Monster doll teaches girls value of shaving

Controversy erupts over a fashionista werewolf toy -- who likes to go smooth

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Published March 18, 2011 8:01PM (EDT)

Clawdeen Wolf is 15 years old, and like most of her fellow students at Monster High, a bit of a misfit. The lycanthropic Mattel doll and webisode star keeps company with a ghoulish group of vampire and mummy "fierce fashionistas" -- imagine a zombie-flavored line of Bratz and you begin to get the idea. But while her pal Frankie Stein boasts she has the "perfect figure for fashion" and poor Draculaura complains that she can't check herself out in a mirror, Clawdeen has a unique challenge to overcome. Or as she explains in her bio, "My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial and that's just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full time job but that's a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous."

I'm sorry, did the ostensibly 15-year-old doll not only admit that she spends all her time "plucking and shaving" but that it's a small price for being fabulous? Who knew that monsters, typically so angsty and deep, could be so pathetically shallow? And what's more depressing, the fact that Clawdeen is promoting the notion of body image-obsessed high-schoolers to little girls whose secondary sex characteristics haven't even kicked in, or the fact that a Toys R Us spokesman told Fox this week that "We haven’t had any complaints from parents; customers who are buying this doll are very happy with the product and we cannot keep the dolls on the shelves"?

Parents, just because your first-grader thinks something is quirky and fun is not a great reason to endorse a character who dresses like a feral meth whore and says that her greatest flaw is body hair. And while Mattel may be just fine with endorsing a werewolf-girl's right to shave, if you ask me, the company and its creepy-in-all-the-wrong-ways Monster High girls can go pluck themselves.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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