Sexing up grade school

Barbie cosmetics are coming soon to a playground near you.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
June 13, 2007 12:52AM (UTC)
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Cute little pigtailed girls have long embarked on their first day of school with a pink Barbie lunch pail in tow. But soon enough -- if a new marketing ploy goes as planned -- they'll be wearing lipstick, eye shadow and blush to match. That's right, Mattel has partnered with Bonne Bell to produce a line of "girl-savvy" Barbie cosmetics for the grade school set -- we're talking girls age 6 to 9. The press release announcing the partnership says the line "will bring girls a fun, feminine and unique beauty experience, leveraging the unparalleled popularity of two globally loved brands."

Fun femininity, as I remember it at that age, meant going to town on a T-shirt with some pink puff paint and my brand-new Bedazzler. There might have been the occasional raiding of Mom's makeup case, but the end goal was to laugh at the silliness of a little girl playing grown-up. But it's no longer a game of dress-up when young girls have their own (real) makeup cases. An editor at Jezebel jokes that "the years between 1st and [4th] grades are a time when little girls should be running around, skinning their knees and learning swear words; after all, they've got an entire lifetime in which to learn to be sex objects!"

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Barbie is only going where those Bratz tartlets have already gone, of course. But having already tackled lingerie for children, where won't the Bratz franchise go?


Tracy Clark-Flory

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