Monday, June 18, 2012

The Girlification of Horror

If you know me in real life (or follow me on Twitter) you probably know that I have an affinity for weird things (hence the existence of this entire blog, I guess.)  Lately, my ridiculous obsession has been with these silly Monster High dolls.  I suddenly want to collect them all and make a grand room devoted to only them a la Waylon Smithers and Malibu Stacey.  I am on my way to making it my life's work to track down the Spectra Vondergeist doll, At. All. Costs.  Yes, I could easily go on to Ebay and pay 50 damn dollars for her, but no!  I want to walk it to some nearly condemned Kmart and find her stacked in the toy aisle, dusty from neglect, run the the check-out, tell the clerk I'm sorry their Kmart is shutting down and run out to my car in the parking lot right at the wrecking ball meets the building with Spectra in hand.  Then, and only then, will I have won!

But, I'll probably end of getting her on Ebay eventually...

In my habit of looking up things I enjoy on the internet, I was poking around and came across an article from "reviewing" the Monster High dolls and claiming that the "girlification of horror continues" with the debut of these dolls.  What?  What does that even mean?  When did the "Girlification of Horror" start?  I was happy to read in the comments below people were as irritated at the writer of that particular piece as I was.  God forbid you take something only boys are suppose to like and make it somehow accessible to girls, asshole.  Yes, yes, I know not all girls play with dolls and it's an ignorant remark to say that girls only gain access to certain things through fashion dolls made by the same company that made the Devil herself, Barbie (I HEART Barbie) but without getting into a whole Jezebel-esque discussion about gender roles and nature versus nurture and all that crap, I am going to do a huge disservice to the female gender and over-simplify a plastic toy.  Monster High dolls are made for girls.  They are.  You brush their hair, you put them in cute outfits, they have "ghoul"friends, the whole nine.  Girls, girls, girls.  And yes, I am sure some young girls who play with these dolls will grow up fondly remembering their Frankie Stein doll and perhaps seek out what her origins are and become a fan of the classic horror genre.  Is that such a bad thing?

Now, to the earlier question I asked.  When did this "Girlification" start?  I am thinking all signs point to Twilight.  I won't do you the displeasure of re-hashing that whole plot line, but that is also something FOR GIRLS.  But, other than Monster High and Twilight, I am failing to see what else is out there that is taking away the brutal masculinity horror is so identified with.  And a lot of females like that sort of thing, too.  If I am going to see some crazy serial killer wearing his mother's underwear as a mask, I want to see him kill lots and lots of people in very gross and disturbing ways.  I expect that.  I personally, don't seek out that sort of thing, but a lot of women do.  Are they not allowed to enjoy that because someone's hair isn't getting highlighted and the killer is handsome when he takes of his mother's underwear and doesn't secretly feel bad about being so evil?

But, like everything that attracts the rabid fan, some horror fans won't like any change or any new take or re-appropriation of the thing they love.  The writer was probably irked that monsters were being made "cutesy" and that's fine, he is entitled to his own opinion.  I just ask that when something is made for little girls that isn't usually "for" them, let it be.  Girls are going to run into a lot of things in the world that aren't "for" them, and are going to run into a lot bigger problems when they try to access these things then they are wanting to think her Daughter of Dracula doll is pretty and sweet. 

Horror is something that isn't just for boys, nor was it ever, I think.  I mean, girls have always been there to scream, get murdered, be prostitutes, act scared, be killer mothers, brides of monsters...wait....hmmm....



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