Yet another reason why I love Monster High dolls (or- Why I love that my daughter has these to play with when I only had Barbies)
Ok, not to constantly be bashing Barbie BUT…
When I was growing up, Barbie held many many colorful jobs. She was a pre-school teacher, an actress, and an astronaut (I don’t know how cause that one time she DID talk she was talking bout how hard math is!) but mostly it seemed like she was a bikini model or bride. She came with an array of tiny sporting goods (like cute tennis outfits and such) but the one I remember getting was “aerobics workout Barbie” with her neon spandex and headband, and pink weights.
When I look back on this, it really seemed like for one thing, she was given to follow whatever passing craze came along but mostly that Barbie couldn’t hold a job! No srsly, with a resume like that, I would assume someone is flaky and has problems committing to one thing, for the long term! (lol)
I was looking at my unopened dolls and thinking how my favorites are the Classroom dolls. Here you have two girls who are showing off their skills in Science and PE (two things the girls always seemed to hate when I was growing up) and one girl kind of drudging thru Home Economics (which is cute, considering how antiquated a class Home Ec is- teaching girls to cook and sew while the boys learned mechanics? Blegh). You look at the fashion packs and they aren’t all just “look what I bought at the mall”- they show an interest in things they WANT TO BE- Newspaper Club, Entrepreneurial Club (NOT just fashion plate or fashion design- Clawdeen wants to RUN SHIT) and undercover News reporter (or gossip columnist, but still- its a living!). They have specific uniforms for their sporting interests (not just an endless variety of Bikinis for tanning in) and cheerleading (which I’m not fond of in real life, but understand the effort it takes to be one). They even represent something as “nerdy” as interest in comics!
Barbie went thru phases of fads as we did- hip hop, aerobics, rocker girl, but it always seemed like she was just running with the crowd. The MH girls have their specific interests, and skill sets but mostly- they have potential. They can grow up to be anything they want! (much like I always tell my daughter) And there is enough variety in the characters that girls who play with them can almost certainly find one they identify with. Whether they’re the star of the soccer team, a biology nerd, a comic geek, or a shy violet who sits and listens to the gossip but only really feels comfortable on her comp, dishing it out. They mention their favorite subjects, not just “what I wore to school today” (in spite of fashion being a big deal). They actively participate in sports, and extra-curriculars. It’s pretty cool to have dolls who are so cute and varied as opposed to Barbie and her bland sisters Midge and Skipper (who never seemed to really have interests of their own) or Ken, who’s always either at the Beach or at an alter. (Keep in mind, I haven’t bought Barbies in yeeears).
And yes, there is the “Be Yourself” thing. But then, we had a doll like that in the late 80s I think. The “Happy to be Me” doll. She had more human proportions, but STILL came only with a goddamn bathing suit. I don’t remember ever finding clothes for her. Yeah, those went no where. I’m more inclined to believe that you should always “be yourself” from someone with profuse bodily hair than a cute redhead (Hey- I’m hispanic, unfortunately profuse bodily hair was an issue! XD )
So, when it comes down to it, I think Mattel really hit it out of the park with these babies. It is not just their looks that has me trudging to TRU every Friday morning. As a mother, I’m relieved that my daughter has such interesting things to play with and be inspired by (like her interest in photography, and when she draws them). She LOOVES science and likes Lagoonas Classroom Set. She likes Spectra cause she’s “Shy like” her. She likes Abbey cause she doesn’t believe in all the flirting and game playing with the boys (THANK ALL THE GODS FOR THIS CHARACTER). And I like them because they are adorable and have inspired me to start drawing again as well. (In addition to reasons stated above)
And just for the record, Barbie- I DON’T hate you. Its just that back then I was a little Monster in a Barbie world and it was hell. I’ve noticed you’ve become an architect, recently. I wish you much luck with that. Maybe you’ll stick to this one!