I was a kid,I didn’t think of sexual stuff.I discover it myself with the passing years,during my adolescence.It was the rest of the world,the advertises,the “grown-up”people,the mature,…and in general,the society,who tried to put on my mind statements like “I am girl so I must be beauty and get attention,and want to get sex”… But I didn’t let this happen on me.I don’t like that,and so I’m not like that,and dont act like you say.So…my opinion,is that these dolls don’t have anything to do with that.I am 22 now, and I love this dolls because they are different,they are monsters,have different colors and cool hair.When I was little,all we had was human barbies.Which was boring.We need a little bit of fantasy in life-as these dolls for example.If ALL dolls were realistic… world would be much shit-tier.Sorry,im just being honest. :/ I dont think your girls will grow up healthy..Because you are teaching them about sex too young (<12?) and thats not right.They have to discover it little by little,and when they are in that "boys-age",then is the time (that sexual talk,take care,have protection…etc).

    • Angela –
      Thanks for your comment. I think the point you are missing is that parents have to explain sex, sexuality, “sexiness” to their children at younger and younger ages because the media is forcing us to. Our children are seeing age inappropriate material, we can’t shelter them, and they start asking questions. We live in a hyper-sexualized culture, Monster High is a symptom of that as well as perpetuates it.

      While most children will not understand the sexual coding laced into the Monster High fashion and bodies, as well as other brands, I certainly understand what it means and represents and as the parent it is my job to protect my child. The true perverts are the corporations earning millions off the sexualizing of toys and childhood.

    • i second that!

  93. I only half agree with everyone. I’m an older teen and at this point i have a different perspective. I do not think with clothes like that that little girls should play with them. But for myself, I really likes these dolls, the movies, and the books based on them. i takes a certain level of maturity to understand what these dolls are about, and at such a young age, its easy to get the wrong impression. I know! When I was little, I wasn’t allowed to play with bratz dolls. Now looking at the monster high dolls, its easy to see they have over exagerated figures, but the uniquness of them is so pretty and the differenciations of personalities and “type” is really cool! Especially in the books, a lot of this comes out, with “normies” hating these characters because they are different. Somthing is to be said for that. The charaters stand up for themselves and be who they are, even if the consequences aren’t so great. And lets be real; ITS A FASHION DOLL! Its meant to be pretty and exagereated! These dolls might not be the best influence for kids, and i would’t recomend them in that case, but i love them. They’re beautiful, unique, and entertaining!

  94. What you do not understand is that Monster high is about accepting people who are different something that , from personal expirence has been hard. People won’t except me because I’m white washed! I’m black. I have autism, Monster high is telling you to be proud of who you are! Have you even listened to the theme song? We are monsters we are proud we rare monsters say it loud! And not all monster high dolls are dressed like that!! Clawdeen has baseball uniform that is not slutty at all!! Robecca steam has an outfit that is not slutty either. Gigi’s outfits are not slutty either, Frankie stein’s outfits are not slutty either, Lagoona blue’s outfit is beach wear because she is a swimmer, Cleo de nile’s clothing is not slutty either, Monster high is not anything to promote sex! They want pepole to be proud of who they are and not let people tear them apart. Yes they are way to skinny I give you that but monster high does not focus on body image. One of the lines in a movie was we accept all monsters freaky flaws and all! Barbie is slutty I agree with you on that! She is the one who focus’s on body image and how she is perfect at everything, but monster high is not like that. I think you should do more reasrching on monster high get to know it a little more. I’m not trying to be rude.

  95. If you ask me, Monster High dolls are good for one thing: customing. For ones, who are into repaint dolls, they are perfect, but not for 4-5 year old children. I’m 19 now, and I don’t play with them but remake them. But I feel, that their outlook can be harmfull for the youngs

  96. As females, we’re starting life under the bar right from the start (I’ve always said humans will be racially acceptive before they see gender in a more positive way). The over-sexualized dolls everywhere like MH and Bratz are just one way society paints females in a certain “color”: TV shows normally show a “normal” sized fatter male with a sexy, trophy wife, for instance. Commercials show average men but only “perfect” ladies. We need to stand up for our future women by showing them it’s not about looks.

    For those that are quick to point out MH is about “being quirky” and “yourself”, I have some points to add. I’m a cartoon illustrator. I watch all the shows and am involved in what “the kids today” like.

