Friday, March 2, 2012

I Dropped Out Of Monster High

The humanization of monsters is not a new thing.  Take the vampire for example, vampires started out as grotesque bat-like creatures that clawed themselves out of their graves and tore the throats out of their victims.  Then they became European counts with a killer fashion sense.  Anne Rice made them New World transplants that were tortured by their own immortality and struggled with the fact that they must kill to survive (they, also, were quite fashionable. And rock stars!) The Twilight phenomenon turned them into brooding high school students with sky-high hair (these particular vampires were so high fashion that they spawned their own clothing line!) Vampires are so cute, cuddly and non-threatening now one even taught me how to count in muppet form!

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.

The Monster High dolls were almost tailor made for her!

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:

Frankie Stein.  Daughter of Frankenstein, who has a "figure for fashion" and her biggest flaw is that her "stitches come loose at the worst possible moments!"  OMG LOL!  She is also only 15 days old.  No word on if she was made from the body parts of teenagers or adults.

Ghoulia Yelps. She is the daughter of "the zombies"  So, I think a collective of zombies raised her.  Or Rob Zombie and his wife.  Her "nerd glasses" go with everything.  Her biggest flaw is that since she's a zombie she walks slow and only "speaks in zombie."  Everything is "Brains!", I can only assume. 

Draculaura.  Daughter of Dracula.  He and Frankenstein must have adopted as single fathers.  She likes to "carry a frilly umbrella for the occasional walk in the sun."  Good to know, Draclaura is a vegan! But since she can't see her refelction she just doesn't know how cute she is :(

Clawdeen Wolf.  Daughter of The Werewolf.  You choose which one, I guess.  She is "a fashionista with a no-nonsense attitude."  Also, "intimidating" is also listed as a virtue.  Her flaw is she is super hairy, you guys.  She also hates Cleo De Nile.

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.

 Spectra Vondergeist (a good German girl.)  Daughter of The Ghosts, I'm thinking Mattel is staying away from specifics in avoid a lawsuit.  She loves to wear silk and metal, but her favorite color is violet, awwww.  She is also a gossip since she can float around and listen to other peoples' conversations.

 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.

Lagoona Blue.  Daughter of The Sea Monster.  Possibly the Kraken.  Her favorite food is sushi and her biggest pet peeve is people who treat the ocean "like their personal trashcan."  Her biggest flaw is that her skin drys out really quickly so moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

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,

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."

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea behind the Monster High dolls, but as I saw each one I kept wanting them to be more like action figures and have lightly different body types from each other. They all look like they came from the same mold - but they are still cool! I really loved the "fearleading squad". That is AWESOME.

    I do miss the days of monsters being monsters. It's why I love the original Being Human so much. I love that Mitchell tries to stay off the blood, but isn't always successful and ends up ripping out the occasional throat. I love that he LOVES to eat garlic by the loads of it, and that he can go outside in the day time but he does so with a hat, sunglasses and his jacket collar pulled up. I also love that he doesn't friggen sparkle.