They’re no longer just a child’s plaything. Barbie and Bratz have been defining an entire generation for decades, even becoming cultural icons themselves.
Pitting women against each other will never be cute, nor is comparing one doll to another. Case in point, the long-standing Barbie vs. Bratz rivalry since the early 2000s. More than anything, can we talk about the brand’s character development and impact through the years? Far from the confines of the dollhouse, these dolls have been through it all whether you believe it or not: sl*t-shamed, degraded and criticized for not being a good role model to women.
When Barbie was created in 1959, most people saw her as nothing but a distraction to keep girls in their place. In fact, a study conducted by psychology professors in the past claimed that girls who played with Barbie dolls “tend to see fewer career options available to them than boys.” Bratz on the other hand were often “sexualized” by parents upon its controversial release in 2001 for their bold makeup looks and edgy outfits, that were modeled after POC. Perhaps, they too were victims of society’s toxic notions.
Decades later, Barbie and Bratz are no longer who they used to be. Now, they’ve encouraged self-expression and raised kids from different generations to unlock their full potential, all while smashing beauty standards and rejecting labels. Barbie has been teaching girls that they can be anyone with their career dolls and have launched variants of different shapes and sizes, including gender-neutral clothing. Bratz dolls became a pop culture phenomenon and highly impacted the fashion and beauty industry even 20 years later. Just one look at the Bratz hashtag on TikTok and you’ll find out why they’ve become the unsung style icons of today.
So, what have these two dolls been up to now that their influence has been proven to be massive? Scroll down below to find out.
BARBIE’S COLLAB WITH DESIGNERS GUO PEI AND OLIVIER ROUSTEING
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Barbie knows that representation matters more than anything. Her recent collaboration with Chinese couturier Guo Pei and French-African designer Olivier Rousteing of Balmain broke boundaries. In time for Lunar New Year, Guo Pei, who famously designed Rihanna’s Met Gala dress in 2015, announced that she collaborated with Barbie to celebrate her Chinese heritage and its intricate dress-making techniques. Not long enough, Balmain posted their campaign photos where real-life Barbie and Ken’s roles were reversed. The French fashion house turned the dollhouse into a pink palace with its fun collection. Here’s to more collabs between Barbie and POC designers in the future.
BARBIE’S “YOU CAN BE ANYTHING” AND ROLE MODELS LINE
For a doll that’s only been looked up to for her ultra-cinched waist in the 50s, Barbie finally proved her haters wrong. A celebration of women empowerment, Mattel has been consistently releasing limited edition dolls of modern heroines and females from different walks of life, along with the inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community. Take for example their tribute to frontliners last year by honoring the females who made medical history. They also created doll versions ofDominican-American author and activist Julia Alvarez, American suffragist and investigative journalist Ida B. Wells to name a few. This is the character development we love to see!
BRATZ’ COLLAB WITH GCDS AND PUMA
The Bratz pack have been the real style icons for the last 20 years, and most of their looks still prove to be timeless. Petition for the dolls to drop more designer collabs in the future because the recent GCDS and Puma collections were FIRE. We just want to steal their entire wardrobe, including the pastel platforms, chunky boots, mini bags and fur coats!
BRATZ’ IMPACT ON POP CULTURE AND STAND ON SOCIAL ISSUES
Oops, they’ve done it again. Whoever said that Bratz fell off after the Y2K absolutely knows nothing. Hello, they’ve made red carpet appearances, virtual games pre-metaverse, and now they’re killing it with the help of their Bratz creators who usually create pop culture-inspired looks. Their passion for fashion has cemented their status in the social media realm as well. (The Bratz hashtag on TikTok alone has over 2.3B views! Icon behavior.) But aside from their sassy posts, the dolls also know that speaking up about social issues is just as important. They’ve been staunch advocates of the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movement when most brands had their mouths shut. Jade and Sasha would’ve been proud.
CONTINUE READING: You Need To Add These Bratz Shoes To Your Wardrobe ASAP