Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Bratz Movie. Fishnet Stockings and Feather Boas?

The big-headed, big lipped, wide-eyed and sexy (some call slutty) Bratz dolls, a new generation of dolls developed in 2001 are making their way to the large screen this summer. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) "Bratz dolls come dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and feather boas ... It is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality." The APA created a Task force on the Sexualization of Girls.

Bratz dolls offer an extraordinary case study for “Passion for Fashion” doll branding and media in the U.S. They are well represented in Wikipedia with their development and multi-media history—wonder how their entry got there. The team at the toy company has been very sharp at promoting these dolls with 2D animation movies and continuing to come up with new figures including boyfriends for the dolls. Ok, so how’s this all different than Barbie and Ken? It’s really not. Competition is healthy and Bratz is using an entire arsenal of media ventures to promote the brand. No different than any other consumer product.

But let’s get back to the movie. So now Bratz dolls are turning real. The Bratz movie is all about being anything you want to be—not being in a clique. Perhaps that’s oversimplifying. Oh--they also want to win a talent contest. The movie has Angelie Jolie’s father, Jon Voight as the school Principal and American Idol’s Paula Abdul. Of course there’s a soundtrack, including a Black Eyed Peas song, Express Yourself. According to the producer, Avi Arad "There's nothing in the movie you wouldn't want your 5-year-old to see, there are a lot of great life lessons." It all happens August 3rd. According to Chelsea Staub, 18, a Hollywood newcomer, "I think parents will be impressed." Hmm. I wonder.