Calling All the Monsters

FYI – This is a personal rant. Read on and chime in; this will definitely prove to be a whopper of a conversation!

Monster High LogoMy girls and I recently had the privilege of attending a little girl’s birthday party. Things went as most parties usually go, but the presents were a little… hmm… odd? Well, odd for me, at least.

It seems our little friend is into “Monster High“. Not sure what “Monster High” is? Yeah; I wasn’t so clued in either. It is a line of Barbie-like dolls who are also monsters; vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more. What caught my attention the most were the slogans on the box, “Freaky Got Fabulous”,”Be Yourself, Be Unique, Be a Monster!”, and “Where Screams Come True!” Um; wow!

Now, I fully realize these are only meant for play and, perhaps, I am taking this just a bit too far, but this whole notion just disgusts me. Why, oh why, would I encourage my child to be a monster? Why would I want them to be a freak?

I am all for being unique; no problem with that one. We are unique already. I am all for being yourself. I just don’t see why we would encourage our children to be monsters. Trust me, they are monstrous enough without the added encouragement.

Monster High Dolls

These are akin to those “Bratz” dolls that were so popular a little while back; another concept which baffles me. It seems we are spending a great deal of time and money encouraging our children to be the lowest forms of themselves instead of the best. Whatever happened to wanting our kids to remain innocent? What happened to wholesome play time?

Well, enough ranting. Suffice it to say my children will not be owning these dolls or anything like them. I would prefer to offer material that builds their minds and souls rather than indulge in this nonsense.

What’s your take? Are you a “Monster High” fan?

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59 thoughts on “Calling All the Monsters

  1. My kids own a few of these dolls. However, I do agree with you and I personally am not a fan. These days, I try to stay away from purchasing any kind of Barbie-type doll and prefer instead for them to play with baby dolls (think Baby Alive). But as they get older they are more interested in the ghouls than the sweet little babies.

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    • Just curious… Did you buy these for them or did someone else?
      Cause you can’t always control others but, as mom, you can say no.
      Not to mention, you can still say no when someone else buys them. Store credit works…
      As a mom, it is our job to teach our children why something is not appropriate. And a mixed message is not the best way to do that.

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      • I definitely understand your point of view. I agree with you. I have to put my foot down. I am stuck between what’s the big deal they are toys and knowing the it does send a message to them. I have limited their TV but I am still working on the toys. For example, my Aunt told me she bought them a crystal ball for Christmas. I am not comfortable with them playing with this but couldn’t find it in my heart to tell her. I hope that all makes sense I am trying to figure how to approach this.

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      • I know how difficult it can be to worry about hurt feelings among family and I’m certainly not going to judge you for it.
        Heaven knows I’m not the poster child for having family back me up on my life choices.
        Most of my family has disowned me because I homeschool. And because we girls only wear skirts (no shorts or pants except under the skirts).
        Crazy huh.
        The best thing to do in any situation is pray.
        God Bless you!

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      • Thanks for the encouragement! Every family has to follow God’s lead. I felt God putting on my heart to homeschool for 2 yrs and I am finally letting go of my own agenda. I started homeschooling yesterday and we have a long road ahead but I am completely surrendered to God’s power to strengthen me each day. Most of the people in my family don’t know that I am homeschooling. I have no clue what I am doing, but I have faith that things will fall into place. God bless! You all are in my prayers

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      • Bless you for taking that leap of faith! Too many people refuse to listen when God tries to lead us. That’s awesome!
        It will be overwhelming at first. Maybe even the first year… But I promise, the day will come when you look around and think. “OK. I can do this.” And it will get easier. And your whole family will love it and benefit from it!
        We’ll keep you in our prayers as well!
        And may God bless you and your family!

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      • Thanks so much! I definitely need it. This morning has already been a little challenging. We haven’t even started our school day because I have had to address so many obedience issues. God give me strength! 😉

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      • Take courage; we all have days like this. You will find your groove in a short while and then things will begin to become more familiar.
        We will keep you in prayer on this new journey!

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  2. I don’t like the skimpy outfits. Of course, This is coming from a dad raising two girls. But Geez!!! I agree it is like Bratz. I have to say this is nothing new, remember in the 80’s when being a pseudo upper class girl that talks like someone from the valley was popular. I think they called them Valley girls My sister talked like that for a week until my Dad told her she would be grounded forever if it continued.

