Monster high, a monstrous success

Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster.

After the Lego for girls, which we mentioned in a previous blog post, I share with you another podcast about girls’ toys: this one deals with the success of Monster High, these Barbies with a gothic style. I’ve really discovered those dolls recently when my daughter (almost 6 years old) saw one of them at school and asked if she could have one for her birthday.

Monster Girls rather than All-pink-lolita-Barbies

Hi! We are the Monster High ! Barbie is so has-been, right?

At first sight, these dolls seem to be a good idea, monster girls rather than all-pink-lolita-Barbies. They might be “monstrous” (my favorite is the one with two heads!), but nothing scary at all and I find their anti-conformist style rather fun.

Yes I have two heads and a fish tail, so what? Be yourself!

The overall concept is attractive. The Monster High creators’ ambition was to convey a message of tolerance and self-confidence, as illustrated by the slogan “Be unique, be yourself, be a monster.” To make it short, accept yourself as you are and don’t be ashamed of your faults. With their very eccentric look, with skins and hair that can be absolutely all colors, the Monster High dolls embody a very different model from Barbie so blonde-white-perfect-and-nice.

Barbie or Monster High, not so different after all

However, they are very, very skinny  (their arms and legs… OMG !!!), heavily made up (be yourself but only with a ton of makeup) and extremely sexy… That’s really too much for me. Lower heels, less makeup and more flesh, am I asking too much?

Mattel executives say they did not anticipate the runaway success of the goth-influenced Monster High brand when it debuted in 2010.
Hey, put on your 12-centimeters heels and your micro skirt in size 32 and join us! We’re going to buy fake eyelashes!

Many people have criticized  Barbie dolls for  promoting an unreal body type, but I do not see anything better here. Yes, it is less pink and cheesy. Yes, they are more fun and quirky, but  do they offer an alternative to girls’ toys dominated by thinness, the cult of appearance and hyper-sexualization? From this perspective, unfortunately not: Barbie or Monster High, not so different after all…

You can listen to the NPR’s podcast below.

NPR had published a series of podcasts on the impact of entertainment (TV, games …) on children. It is not very recent, but most episodes, including this one, are still relevant.

The transcript is available on NPR’s website

Ps:  Stereotips is a blog created and managed by 2 French girls who want to share their ideas beyond the French-speaking community. This post is a “home-made” translation from French. So if you see any typo or mistake, feel free to contact us! Thanks!

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