June 23, 2010

Toys Receiving Makeovers: New, Improved, Sexy?

I’m not ashamed to admit, I have a bit of an obsession with the 80’s.  I grew up in the decade, spend plenty of time listening to the music of the time, and have seen VH1’s entire I Love The 80’s series more times than I can count.  I toted my books to school in my Lisa Frank backpack, wrote on the stationary, used the pens and pencils, all decorated with trippy-neon penguins, polar bears, dolphins.  So last week when I read on Jezebel, that Lisa Frank school products have received an update, I was incredibly disappointed to learn that the brand has traded in fushia and purple unicorns for images that better resemble Bratz dolls.

Unfortunately this is just the newest in a string of recent “makeovers” that 80s toys and cartoons have received:

Polly Pocket’s wardrobe now consists of high heels, miniskirts, midriff tops, and knee-hits, and she’s no longer, uh, pocket sized.


June 5, 2010

Baby Gaga: simple role playing or kiddie porn?

Filed under: Sexuality — Tags: , , , , , — Melanie @ 10:19 pm

Yet another girl is pimped out by parents in order to create an internet frenzy. “Baby Gaga” was featured on the Huffington Post today and, to be honest, I felt like I was watching kiddie porn. The simple role playing and dress-up games I engaged in in my youth have become too serious and public for me to be comfortable with. We live in an age when younger and younger girls are sexualized and online access places them at direct risk of coming into contact with registered sex offenders.  In this context, a video like this seems incredibly irresponsible and blinded by potential hits (and a reality show, perhaps?).

For more on sexualizing young girls read my previous posts on gyrating 7 year-olds, sexy kids (toddlers and infants).

May 12, 2010

Gyrating 7-year-olds gone viral

Filed under: Sexuality — Tags: , , , — Melanie @ 5:05 pm

Here’s the latest video making its rounds on the internet of yet another group imitating Beyonce‘s video, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). Only this time it’s a bunch of midriff-bearing, gyrating 7-year-olds.


First, I find the entire performance from song choice to costuming and choreography uncomfortable (it makes Toddlers to Tiaras and the teeny beauty queens from Little Miss Sunshine appear tame). Plus, I’ve never considered Beyonce’s lyrics as a message of empowerment for young girls.

Now put your hands up
Up in the club, we just broke up
I’m doing my own little thing
Decided to dip and now you wanna trip
Cause another brother noticed me

I’m up on him, he up on me
Don’t pay him any attention
Just cried my tears, for three good years
Ya can’t be mad at me

Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Oh, oh, oh

If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it

I got gloss on my lips, a man on my hips
Got me tighter in my Dereon jeans
Acting up, drink in my cup
I can care less what you think

According to Beyonce, empowerment is about making an ex jealous as she struts around with gloss on her lips, a man on her hip in her tight fitting jeans (which Beyonce’s brand, House of Dereon, marketed to young girls in a series of equally disturbing  ads featuring girls posing as young women ready to hit the club). If he really “liked it,” he should have “put a ring on it.” Really? That’s a message of empowerment. Personally, I’d like more than the opportunity to rub my gyrating body in my ex’s face for not marrying me.