Moxie Girls: Be You (but hip)
Posted by Rosepixie on November 8, 2009
The makers of Bratz dolls recently lost the rights to them in a lawsuit and had to create a new product. Their all new, shiny doll line is the Moxie Girlz (what is it with wordz ending in z?). Here’s their new commercial:
First thoughts: wow, for a commercial about individuality and being yourself, those were a bunch of awfully similar girls. Not a non-white girl in the bunch (although the starring girl looked a little darker? maybe? and even the dark-skinned doll has a really light shade of dark skin – see below), all slender and dressed in the same Hannah-Montana-hip way. Oh yeah, I see a lot of moxie here.
The designer of this line said in a press release (which I lost – sorry) that he was trying to design a line of dolls that were less high fashion than Bratz, more like the actual girls who would be buying them. He claimed to be aiming for them to look like girls in that range (usually quoted at around 6-10) and be dressed in clothes they might actually wear. Lets get a closer look at the dolls and see how well that worked:
Ok, they’re vaguely cute dolls in their own way (far more cute than Bratz, anyway), but they don’t look like normal 8-10 year old girls. First off, the vast majority of 6-10 year old girls don’t have hourglass figures. Sorry, breasts and hips don’t really start to develop until later for most girls. Second, while I’ve seen 6-10 year olds that dress elaborately, rarely can they afford this kind of get-up and even more rarely do they spend the kind of time necessary to put one together every day. At that age most kids have better things to do. At least they aren’t terribly slutty, though.
So, going back to the commercial, the girls are celebrating their individuality. But they only talk about being creative and we only see them doing artistic and musical things. So, what if a girl is into sports or likes doing science experiments or is building her own go-kart? None of those things go with moxie? Only arts? That doesn’t sound very much like it’s really celebrating individuality, it sounds like it’s celebrating the stereotypical “girls are more creative and like to express their feelings and create beautiful things in cooperative groups” view. That’s not moxie, guys. That’s mainstream stereotyping. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with girls like the ones in this ad and they can claim as much moxie as anyone else, but what about the science girls and the soccer stars and the girl who volunteers every weekend because she’s going to save the world someday? Don’t they count? Barbie may not always get it, but at least their new lines include girls of all different interests (and they have a new line of black dolls who have more accurate black features with a whole range of skin tones from light to very dark).
For the record, my dictionary defines “moxie” as “the ability to face difficulty with spirit, pluck”.
Any one else have different reactions to this (either the dolls or the commercial or both)?