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  3. I share the same mentality as you about “added encouragement”. I find that it is way too much garbage out here being made accessible to children. The more media creates and glorifies these low form mentalities the harder I have to fight against them and the meaner of a dad I appear to become.

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  4. I couldn’t agree more. In one breath all the experts tell us to be careful with our words, every label is carried for a lifetime and in the next, the marketing experts throw this trash at us. I did not let one single “bratz” doll in my home, and I won’t let a monster in, either. “My mom never let me have a monster when I was 6. Whaaaaaa” Said no adult…ever.

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  5. I love the idea behind monster dolls for girls, personally, but not like that. My kids are really into zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other monsters. It’s all in good fun. They also love Halloween, the Bailey School books, and stories about monsters trying to act like normal people. It’s fun to play, but I don’t think they’d take it further than that.

    I guess I can see where they’re coming from in embracing being a “freak” too. It’s about accepting people no matter how different they may seem. It’s a good message, but I think it’s lost in the marketing.

    However, the dolls themselves, in their overly revealing clothes and back-breaking posture, are a little much. They convey this image of beauty that’s impossible to attain. They stand like models, with their spine bent atvan impossible angle and their bottom sticking way out. They dress in ways I wouldn’t want my daughter dressing, even as an adult. I can think of a lot of ways to describe it, none of them good. I have the same problem with the Bratz dolls. Barbies are better, but they’re still sending a message of women dressing a certain way with doctors in miniskirts.

    I think I would like it a lot more if they made the dolls in a more realistic teen image (if you could look beyond them being monsters) and dressed them in a more appropriate way for teens. When I think of werewolves, I picture a woodsy type in jeans, boots, and maybe a shirt with some environmental slogan, connecting to animals and nature. That’s just an example. The point is if the dolls were presenting a more age-appropriate and positive image, the fact that the dolls are monsters could just be something fun and imaginative, not much different than fairies.

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    • I agree with your point on the dolls needing to be more modest; it would be nice if items were more realistic and presented a better image of women.

      I also agree we should accept PEOPLE no matter how different they might seem.

      What I am concerned about is accepting ideals and behavior which are inappropriate. Being a “freak” goes beyond just being different and that is where I want to encourage my children’s awareness. I like creativity and imagination, but without a great deal of balance this could quickly lead down a road unwanted.

      Thanks for giving your input; I enjoyed hearing your perspective.

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      • I guess I can see what you mean about using the term “freak”. Then again, I also know a few people who embrace that label. I’ve personally met sword swallowers and contortionits, people who would be a part of the “freak show” at a carnival or circus. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also a sadly common term in schools to mean unusual in a negative way. This may be a part of normalizing it. I’ve been called a “freak” for a large part of my life because I was different. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t bother me.

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      • Interesting. See, now I wouldn’t call those people freaks; merely talented in an uncommon way. I suppose perhaps we need a post to define what a “freak” really is. (laughing)
        When I think of a freak, it has more to do with attitude. I think of someone who is base and disgusting on purpose and revels in the those things which are a distorted view of morality.
        I can’t imagine anyone thinking of you as a freak. Goodness gracious!

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  6. You are so right. People encourage this and then wonder why their kids act like brats or monsters. Our society has tried to make it so that doing right, winning, and succeeding are frowned upon. Then we wonder why our kids/young adults aren’t doing just that. Grrrrrrrrrr.

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  7. They appealed to my kids at a Target jaunt. I said, “NO.” However they did remind me of those silly Bratz dolls, which I detested. I have young (18) sister who was into Bratz dolls. My mom let her have them and bought them for her. My mom has proven to be a great mom (yes, I’m proud to brag her up!), and my sisters all pretty wholesome, yet open-minded. I would NEVER have bought those stupid Bratz dolls either, but my sister turned out great. Still, I WON’T buy those stupid Monster Dolls, but I always remember my mom’s decisions and they help to temper my opinion (which can always use some tempering. LOL.). So I see it both ways, but they give me the eebie-jeebies for society and kids’ minds. But, on the other hand…

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  8. In our house we avoid the whole zombie, monster, vampire horror-media fascination that seems to be the “cool thing to do”. What was meant to be intended as evil display is now used for acceptance and yes, even seduction (twilight series anyone?). Not what we choose for us.
    Here is a mom’s perspective (which in her light-hearted way is completely opposite my/our approach) but gives an idea of how others ok it for their own family:
    http://cordovaacademy.blogspot.com/search/label/Monster%20high%20dolls

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    • Interesting; thank you for the link.

