Friday, March 25, 2011

Grab Bag Friday: Is it Morally Wrong to Give Strawberry Shortcake a Makeover?

A few weeks ago, in a fit of procrastination-induced nostalgia, Kevin and I did a little e-bay searching for a once-loved toy of mine. (Man, I loved that it was portable so I could set it up anywhere in the house and rock out to "Sugar, Sugar, oh Honey, Honey, you are my candy GIRL"...which I totally thought was a song SS and the gang had stolen from The Archies. My first foray into the world of music licensing. But that's a story for another day.)

Anyway, in our search, I found out that my dear Miss Shortcake has undergone quite the makeover in the last few years:

Poor Kevin had to witness quite a tirade. I was completely appalled. Does Strawberry Shortcake really need to be all glammed up like a teen Disney star with glossy long locks and that RIDICULOUS pageboy hat? Isn't this just one more step along the slippery slope of pushing young girls into sexualization at a younger and younger age? When Strawberry's makeover came out, the blog Shaping Youth, in fact, wrote up a very similar response.

This kind of thing makes me crazy. Take Dora the Explorer, for example. The whole reason we all love Dora is because she's a regular, albeit bilingual, kid. So why do we need tween Dora? Do we seriously want to teach girls that being a normal kid is okay as long as you eventually "blossom" into a thin, pretty kid with stylish clothes? (Below image from AboutFace):

Or is this all simply marketing common sense? Dora lovers grow up and and voila! a new product line now awaits. I can admit the old Strawberry Shortcake was outdated and frumpy and her shoes looked like potatoes. But still.

I had blissfully pushed this all to the back of my mind until yesterday when I followed Fuse #8's link to Peggy Orenstein's post about the new Trollz. The TrollZ, you ask? With a Z? Oh, yes.

These little guys:

Have been transformed into Trollz:

Sigh. What do YOU think?


Anonymous said...

Sex it up Baby!
moooooooo... mooooooo... moooooo....


Anonymous said...

Perhaps SS and Dora are trying to compete with the Bratz dolls. You know the Bratz dolls - they are the ones working the corner at the end of the doll aisles.