In the 1960's The Munsters became the monsters of suburbia. Originated from monsters that struck fear into the generations before, the Frankenstein's monster, the werewolf, and again, vampires were sitcom fodder, and nothing to fear. The Munsters are being re-made and is going to air on NBC in the fall 2012. I have a feeling each and everyone of them is going to be a brooding, Edward Cullen-esque sad sack, and that's no fun to watch. Just once I wish I had a monster hero (or heroine) that tore the throats out of their victims and made me laugh!
Now, monsters are cool even for little girls! When I first saw the Monster High dolls at Target I took a picture of the display with my phone and sent it to my sister with the appropriate "WTF?" attached.
I loved Barbie dolls when I was a kid. We had over 40 of them and they all got into very scandalous story lines inspired, no doubt, by The Young and the Restless, which we were forced to watch at our grandma's house over the summer. By the time those slutty Bratz dolls appeared on the scene I was in my early 20's, but they were a big hit with my little cousin, who did this to the Bratz head doll she received for Christmas 2007.
According to the Monster High website, the dolls are made to encourage young girls to not be Mean Ghouls and "Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster." The monsters of Monster High are:
Cleo de Nile. Daughter of The Mummy. She is the captain of the fearleading squad and loves gold.. And her biggest pet peeve is when someone refuses to obey her. Geez.
Operetta. Daughter of The Phantom of the Opera (and Christine, I assume?) She is a "high-octane rockabilly phantom!" She also has "the ginchiest tat ever." I have no idea what ginchiest means.
Abbey Bominable. Daughter of The Yeti. She loves fur. Her favorite food is "cheese of the yak" Her flaw is that she "lacks tact." Which can be said for every high school student probably.
And these are only the original characters! And none of the boys! There are at least ten more Monster High characters. If you are truly interested, visit the Monster High website, monsterhigh.com.
I'm not against these dolls, in theory. I think it's kind of cute and clever to have such a product out there for kids, taking the fear out of the "monster" and making them friendly and non-threatening. The thing I take issue with is the Bratz aesthetic these dolls are made in. The giant lips, the big eyes, the long legs, high, high heels. I only graduated from high school eleven years ago, and none of the girls looked like this. I know things are different now, with the saturation of stuff like the Kardashian brand and that "fake" look. Girls look older and more done-up then they ever had, so maybe if I were to walk the halls of Blaine High School it would look like the runway of a cheap fashion show.
Certainly Barbie was a beauty standard that could never be attained, nor did I ever want to look like my Barbie doll (okay, maybe I wanted her hair....a little.) To me, Barbie was about playing "adult," pretending to be mature and sophisticated. So, maybe I should stop my pearl-clutching and have a little more faith in the little girls of today. If they were like me, they don't want to look like their Bratz or Monster High dolls, they just want to live through them for a little while. Their dolls are beautiful, and they are still at that age where they don't hate girls that are beautiful, they love them for their beauty. And the Monster High dolls show a different standard of beauty. Yes, they are model-like in their looks, but there is something different about each of them. They are weird. They are scary. They're monsters, for pete's sake. So, they tagline "Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster." is the healthiest thing a little girl can hear.
And yes, the entire time I was writing this blog all I could think of is that episode of The Simpson where Lisa creates a doll and newsman Kent Brockman's daughter begs him to talk about her new dolly on the news because it's so much more interesting than anything else going on in the world. And he does.
"Though it was unusual to spend 28 minutes reporting on a doll, this reporter found it impossible to stop talking. It's just really fascinating news, folks. Good night! Oh, and the President was arrested for murder. More on that tomorrow night,more on that tomorrow night. Or you can turn to another channel."