      I think it is a two fold issue for us.
      1) I don’t want my children to spend their free time focusing on monsters. Sure it might just be imagination, but I want them to be edified and to grow.
      2) I think making monsters fun, desensitizes our children to what really is monstrous and what ought to be considered harmful. While our children think this is just fun and “cute”, it opens a door to perhaps something just a little more scary and a little more. When do we draw the line and when do we decide, as parents, that something is too much? If we don’t allow a line to be drawn in the first place, we never need worry about crossing it.

      One other thing that got my attention, regarding the article, is that the children thought they should be asked if they like it or not and then be allowed to play. As a parent, my job is to shield my children according to how the Lord is leading. While I wish my children to be happy, I am not going to bend to their uninformed whims and desires, but make a wise decision based on God’s leading.

      Do I find these dolls immoral; outside of modesty issues, no. Do I think the Bible teaches against them; no. I DO think we are to use wisdom and to choose carefully though and for my family this is one area we aren’t touching. Like your family; we prefer to avoid it all together. Why waste time on this when there are so many better things to do?

      Great link and discussion. Thanks!

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  9. I find the whole thing frighteningly inappropriate for children. Of any age. I also dislike Bratz. They aren’t allowed in my house. And I consider myself lenient and “goth-friendly” as I’ve let my children watch Ruby Gloom and I’m a big fan of Voltaire. (The goth musician, not the French philosopher.)

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      • They just seem very sexed up for children’s toys. A lot of make up and short skirts. And if you watch the shows, they have attitudes I wouldn’t want my daughter imitating. But I guess I’m a little strict there. I made my kids quit watching Rugrats because Angelica calls the babies stupid and I didn’t want my oldest picking on her brother’s.

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      • I hear you; I didn’t let my kids read any of the Judy Bloom books for the same reason. I don’t like words that are beneath us; I would prefer to have my children focus on edifying one another instead of this nonsense. Great point!

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  10. I completely agree with this post and this is the reason I know all of my kid’s friends and their parents. Non of my kid’s friends would even think about getting one of those dolls for themselves or as a gift. My daughter just walks past those dolls in the store without giving it a second thought. I haven’t had to talk to her about it, because, thankfully, they just don’t appeal to her. One of our public schooled friends received one as a gift from her public school friend and her mom was even pretty perplexed and disappointed at the gift. All the girls just thought it was creepy, except a few who had one at home. This particular doll had one eye. Really??? What is the attraction?? There is an evil spirit behind it for sure!

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  11. The real problem with dolls like this is not the message they teach our children.

    The real problem is that we, as parents, have lost the knowledge of how to properly educate our children about the best way to deal with terrible influences like these.

    “Just Say No!” Is not enough! You need good information and solid reasoning to back up your argument.

    Research. Get statistics! Find bible verses! Don’t approach it blind. Go in to battle prepared and show your kids you respect them and that is why you don’t want them to demean themselves with such nonsense.

    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
    – Philippians 4:8

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  12. Reblogged this on J.C. Morrows and commented:
    This is a sensitive subject for me as well.

    I feel it is vital to teach our children not only that these things should be avoided but WHY! If your children don’t know WHY something is wrong, unhealthy or unGodly, how can they make an informed decision?

    Parents: TEACH your children!

