Age Compression

This is my first post, so be gentle!

I was more than overjoyed this Christmas when it was brought to my attention that Bratz Dolls were being taken off of the shelves – although not due to the way they portray a woman’s image, but because of copyright infringement.

However, my step-daughter-to-be came home last week with a Barbie Thumbelina doll that her grandparents had purchased for her…and I was deeply surprised that they had not thought better of it after seeing the doll. For those who are not familiar with this line of Barbie dolls, here is an image of the one Bella brought home:

Not only are this doll’s structure and features chillingly similar to that of a Bratz doll, it seems worse to me. She’s thinner, she’s more scantilly clad – but most of all, look at the way she’s standing. If you have a chance to see this thing from all angles, it’s even more shocking. She has a "hello there, sailor" sort of stance, and her right leg is actually sort of deformed so that she can form this position. I mean, look at the hip!! Her legs are completely immobile because of the way she is built.

In this picture, they have pulled the skirt as low as it can go, but after a minute of playing with it, it rides up so high that her posterior hangs out of the back. Also notice the flower on the skirt, where it pulls the skirt to form a sort of carrot (^) shape, in order to expose her entire leg (not really noticable in this photo, though.)

While these companies allege that their products are merely empowering to young girls, there is actually a name for this marketing technique. It’s called "age compression," or K.G.O.Y – Kids Getting Older Younger. It is a means of pushing adult products onto young children in order to sexitize them.

Barbie’s original targeted age group was 9-12. They are now sold to girls ages 3-7.

Some other examples:

Does anyone remember the Little Miss books (the female version of the Mr. Men books)? I had them read to me every night as a child. They were innocent and sweet and always had a good message.

A clothing company put Little Miss Naughty’s image on a padded bra and panties set intended for 9 year-olds

Or how about Halloween costumes? Who wants their daughter to go as Harem Girl or Major Flirt?

Miss Behaved?

Forgive all the images, but it just makes my brains want to implode. How are parents allowing this to happen?


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