The debate about poor doll ‘role models’ is a thing of the past – Barbie has already been there and done that. With the changing times, you’ll be seeing more of the latest crop of modern dolls to hit the market–just in time for the holiday season. As some shoppers search for the next best thing in Christmas gifts, there’s another wave of oversexualized dolls that follow in the same sort of footsteps as the Monster High Dolls we’ve mentioned before. Toy company Mattel has done it again with the Ever After High line, but this time, there’s a different twist to the message that these toys send out.
Following a storyline that features some of the most well-known of children’s fairy tale characters, Ever After High takes place in a fictional high school setting. The characters are destined to follow in their parents’ footsteps so that their stories may live on throughout future generations. If not, then there stories will no longer be told. However, when a character named Raven is not pleased with her destiny; she decides to write own her tale. This causes the school to get divided into two different groups: the ‘Royals’ and the ‘Rebels.’ As a result, there are characters who know they will experience a ‘happily ever after’ ending, and those who are left with unpleasant destinies.
Ever After High sounds a lot like a case of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.’ There is a great deal of elitist undertones if you take a deeper look. You have the ‘elite’ fairy tale characters destined to lead a life of leisure and looking forward to good things happening to them, while the other population of characters must take matters into their own hands to break the cycle. The names of the opposing groups further intensify this division. The elite characters are referred to as the ‘Royals,’ a title that in our society reflects someone who is in charge of the masses. The characters with unfavorable destinies are called the ‘Rebels.’
To get an idea of the type of characters and messages associated with Ever After High, there is Apple White (daughter of Snow White). She is a ‘Royal,’ and portrayed as being quite self-centered at times. She appears naïve to anything occurring beyond her ‘perfect’ existence. She’s actually roommates with Raven (daughter of the Evil Queen), but Apple is unable to understand why some students choose to rebel against their own destinies.
Once again, the appearance of the dolls encourages young girls to embrace a much older look for their years. Three out of four dolls advertised on the front page of the Ever After High website are wearing ensembles that incorporate black lace. Although their outfits are a tad longer than the outfits worn by Monster High characters and other similar dolls on the market, they are still wearing clothing too mature for youths, as well as high-heeled shoes made for adults.
And then We Have the Fairy Tale High Dolls…
Another crop of dolls that fall under the same category are the Fairy Tale High dolls – not to be mistaken with the Ever After High dolls. Featuring teen versions of Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Belle, Tinkerbelle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Little Mermaid, and Rapunzel, every single one of the dolls send an oversexualized message to young girls as the dolls wear skirts that barely cover their bottoms, as well as rather high heels or high boots.
For example, the teenage version of the Little Mermaid is wearing fishnet stockings. The majority of the fashions the Fairy Tale High characters display aren’t even acceptable to wear at school, so why dress the dolls in clothing that is well beyond their maturity levels?