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Toys blamed for teens who hate themselves

April 30th, 2008     by Jessica Yee     Comments

This interesting article from the Courier Mail in Australia was sent to me recently.

Here’s a nice little snippet:

PRESCHOOL girls are being targeted with sexed-up dolls, which could create a generation of teenagers who hate themselves, experts say.

Queensland child protection group Bravehearts told the Senate inquiry into “the Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media Environment” that sexualised dolls were being marketed to girls at a younger age than ever before.

“Barbie dolls, originally marketed at six to 10-year olds, are now appealing to three to six-year olds and highly sexualised dolls such as Bratz and MyScene dolls are at the forefront of a trend that promotes stereotyped and sexualised images,” the submission’s author, Hetty Johnston, said.

She said the dolls’ “fishnet stockings, tight-fitting clothes, high heels and heavily made-up faces and large pouty lips” exposed little girls to dangerous stereotypes.

Now I’ve always been of the mindset that we cannot leave it up to the media and pop culture to be the sole forms of education for our children, however I have been noticing the shift in the appearance of toys like Bratz dolls.

I would also hope that the ability to teach self and social confidence would trump materialistic followings like toys, or even better make people empowered in their own sexuality while wearing things like “fishnet stockings, tight-fighting clothes, etc”.

I could never find a Barbie that looked like me anyway.

What say you? Can we really blame toys for the oversexualization that has occurred in mainstream society?

Tags: body politics, media savvy

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