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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:

Moxie Girlz

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)?

6 Responses to “Moxie Girls: Be You (but hip)”

  1. Eva said

    They have a slightly darker doll, but from what I can see she’s not in a lot of their advertising stills. (On the far right here:

    Their main website shows four different girlz with full bios. Their personality descriptions are… um yea, they’re bland but are very much proving your point about use of female stereotypes.

    On the up side, I appreciate that the dolls are not nearly as hypertyped as the Bratz were. They’re still very stylized, but I find them far less offensive to my sensibilities. Their clothes mostly reminded me that someone had told me there were plans to remake the 80’s show Jem. No need to do new costume designs, the Moxie girls have it all covered! 😛

    • Rosepixie said

      They are a bit less noxious than the Bratz dolls. And thanks for the link to the picture with the darker skinned doll! She hasn’t appeared in ANY of the advertising I’ve seen for the line, nor did that image come up in my search for the promo shot, so I didn’t know she existed! Of course, the fact that I did a fair amount of research on these dolls and still didn’t happen to find her says a lot. I did know there were four dolls, but she looks so light on the official website that I didn’t realize it a different shade from the darker-skinned doll in the picture I found. Clearly they have some work to do.

  2. Sheri said

    Moxie Girlz just recently came out, so how can you even compare them to Barbie or Bratz? They can’t just release 200 different looking dolls and dolls that have a gazillion different styles or interests, give them some time. They are very cute and you need to quit being so negative.

    • Rosepixie said

      I did say they were pretty cute. I brought up Bratz because the designer of the dolls explicitly did when he was discussing his vision for this line. The same team designed both, so it’s a natural comparison anyway. I did bring up Barbie, but I was referring to her recent lines of dolls similar to this one (My Scene and such), which are all similarly limited.

      I actually don’t think that I was incredibly critical of the dolls themselves, but rather more so of the commercial. The point of this blog is to comment on commercials and what they say and I still stand by what I said about this commercial. I don’t take Barbie’s history into account when I discuss her commercials, I focus on what that particular commercial said just like I did with this one.

      My interpretation is just that, though – an opinion. You are free to disagree with me and think it’s a great commercial! I like hearing other points of view and have several times gotten comments here with insights that made me think about an ad in a different way!

    • Eva said

      I think the point was that they were all “different” within the very narrow confines of what’s considered non-threatening for tween and teen girls. Sorry, they could do better than that even when they’re just launching the line. “They’re new” is not an excuse for releasing a substandard product in any arena.

      I actually thought Rosepixie was relatively kind to them on the whole. She had criticism but she also said some positive things and her tone was generally cordial. That’s a lot more than I can say for you. You’re welcome to disagree about the dolls, but you shouldn’t be leaving her rude comments. Just state your point of view and refrain from attacking her.

  3. […] by Rosepixie on March 18, 2010 I looked once before at a Moxie Girlz commercial.  Today I’ve got another one to talk about.  This commercial is specifically for the […]

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