    In real life no one forgives or learns the way these monsters do. The nerd will rarely become “accepted”, and no one is going to just “hug it out” because “being different rocks”. The horribly sad truth is that these ladies have nothing bad wrong with them. It’s what writers call “Mary Sues” – they have “fake” quirks. She’s perfect, beautiful, maybe even rich, oh… But she’s a “clutz”. What? How is that a quirk? In a school of werewolves and mummies, how is being a cat girl somehow worse?

    Also, these ladies almost all come with a man. Pairing up is shown excessively and used as a common element. What are girls supposed to learn from this as well as the tons of makeup and scantily clad bodies? The men dress fine, they don’t show an excessive amount of skin. Once again, the men get a more positive look. One can even see this in the names they use for the sexes – males are “mansters” (men) yet females “ghouls” (girls). I do understand it makes sense for monster names sake, but surely we could have been intelligent enough to write something better, right?

    • Hi Elly –
      I love your comment, thank you! It is good to hear someone with your insights is working on these issues from the inside of the industry. 🙂

    • Being a “clutz”(sic)? Frankie’s a bit of a klutz and that may well be her flaw, she was also a little boy-crazy at some point. However, Cleo DeNile is kind of a bitch… condescending, full of herself, demanding, and yet, she still cares about her friends. Clawdeen can be judgmental and rigid. Ghoulia… eh, she can’t really be understood? Hard to say what hers might be beyond that. Laguna gets to deal with the idea of “racism,” (freshwater vs. saltwater). Abby is brusque and forthright, to the point of being potentially insulting. Draculaura is flighty and bubbleheaded. Spectra spies on people and deals in gossip (all of them do, but her more than any because she actually blogs about it). Torelei is… well, catty, sneaky, underhanded and petty… yet, she can turn around and be a relatively decent person.

      They all do actually have legitimate character flaws, and that’s something I appreciate in the stories. Both of my daughters (teenagers) enjoy it as well.

  97. Thank you for presenting this information in a logical way. I, too, am very concerned about the marketing messages and television content that is delivered to our children. Thank you for speaking up!

  98. Thank you Melissa Atkin for your wonderful article about Monster High dolls.
    There is no one in this world who can honestly think and say that those dolls are inoffensive for children. Those dolls are ugly, scary to look at for children unless they get used to seeing them, they have names of really awful things and they all have wicked things in their personalities. Yes, they are unique! I could not agree more that they are uniquely mean and perverted in their personality each in their own way. Take the time and look at the definition of a Gooliah for example (one of those dolls` name is goolia). In the ancient mythology, it was an evil spirit that changed forms, lived in graveyards and fed on decaying flesh. That monster preyed on children and unwary people and slaughters them to eat their flesh. All of the Monster High dolls have names evoking evil things such as this. Don’t ever think that those dolls are inoffensive. There is no common sense in this world that could point at that as being healthy for a child. Children who play with them and ‘cherish’ these dolls grow up with images and childhood souvenirs of distorted bodies, sewn flesh, bruised bodies, skimpy clothes, vampire faces, mean and UNHEALTHY behavior of their dolls. And their parents thought it`s healthy??? Hello???

    • First, her name is Ghoulia (a play on Julia). And… uh, she’s a zombie?

      I happen to think that the dolls are attractive, but I’m an artist, what do I know, right? I’d also like to know what “wicked” things they have in their personalities… yeah, they’ve got bad traits, this isn’t the 80’s, anymore, where the good guys were super goodie goodie, and the bad guys were super evil. They have nuanced personalities and are flawed beings, just like people are.

      People in the median are too much.

  99. Here is a link to a an interesting, must-read article about MH relating to the messages the toy/show convey and how it all came to be:

  100. I’m a father of 2 girls, aged 6 & 9 currently… I’m astounded at some of the comments here denying that these portrayals are anything but totally unrealistic, vacuous, sexualised and disturbing.

    As others have said, the veneer of ‘be different’ or whatever it is, is completely see through…

    A sad, vapid show, bringing unhealthy and ugly images into my lounge room.

