At times, the competition for the attention of preadolescent girls looks like something of a downward spiral on the moral values - not to mention taste - front. After MGA Entertainment swept the field with its naughty-almost-nasty Bratz in 2001, Mattel responded last year with a trampy line of its own famous dolls, called My Scene Barbie. Now, Mr. Heyward and company are entering the fray with a multimedia product that is not exactly wholesome but that steps back from the sexual precipice.
--------from “New Babes In Toyland” (NYT 1-4-05) about the new “Trollz” line of fashion dolls.
Ok, it’s hard to dodge the trampy slap on “Bratz”. But that didn't stop Santa from dropping a poster of Yasmin under the tree for my six-year-old daughter. Face it; there’s no escaping the propaganda of neo-pubescence aimed directly at our girl children’s little psyches. As far as the minimum waist, maximum rack and unnaturally long legs with a bump goes, Barbie is the least of a parent’s worries these days. Even the cartoon good-girls--like Disney’s “Kim Possible” are drawn a little bad. At least one of the three Beverly Hills High hotties on “Totally Spies” (Cartoon Network) get hot and bothered about some guy on every ‘mission’. Yes, one of them is black, but it’s still hard to escape the impression that the world of my brown child’s preadolescent fantasies (yes, they seem to start as early as six these days) belongs to white blondes.
That’s why I’ve always been partial to “Bratz”. Whatever else you can say about their looks they’re not doing anything to keep traditional white girl-ness in vogue. And, as has been widely reported, they’ve been slamming their big wedgie shoes in Barbie’s narrow ass at the cash register for four toy seasons.
To inspire with literary journalism the awareness of one American
race, sharing multiple overlapping cultures that sum to more than their parts
as one society of sovereign individuals.
Like a gay white Puerto Rican Christian who feels hip-hop and reads
the New York Times. His/Her lover (fiancé in Massachusetts) is a Korean-American
bodybuilder, and a state trooper who idolizes Arnold Schwarzenegger. (O.K.,
I made them up)
Like a totally ghetto Indian (as in Bombay) American working her way
through community college as a clerk in a suburban Staples. (she’s real,
in Westchester County, NY)
Like a born blue-state non-Hispanic white person that renounces their
privilege without pretense, and sets out to live who they are, in love with
what American really means. (a composite of a whole lot of special white folks
I’ve been blessed to know)
Like a black man who would rather be himself than what anybody thinks
an African-American should be. Who says yes to his individual and collective
heritage of struggle for inclusion, and no to the humbug of identity politics.
Who will not yield his embrace of all the heritages that inform his soul.
Our stories deserve better than they’re getting right
now, from commercial culture, mainstream media and even the activist/alternative
media. My mission for 2005 is to draw in as many people as I can with tales
of the American Race, an up and coming people. Their is much to be worked out,
in truth beyond the politics of fear that I believe will one day set us free.