Sexist Monster High dolls win ‘best toy for girls’ in Toy Industry Awards

When I saw this post from Let Toys Be Toys For Girls and Boys, my eyes bulged out of my head:

Best Boy and Girl Toy winners at the Toy Industry Awards this week. What’s your thoughts?


There is a “boy” toy and a “girl” toy award? The best “boy” toy is shown in action, shooting a web; he is a superhero who saves the world. The best “girl “toy is a possy of hair, make-up, shoes and bags; the dolls pose as if someone is taking their picture.

Here were my thoughts: This can’t be right. Cynical, jaded blogger that I am, I still don’t believe that the Toy Industry Awards would be so publicly, blatantly, offensively sexist. These are children we are talking about, after all. Why would anyone segregate and stereotype kids in this way?

So I Googled “Toy Industry Awards 2012.” I am sad to report Let Toys be Toys is absolutely correct. From Toy News:

The 2012 Toy Industry Awards winners have been revealed. The awards ceremony took place at London Olympia’s West Hall last night, organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association and the Toy Retailers Association…Girls’ Toy of the Year Monster High Ghouls Rule Doll Assortment, Mattel Boys’ Toy of the Year Web Shooting Spider-Man, Hasbro





How do you explain to your 5 yr old why Monster High is inappropriate?

That question was asked of Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals on her FB page. Here’s her excellent reply:

What I said to my 5yo was that Monster High dolls were dressed in a way that I felt was inappropriate for children, that their faces looked mean not nice, and that their bodies sent our hearts unhealthy messages. We talked about different colors of hair and skin being really cool, but that these dolls made little girls focus too much on being pretty for other people and being too grown-up and that is not what kids need to do.

A few months down the road when she asked for more info, I told her that Monster High dolls have the kind of bodies that can make girls sick, because a real person could never have a body like that, and that I loved my little girl’s healthy body so much I would never want her to have something that would make her think her body wasn’t amazing.

And when she kept pushing about the clothing, I told her that girls who dress like that often don’t have full and happy hearts, and they use clothing like that to get attention and make themselves feel full. Then I took it a step further, and had her come upstairs to her dress up drawer, and picked out clothing I knew was way too small and tight for her. She put it on, and I told her to go play. Amelia said she couldn’t move because of her clothes. I then asked if she thought Monster High was silly, because how could those girls move and be teenagers who do fun things and play sports. She said she thought maybe they just stood around and looked pretty.

I told her she was absolutely right. And then we talked about other toys she had, how different they looked, and what kinds of things those dolls could do instead. I hope to grow the idea of full and happy hearts as Amelia (and Benny) age, to help her make good and healthy decisions about all kinds of things: healthy eating and exercise, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships, good behavior in school, etc. If that is our baseline, I think the things that fall so far outside of that, whether it is Monster High or music lyrics or friends who are a bad influence, my kids will see it for what it is and be that much more equipped to make good choices for themselves.

I want to teach them to use their intuition and common sense when it comes to hard decisions. It is what I do when I tell myself there is no way in hell that dolls like Monster High or Bratz or hooker Barbies will end up in my home. I respect my children far too much to feed them a diet of garbage like that.

I love the idea of asking her daughter dress up in too small, uncomfortable clothing and asking her to try playing. Talk about showing not telling. Brilliant. Read Melissa’s blogposte here.