  101. H.C.T.T. says:

    Oh lord *facepalm*. First of all, I won’t say an opinion about the show as I don’t follow that. But the whole “OMG this doll looks like a whore therefore my kid is going to be a whore OMGOMG” is some high lvl bs there. Teach your kids the difference between FANTASY and REALITY and you’ll be much prolly fine. Me and many friends loved Barbie with skimpy outfits, lol! And we were all at age… what? 4? 5? Loved to find/make tiny skirts, tanktops, high heels. Guess what ladies and gentleman? None became a whore, WHOORRAY! In fact, the one girl from my school who actually became a prostitute (talking about the worker here yes) didn’t like dolls when younger at all. lol. I never felt bad for not having Barbie’s body, hell, I never THOUGHT about Barbie being a “standard” that I needed to follow because hey, I had parents telling me the differences between a doll and a friggin’ human real body. I never liked to wear skimpy outfits neither, I love long, colorful skirts, dresses, and a good ol’ jeans with a t-shirt. Doll =/= Human. That’s the only extra lesson you need to give your kids. Again, I never followed the show, as I never followed Barbie’s animations when a kid. I believe shows have a little bit more of influence because characters do seem more “alive” inside the television for a child so guess I would only be aware of that? Hm. But the only influence Barbie gave me is maybe my love for colorful clothes. And I can say the results were similar to my friends.

    Mut maybe I’m an odd egg because I also loved Mortal Kombat games and never engaged in real life fight? Who knows! I just believe the lesson parents give, and specially HOW they give is more imprtant than those images. Even if the glimpse of a question comes out, you just feel secure because you had the right lessons from your parents. I believe if a kid gets REALLY into the doll’s life and actually want to be like the doll the problem is different and would come out no matter with what, maybe if it wasn’t for a doll, would be for “that cool girl from school who does what she wants, and I wanna be like her NOW”.

    Also, people, people… there’s nothing wrong with being interested in the “other” side of things. Stop believing kids are all angel creatures, because when it’s for boys, almost nobody bats an eyelash for the fact of monsters and dubious heroes being on the shelves for them since much longer than MH is for girls. Monsters are cool, get over it. Liking Sub Zero won’t make you want people freezing to death as much as liking Draculaura won’t make the kid have an urge for blood or something.
    Educate your kids, explain that clothes for dolls =/= clothes for people, that doll bodies =/= human bodies and that fantasy =/= reality and they’ll get it. The dolls are far from selling sex. Maximum is when those kids are grown they’ll see the Moulin Rouge clothes and say “HEY, I’ve seen this before” after a laugh.

  102. “Mattel says Monster High is for tweens and teens. Which would be true, if teens played with dolls and shopped in the toy aisle and stood three feet tall.”
    My teens/tweens purchased Monster High dolls… hell, they STILL dig Monster High dolls and like getting them for Christmas (older one likes Cleo DeNile, the younger likes Abby Bominable and Spectra Vondergeist), and the older one is going to be 17(!). Hell… for that matter, I(!) liked Monster High dolls (Favorite being Operetta, the rockabilly Phantom of the Opry). Some adults and young adults buy them to repaint them, some of them just like the message that Monster High sends out. These characters are in fucking high school, and they DO participate in sports, but they don’t walk around in their uniforms.
    They have participated in:
    Roller Derby
    Softball (or Baseball)
    Laguna’s on the Swim/Dive team

    Seriously… if the dolls are intended for teens/tweens, just tell your kid that they’re not old enough for them.

  103. I think many parents place too much worth and deeper meaning into children’s dolls and media. Parents who grew up in the early 2000s and are young, blossoming parents… You certainly were surrounded by and likely played with dolls like Barbie and Bratz. Question is, did you even think of them by the time you entered middle school or high school? Or instead did you just naturally fall into your primal instincts to try to fit in to survive and make friends when you were pretty much ripped away from all the friends you had in elementary school? Did all the girls who played with Barbie and/or Bratz try to become fashionistas? Those who grew up in the 90s who basically really just had Barbie… become fashionistas either?

    Or did you just enter middle school lost and looking for a friendly face because you have no classes with any of your old friends? Then, when you did see someone who seemed friendly and found he or she was part of a group, did you try to fit into that group whether you knew anything about it or not? During that time did you ever think back to the shows you watched or the games you played with your childhood friends and think, “I’ve got to handle this like Barbie/Disney Princess/Bratz/My favorite pop star!”

    I only saw my old friends at lunch and personally, the only things I thought of when looking back to childhood was how I missed who my old friends were and dearly disliked what they were becoming… because what they became were unrecognizable to me. (And I assure you they weren’t wearing clothes a size too small. No, they were trying to be cool by playing mean jokes, following the latest music trends and whatever clothing fit the clique they had entered.)