    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
    – Philippians 4:8

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  13. I think I agree with most of the people who’ve commented so far. I’ve already told my girls it’s not a good thing to dress like that and I’ve heard them, on occasion, talk about how “short some stranger’s shorts were and how could they wear that?” I’ve had to warn them about those kinds of comments, too, because ultimately, we are all responsible for the choices we make and making non-helpful comments doesn’t encourage better choices. Personally, I love crazy hair colors and I like weird clothes. I also like piercings and tattoos. I’m one of the “freaks” or, if you prefer, misfits. My oldest daughter has been called a freak before and said, “Thanks!” with a huge grin on her face. I hate labeling people in any way because it sets these crazy limits and pulls up a distorted expectation of who you think people are going to be, what they’re going to be like. Like you said, each of us is unique. Our girls aren’t really into the Monster High dolls. Have to say I’m glad. They were into Bratz (which I hated and avoided for as long as possible) for a while but that phase passed quickly. Right now, they’re liking the Novi Stars dolls, which I think are cute. They really like stuffed animals, slingshots and kites more than dolls, anyway. Ultimately, though, we are striving to impress on them the importance of being themselves and not to worry overmuch about what others think.

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  14. The reality behind this, is conditioning. It’s all to do with transhumanism and “singularity.” Most of the entertainment is geared towards teenagers involves interbreeding with supernatural entities of one sort or another. It also prepares young girls not to be satisfied with normal, human men. Just look at the fascination over that vampire – Edward – from the “Twilight” phenomenon. Grown women would rather have Edward than a real man.

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  15. I’m planning a blog this week about Monster High. We banned them from the house for some of the very reasons you’ve mentioned…and my mother-in-law got them for Katie anyway.

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  16. I did not bother to defend any of my beliefs until a little one changed my name to Momma. All of a sudden, from somewhere deep inside, I found this ferocious need to protect her from any stain (physical, moral spiritual, emotional). I care about what she eats ( she has multiple allergies). Why wouldn’t I care about her imagination, feelings and dreams.

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  17. Recently was introduced to these dolls at a store in Canada. I personally didn’t see the attraction to them at all, basically because of the dress is highly provocative. The idea of having something different then the perfect barbie for kids to play with (my natural impulse was to write girls instead of kids) is wonderful. Now they perfect looking monsters! We need to work on the image we present to kids, give barbies or monster dolls different shapes and clothing. I am thankful my children are either too old or too young to be exposed to them.

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  18. Pingback: Calling All the Monsters (Reblogged) | Home-school Mom Musings

  19. Being a ‘freak’ is currently a cultural win for many younger people. Freak is good. I don’t quite understand it myself, but we all know that words change meaning over time based on how they are used? For example, my friends breed dogs for dog shows, etc, so the term b***h is often heard around their place, in referring to the female dog on heat… but I am constantly in a state of culture shock when I hear it because within my mini culture (family/friends/etc) that word is just not ok and if you want to make mention of the dogs gender, you call it a female dog instead of the nasty word.

    So when I hear ‘be yourself… be freaky’, I guess it connects with young people and their slang/change of the language, i.e. being a freak is good. I am so out there and different that you just don’t get me! (by you, I mean the proverbial you, not YOU specifically!).

    ALL that said… I wouldn’t buy the dolls.. I don’t believe real monsters look that ‘pretty’ or skimpy. They look like teenage girls on Halloween trying to impress all the wrong people.

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  20. There’s been a trend towards monsters, vampires, etc. in tv, books, movies for a while now. It’s sad that younger audiences are being targeted through toys now. Do I have to shield my little children’s eyes when we’re walking through the toy aisles of the department store?

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  21. I read this post recently and found it shocking that toy makers believe our young girls desire “edgier” dolls than Barbie! http://bigstory.ap.org/article/barbie-fights-her-life

    When Barbie becomes the tame norm of the doll world, we have a major problem. I do not approve of Monster High or Bratz dolls. I have no idea why anyone would approve of a doll that encourages their daughters to dress up and put on make up to look like a stripper. They are not a healthy example to young girls. The world is full of garbage like that aimed at our daughters, I do not want it coming into my house under the guise of “toys.”

    Oh, and my 7 year old daughter said they are creepy. 🙂

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  22. I agree with you. The MH dolls are ugly and my kids won’t be getting them. I wrote this article about them in 2011 -http://storiesforthehomeschoolheart.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/ugly-girls/
    I called it “UGLY GIRLS”>

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  23. I just read this and don’t know if anyone commented on the rash of brat themed commercials we have these days, grocery stores showing a kid planning a tantrum because he can’t ride in a cart for one. I can’t think of the others right now, but they are absolutely creating this trend of kids are brats and control the world. It has made me sick.

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