Can Bratz Dolls Be a Positive Influence on Young Girls?

Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha, and Jade – the Bratz “with a passion for fashion.” Since hitting store shelves several years ago, these dolls were immediately embraced mostly by elementary school-aged girls. However, not so embraced by parents who felt the dolls were a little scantly dressed to portray a positive image for these young minds. On the other hand, these dolls, and actually the characters these dolls represent, were widely accepted by open minded parents who saw these dolls as a positive influence on their daughters when it came to teaching young girls about diversity, friendships, and that taking pride in how you dress, is important. Bratz were not meant to be Barbie, who was always the perfect blond hair, blue eyed, tan girl from California who was nothing but perfect. But in real life, how many girls really look like that? How many girls can really relate to Barbie, other than wishing (sometimes to obsession) to look like her?

From inception, Bratz were portrayed as normal every day girls – big city girls, girls from the suburbs, small town girls. You have the white anglo, the Hispanic, the African-American, and the oriental girl, and they are all best friends. How more American than that can you get?

I realize this is a very debatable subject, however, I can only offer my opinion as a parent of a daughter who went through the phase of “everything Bratz.” Rather than looking down on the dolls because of their initial appearance, I took the “Bratz phase” as an opportunity to embrace several pre-teen issues with her.

For instance, Bratz dolls come with a large (and I mean LARGE) assortment of clothing and accessories for any and every occasion. Not only is the selection of clothing immense, so the election of accessories, as they really emphasize the importance of “accessorizing.” So, how can we turn this into a positive learning experience for our girls? Well, in a world in which more and more you see girls just throwing themselves together before heading to school, barely taking time to comb their hair and brush their teeth, we must really teach our girls that they, not matter how young, they must take pride in how they look. I don’t mean ten year olds looking like teenagers, but ten year olds that take time dress appropriately and start thinking about matching their clothes and what type of shoes look better with certain pants or skirts (obviously with your help). Of course, her choices would be limited by age appropriate clothing that you purchased for her.

What about true and loyal friendship? This is what Bratz are all about. I truly believe it is worth the time to rent or purchase the movie Bratz released in 2007. The movie is not a cartoon movie and the actresses used could not look more like the dolls. If your outlook on Bratz is a negative one, I am confident that the movie will change your mind, and if you a parent that likes the Bratz dolls, you will like them even better. The movie is all about how these four girls have been friends since elementary school, being there for each other through thick and thin, offering their friendship and support to each other unconditionally. They take care of themselves and dress nicely (in the movie clothing is appropriate for school girls), and they even address the issue of purchasing second hand clothing as to how cool it can be. The movie places these characters (the dolls your daughter plays with) in real life situations in school and how they over come them – all in a positive fashion. So, believe me, when you daughter plays with her Bratz dolls again, help her add personality and character to the dolls, it will make a world of difference and what could have been a negative influence on your daughter will turn into a fun learning experience, even without her realizing it.

Then, rather than looking down at these dolls, maybe because they are not the conventional Barbie that we grew up with, we should take them for what they are and let your daughter use her imagination as she plays and grows up developing “a passion for fashion.”

Guiding thoughts, guiding words, for guiding minds…….maribelclarissa

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