    Yeah, we played with Barbie dolls, but none of us saw her anything but a toy to play out ideas. I can’t fly, but I can make this doll have the powers to. I can’t be a mom yet, but I can role play with this doll that looks like an adult and make her interact with this male doll and this child doll. Then we’d get bored and put them away to do other games. ‘Cause you know, we actually had more than JUST fashion dolls in our rooms.
    Yeah, some of my friends liked playing dress-up and would wear princess clothes, but again, that was to enter and play in an imaginary universe. Once that was done with, we’d get in our regular clothes and do something else. We never tried to go to school looking like that.

    I admit, once when really little I looked at a fashion doll with all her fashion model curves, blue eyes and blonde hair and thought, “Am I going to look like this when older?” I thought, maybe, maybe not. Why? Because the doll certainly didn’t look like my mother or any other adult I knew. I was absolutely fine with that. I didn’t know how some women managed to look so thin, why some had bigger or smaller chests or why they weren’t all white-skinned, blue-eyed and blondes. I didn’t even care. I just thought “presto-change-o”, when older I’ll suddenly look like this or that!

    The only time I ever felt sad or inadequate as a child was when I saw all the girls (who ultimately became the the middle and high school cheerleaders later on) who were white-skinned with long hair… because I was a minority and couldn’t grow my hair out long unless I wanted to feel like I was wearing a bearskin coat. My own sister made me feel not as pretty because she could grow her beautiful black hair out. NONE of my dolls ever made me feel that way. The only thing I didn’t like about them was that there was never any with short, black hair and the same skin-color as mine… which I just fixed by cutting the hair short and coloring it with a black sharpie marker.

    I am pretty sure fashion dolls influenced none of our decisions once we entered puberty. The natures we were born with did. The amount of confidence our parents and friends nurtured into us did. Our present peers did. The flawed public school system did. The strange hormones that weren’t there before did. Fear did.

    And those good, wholesome shows that teach lessons about being good friends, sticking together, keeping promises, telling the truth and such… I believed them. I believed in BFFs, watching each others backs and doing your best. Entering middle school, I learned that was all a sweet, idealistic fantasy. I could no longer believe in true, lasting friendship.

    The lessons those shows taught on how to handle big, serious problems like bullying, having fights with friends and seeking help? I didn’t remember any of those lessons! Those were cartoons I saw as a small child years ago! Maybe if I still had watched them as a tween-young teen they would have been useful and only if the right episode was playing the day I was having the very problem it addressed… But again, those are in fictional, idealistic worlds and only take into account one type of character with a specific background and another type of character with a specific background.

    Anyway, a lot of this is based on my own history and what I saw in those I grew up with, so I know it doesn’t apply to everyone. Seriously, though… parents… look back to the time you were growing up. Think of some of the things you played with or watched. Did the things you see now as dark and scary stuff even register when you were little? Or was it something only the adults understood and just flew over your head? Look at the dark and scary scenes shown in Disney movies. Look at some Don Bluth films. Look at the toys your brothers played with – especially the villains. Did they scare you?

    If some of those things did scare you as a child, that is understandable. Nevertheless, the only time they could haunt you was if you watched it again (which your parents would kindly make sure didn’t happen until you were old enough or actually wanted to watch again but needed them to skip over the scary parts for them) or if your brother was mean and thought it was fun to scare you with one of his scary-looking toys. (Which the parents would have to confiscate from him until he learned that just because he was having fun didn’t mean you were and that he was being a mean little boy.)


  1. […] baring treatment too. I know, ‘cause I’m one of ‘em. Mind you, some may blanch at putting the Monster High doll sexualization and tween YouTube “Am I Ugly” objectification and self-esteem turbulence in the same bucket as […]

  2. […] maneuver to realign Mattel’s snippy girl on girl bullying and hyper-sexualized dolls which  have taken some heat in the media & marketplace by parents in a lame attempt to ‘reframe’ and ‘reposition the […]

  3. […] maneuver to realign Mattel’s snippy girl on girl bullying and hyper-sexualized dolls which  have taken some heat in the media & marketplace by parents in a lame attempt to ‘reframe’ and ‘reposition the […]

  4. […] baring treatment too. I know, ‘cause I’m one of ‘em. Mind you, some may blanch at putting the Monster High doll sexualization and tween YouTube “Am I Ugly” objectification and self-esteem turbulence in the same bucket as […]

Speak Your Mind