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Tarted Up Toys

Tarted Up Toys

First it was Dora the Explorer. Now, according to MSNBC, Tinker Bell is getting tarted up.

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 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.

Join The Conversation
LauraHughes29228 LauraHughes29228 4 years
I had to throw away some magnetic dress up dolls that my MOM bought my daughter because all of the clothes show the girls' mid-drifts. It made me so upset that she would buy them, but then again, she does whatever 4 year old Maddie wants, which is another subject. But I am very upset with all of these dolls and fairies that are half-naked all of the time. Ugh!!
BethanyJoslyn BethanyJoslyn 5 years
really, these toys aren't as bad as everyone makes them out to be. my daughter plays with Bratz dolls, and i hated them at first. but she has watched a few of the videos and they have a really good message! they are all about friendship and expressing yourself! i also happen to have quite a bit of control over the clothes my 8 year old wears since i am her mother. i simply don't let her wear what i feel is inappropriate. easy as that! and I teach her about how to dress in a respectable way! but then again, this is my job as her parent! she has also been playing with barbies for several years now. she loves playing pretend with them. but now she REALLY love the monster high dolls! which, again, are all about accepting everyone for who they are! and showing that everyone is different! and of course she just loves monsters! but little girls aren't seeing these dolls the way we see them! and why are we spending so much time judging these dolls when we are trying to teach our children not to judge others? i thought we were suppose to be teaching our children to not judge based on appearance. i thought we are trying to teach our children to accept everyone for who they are and not how they look. Barbie teaches girls they an be whatever they want to be! and astronaut! a lawyer! a teacher! a doctor! and that they should be kind and generous to everyone! that helping others is cool! and it makes you feel great! and being mean makes everyone feel bad and that you should try to talk things out! and you should express yourself! all that from a doll? it's true.
camie53646 camie53646 5 years
A wonderful documentary called Miss Representation has been made about this issue. Watch the 8 minute trailer on You Tube. The film itself is 90 minutes, but at the conclusion it offers suggestions on what we can ALL do to help stem this tide and help our girls realize they have more value than simply their appearence. I visit high schools to talk about healthy relaltionships, and I showed the trailer to the Health classes and the girls LOVED it!
JenniMacLean JenniMacLean 5 years
While kids do get some pressure from their peers and society on what they should be, by far the greatest influence on them is their parents. What image do you portray? What do you expect of them?
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