Daily Devotional for Friday November 23, 2007
Would You Buy Your Child a Doll that Looks Like a Street Walker
(Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)
Why would a parent buy a 6-year-old a doll that looks like a street walking prostitute? Today is the official start of the Christmas shopping season, so it is the perfect time for this important message. Many will think I am kidding when I tell you that today I am dealing with the types of dolls parents buy for their children. I have no doubt many will never understand the points I will be making. I know that, because in months of research on this issue, having talked to dozens of parents in and out of the church, I was told over and over, "What is the big deal?" Is the type of doll a parent buys for their little girl really the most pressing issue of the day?
No, of course not. However, it is very telling of the current mindset that exists in the world we live in since a toy company had to create and market these dolls and parents had to buy them. I can almost understand why a company would create and market these dolls, it is called MONEY. What I want to focus on, however, is why would a parent buy their 6, 7, 8-year-old daughter a doll that looks like a street walking prostitute?
In case you are totally out of the loop regarding the world of children's toys, the hottest item for little girls from 6 and up are the Bratz dolls. MGA Entertainment is a California-based toy company founded in 1997 that manufactures and markets the Bratz dolls. The marketing strategy was to create a doll geared towards pre-teen girls since research showed most girls weren't buying Mattel's half-century old Barbie dolls after age 7.
The key to the Bratz dolls were the endless amounts of wardrobes you could buy for these dolls. The wardrobes represented the current trend of clothing worn by young girls from short shorts, to micro mini-skirts, to halter tops, to silk negligee tops, right down to the high heels. It is the same clothing made popular by the singers, actresses, and other entertainers today who cater to pre-teen and teen-age girls.
The dolls themselves are made up to look like prostitutes. They have an African-American doll, a Latino doll, and several who are different shades of white. They have perfect bodies, come with wild hair, lots of make-up, painted nails, their lips are full and pouty, and once you add the trashy clothing accessories, you have a doll that is the likeness of a young woman who is walking the streets of some metropolitan city late at night looking to turn tricks.
Here is the problem. These "dolls" are being marketed to SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRLS! Why would any parent want their little girl to think this is what a girl should look like. Why would a parent want that their little girl to have this image imbedded in their mind? Our current culture is flooded daily to such an extent with overt sexuality that we have become numb to it, so numb that it has now trickled down to the dolls we buy for our little girls!
Listen, instead of buying into the gross sexualization of our culture, parents need to take a stand. You don't have to buy your daughters Bratz dolls. You don't have to let your 9- and 10-year-olds girls wear thong underwear. You don't have to let your daughters buy the "fashion of the day" and look like they are going to work in a strip club. Parents, you can take a stand. It is no wonder why teen-age, even pre-teen girls are having sex. It is in their music, it is on their TV programs, it is in the movies they watch, it is in virtually every advertisement they see, it is pounded into their brains almost from birth and reinforced in all that they see...even the dolls they are bought to play with!!!
I love you and care about you so much. You know, when I was growing up just 40 years ago, being a "brat" was not a tern of endearment. Being a brat actually carried a very negative connotation because it meant you were a bad kid. Only disobedient and rebellious children were called brats. Now, just a few years later, instead of a brat being something a child was taught not to be, it is something a child strives to be. From cartoon characters like Bart Simpson and that horrible Stewie on the Family Guy, children are told it is cool to be a brat. It is so cool, that this toy company is making hundreds of millions of dollars selling dolls called Bratz!!!
I am already prepared for the onslaught of emails from outraged parents that I would dare call them out for buying their little girl these Bratz dolls. I already know they will say I am making too much of this, these dolls are harmless, there is nothing wrong with them, only people with dirty minds think these dolls are overtly sexual, I need to mind my own business, and on and one it will go. I can tell you one thing, a doll like this would have never been seen the light of the store shelf 20 years ago. You might say we have progressed as a society since then, I say to you that we have REGRESSED as a society.
I pray today that you parents will be aware of what is being marketed to your children. Out of all the things that you can buy your little girl is a doll that looks like a street walking prostitute really the best you can do for your child? Is that really the image and message you want to send to your baby? Don't you know she is already being blasted daily, no matter how much you may try to protect her, by every kind of image no child should ever have to be exposed to? Why would you want to not only promote, but reinforce those sexual images by giving her a doll to play with that looks like and dresses like a women who sells her body for money?
Your little girl is going to grow up soon enough. As a matter of fact, much sooner than you or I did. You have to start having those adult conversations with your kids at a much earlier age, since they are being bombarded every day with every type of image you can imagine. You have got to be involved in their life each day to help them understand what God says about all of these issues they are being confronted with at such an early age. It is a very difficult time to be a child, and it is also a very difficult time to be a parent.
I will be praying for you parents today. I will be praying for God to give you wisdom and direction as you do your best to raise your child in the admonition of the Lord and teach them His ways. I will also be praying for your children today. This is a very evil world we live in, with many dangers. I pray today that the Lord will watch over your children, protect them from the evils of this world, and give them peace, joy, and a blessed childhood. May the Lord bless you and your children as you live your lives and take your stand for HIM!