Doll Teaches Kids Pressures of Being Hairy


Siofan
on Mar 18, 2011 @ 01:44 pm

A doll being marketed to young kids is getting people talking as it sends the message to kids that body hair is something that needs to be managed through plucking and shaving, and that it's something to be embarrassed about. The doll, whose names is Clawdeen Wolf is the daughter of a werewolf, thus the body hair.

From the Globe and Mail:

In
the Monster High collection, a company spokesperson explained that
Clawdeen “has to shave and pluck between classes,”and that “girls of a certain age know about the embarrassment of unwanted hair in unwanted places.”


A Toys ‘R’ Us spokesperson in the U.S. says Clawdeen is the “most popular fashion doll we have today.”



Do you think we make too big a deal out of the toys kids play with? Or do you think that toys, and the messages they send, directly affect the way kids look at themselves and the world's expectations of them?
 


3 Replies


mamaluv
Clawdeen on Mar 18, 2011 @ 02:06 pm

Clawdeen and her Monster High buddies are actually based on a series of webisodes, so this is in essence just another merchandising deal based on a show like the High School Musical dolls or whatever.

My daughter owns Clawdeen and one other (can't remember), and she's never talked about the leg shaving or body hair at all. What she does get out of it is just the pressure to feel normal, to fit in. In a sense, I think Monster High has done a better job of portraying teens who feel awkward than, say, Barbie or even HSM which both give the impression that it's normal to automatically be part of the "It" crowd rather than on the fringes.

However, my daughter is fortunate to have no problems with unwanted facial hair at the moment, so I can imagine how sensitive girls would be more strongly affected by that problem.
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Siofan
thanks on Mar 21, 2011 @ 09:48 am

Yeah reading the bit about shaving freaked me out, I remember shaving my arms when I was ten because I thought that's what women did?

Thanks for explaining more about the character and message behind the dolls!
Reply

mamaluv
It's iffy on Mar 21, 2011 @ 10:51 am

It's definitely still a thorny question, and I'm sure there are many parents who feel very passionately about it. Truth is, any kind of doll, toy, or TV show comes with some sort of perceived message, so it comes down to how the parents deal with that and hopefully use it to create a learning opportunity. That's why some Disney movies are verboten in my house but others are not - it often comes down to every family's sensitivities and stances on the topic du jour.
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