Toys are growing up, shedding their baby fat, and waxing their legs. Even Disney fairies are boasting hourglass figures and trading in their innocent ballerina look for saucy wardrobes.
So much for toys sparking a child's imagination and creativity. In recent years, Disney, Mattel and other toy makers have taken their iconic brands and tarted them up, according to MSNBC. The new, edgier look reaches for something that's beyond the realm of fairy-tale sweetness.
And these tramped-up toys are making lots of parents, including some vocal Circle of Moms members, very uncomfortable.
"I don't understand why Dora needed a makeover," says Emily H. "Do we really want our children to have role models that are sexy?"
"Is Dora going to be the next Bratz?" asks Ana M. "My girl loves Dora and my one biggest fear is that they are going to skank her up, like those dreaded Bratz dolls. My girl doesn't need more pressure to be sexy. She's going to get that pressure when she's a teen, let her be a kid for a little longer. I think kids aren't being allowed to be kids anymore and it makes me sad."
Many moms who object to racy dolls have posted about the dilemmas they pose, noting that their kids tend to recieve these toys as gifts at birthday parties and on holidays: "There are certain toys I will never allow my children to have (i.e. Bratz dolls, toy weapons, etc.)," says Colleen H., because of their negative messages. "But it's hard when they are given the toy by someone who doesn't know our thoughts on it, especially when all the other children have this toy."
Dale Atkins, a psychologist and MSNBC contributor, told Today.com that she's upset about what the shift towards sexy teaches girls about their own appearances:
“When we have these ridiculous models — sexualized children, and horses with long eyelashes that are flirtatious and all of that — it sets up this ideal of beauty and body image that kids have to pay attention to because they can’t not pay attention to it," Atkins told MSNBC. "And they feel less good as they’re trying to develop a good sense about their own bodies. The sexualized aspect just makes them feel like they're only good if they are objectified. ... And it's all so subtle, for a child anyway. We parents and adults look at this and say, 'Oh my gosh, this is so blatant, but in fact it's subtle because kids are playing with these things and then they look in the mirror."
How do you feel about the growing sophistication of today's toys? Do you avoid buying them for your kids? And what do you do when they receive them as gifts?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.