Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hey There, Dollface

I'm going to file this loosely under sex and body image. It seems that Hasbro, the company that brought you the Bratz dolls, is planning to roll out its own Pussycat dolls. Yes, they're modeled after these Pussycat Dolls, and are intended for your 6 to 9 year old.

Hasbro's general manager for marketing said, "Bratz has pushed the envelope in this area and has been extraordinarily successful." I don't think we're trying to push the envelope any further, but we're trying to add an aspect of realism. These are people that have real careers." Girls, never give up your dream of a career as an underdressed Vegas performer. Sigh.

Meanwhile, the collectors edition Barbie being released this month is a French maid, which supposedly "celebrates the working woman."

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like... these dolls?

FYI - the Pussycat Dolls thing came out a couple of weeks ago, but I just noticed it. Lots of comments on the news at Huffington Post and Blogging Baby.

One more doll thing. Oh my. I'm aware of the Real Doll company (thanks, Mark...), so their existence is no surprise. However, Salon talked to the founder last fall, who shared some stories of weird and disturbing customer encounters:

"While he does do custom work on occasion for customers who are willing to pay the price or have legitimate needs, say a paraplegic who needs a lightweight doll he can easily move around in his lap -- McMullen does sometimes put his foot down. No lactating dolls, urinating dolls, amputees, 7-foot-tall dolls, Britney Spears replicas, or dolls with armpit hair or heartbeats. And no dogs either, as was the request of one prospective customer... Another prospective customer sent nude pictures of his 60-year-old mother, wanting a custom-built replica. Then there was the surgical pathologist who wanted a vagina duplicated from a specimen he had in a jar. As for the frequent requests for child dolls, those are also flatly rejected. 'I don't get into debates, scolding them, I just say I can't go there, sorry,' McMullen says."

You know, I'm glad he's not making sex dolls modeled after children or dogs. I'm not, however, sure how those things are at all equivalent with armpit hair, particularly when he does allow customers to choose between 3 types each of pubic hair color and style.

I'm going to go scrub out my eyeballs with bleach now. Do not try this at home! :P

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MeSH Tags: Body Image; Play and Playthings; Sexual Behavior


Blogger Joe Powell said...

Aiming to market them at the six-to-nine year olds?? Amazing. Seems more than a little odd to market a neo-burlesque act to that age group.

And I read that Salon article, which was more than a little creepy, noting how often horrifically damaged "dolls" bring requests for "repairs. The look like household training items for potential serial killers.

Wasn't it H.L. Mencken who wrote "No one ever lost a dollar underestimating the taste of the American public?"

8:19 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I agree - the bits on the damage to the dolls really disturbed me, but I needed to think about it more before talking about it. I'd be curious as to whether, for those specific individuals, the availability of the dolls prevents them from acting out against real women, or if their activities eventually escalate to real human violence.

10:12 AM  

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