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Barbie's off boozin' with the Bratz Pack


Anthonette Klinkerman

December 16, 2007

I'm reeling. For the second time in a month I have had to call ToysRUs to complain about a doll that appears to be promoting alcohol. First, it was the Bratz Movie Party Bus with its tiny cocktail glasses and blender, marketed to 6 year olds and up. As if that weren't asinine enough, my students told me that the dolls are so out of proportion you have to take off their feet to change their trampy little outfits.

This time it's the Barbie Party Plane & Ship 2-in-1 Playset with its miniature pink martini glasses, complete with garnish hanging over the sides. This one is actually marketed to 3 year olds and up. You read that correctly. I'm fairly certain I don't even want to know what is aboard the Barbie Party Bus that "features lots of fun accessories", also "ages 3 and up."

I am completely sickened at this ridiculous glorification of movie star glamor and of "partying" that is being aimed right at our nation's little girls. The message screams, "If you're not famous for doing zilch, not dressed like a sleaze, and don't have cocktails at the ready, your life is boring. Poor you."

And if you don't think this message is getting through, I've got news for you: middle schoolers being intoxicated on school grounds does happen. Dress code battles rage on year after year. Teens do get pregnant. Teens do die of overdoses.

Here's another news flash, but for these moron toy makers: not every little girl aspires to be the next American Idol. Shocker, I know. Even though Barbie's proportions scarred me for life, she at least tried her hand at being a veterinarian and some other careers that required functioning gray matter. However, she promptly dipped her deformed feet into the political arena, sharp little red suit, flouncy, star-spangled blue ball gown and all.

I guess I could sue Mattel for now having hang-ups about my proportions, but then real potatoes would go after the PotatoHeads, dump trucks would accuse Tonka of steroid use... it would be a mess.

I count myself fortunate that my daughter prefers hanging out at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She has no clue what a Disney Princess is, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

She and two other girls at the museum the other day played for 30 minutes straight that they were flying the Space Shuttle. I had to remark to Mr. K that the odds against this scenario, even as 2007 winds down, are still stacked against it.

One look at the toy advertisements makes it pretty clear as to why.

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