Once an innocent past time to a now sexualised toy, the transformation of My Little Pony has now reached new levels, Equestria Girls is a humanised version of the ponies, the girls are symbolised by their trademark ponytails and colourful skin but each girl has something in common, they’re all slim with short clothing on, like any of doll on the market it is providing an unnatural body image to children and the short dresses can be seen as far too sexy and inappropriate for children.
The original My Little Pony as pictured above is long overshadowed by the new design, although the original isn’t as colourful it keeps its design simple and allows children to enjoy the simplicity of it rather than the new slim versions which have much more make up on and are slimmer. Why have Hasbro only just decided now to humanise the ponies? It will no longer be a niche product compared to all the other dolls currently on the market such as Monster High which like the Equestrian Girl Character above has a character called Frankie Stein which also has the blue skin colour.
In a society where there is a high pressure to have the ‘perfect’ body image it doesn’t seem right for little girls who love to play with their dolls to be subjected to ones with a sexualised appearance, near enough all the dolls on the market have a similar body, always slim, make up and short clothing, it isn’t going to give off a good impression to young minds who could think that being slim and perfect is the right way to be. Could it possibly lead to subjecting choices down to beauty, If a girl starts off by wanting the prettiest doll and rejecting one because it isn’t good enough could it lead to future choices with their friendships? It could be possible that they pick their friends based on looks alone and not whether or not they are nice people to be around.
Whilst researching the dolls market on the Toysrus site I came across the above doll known as Jade J’Adore from the Bratz dolls range known as Bratzillas. It states “Jade J’Adore loves everything about love and has the power to heal a broken heart!” personally I find this doll looks far too provocative with the way it is posing, Bratz dolls are recommended for ages 8 and older, it seems odd to me that an 8 year old would know much about love and broken hearts.
If all future dolls are made to look like Jade J’Adore then I worry about the minds of those who have to grow up with them, they wont know that body image is fine in any size, they’ll just assume that you have to be stick thin to be beautiful and wear lots of make up. I feel that the environment you grown up in contributes to the way you feel and act about certain subjects so an environment filled with pretty dolls is only going to put emphasis on vanity and body image, children should be carefree and confident, when they are older if they don’t have the perfect body or make up they could feel self conscious and the need to achieve the unrealistic vision of beauty, if they grow up with unrealistic role models and toys representing an unrealistic image then they could wonder why they aren’t so slim or why they didn’t grow up to look so perfect.Im not sure as to whether or not Barbie is still as popular as she used to be but her appearance doesn’t seem as sexualised as the other dolls included in this blog post, sure she still have her perfect blonde hair and make up but her outfits are much more appropriate and don’t sexualise her body. I quite liked that with the Spa Barbie play set she has a facemask included as it has a sense of achieving her beauty rather than just having it.
It cant be predicted what future dolls will have but it is most likely that they will remain to be manufactured with the slim body, short skirts and dresses and overly done make up. Would it be so wrong for a doll to feature a curvier body or natural beauty with no make up? Introducing dolls with all sorts of body shapes, ethnicity, and sizes could cause a new shift in the body image stakes and lead a childs future to believe that they don’t have to be stick thin like dolls and models and they can be comfortable in their own skin.
*images from Google