Here’s my 5-year-old daughter (into her fake bedazzled cell phone): “OMG!!! Hello Chloe, like, you are totally not going to be popular unless you come to my party.“
I’m sorry, what?
At 4 or 5, I think I had just made the big girl move from Sesame Street to The Electric Company. While I was imitating Letter Man by leaping a capital “T” in a single bound, my daughter’s doling out ultimatums, calling people “Sweetie” or “Hon” and talking in acronyms.
Sound mature? Well, you should see her attire: Super short skirts, sequined scarves, studded shoes, and a sexy walk to boot. Everything is coordinated… including the attitude. She gets all glammed up, and then sashays down an imaginary catwalk. (Okay, gotta admit, I find that part really cute.)
Why is it that my daughter has transformed from sweet, innocent Disney princess, to a slutty, attitude wielding high-schooler? Well, like any good mom, I absolved myself of all personal accountability and found something else to blame: Bratz movies. These movie creators have taken Bratz dolls, which make Barbie and her 38-22-38 measurements look like a nun, and put them on the big screen. These are “mean girls.”
In each movie, there is some incident such as a misunderstanding or the use of a magical spell, that causes one of the girls to turn on the others. They say hurtful things, call each other words I don’t even allow my children to say, and spend much of the time obsessing over their looks and what to do at the mall. In the end all is resolved, the girls make-up, and the (bad ) guys are put in their place. My daughter truly loves Bratz and their nasty banter. To her this is what big girls…no - what cool girls do. Now, I have to reprogram her little brain with some of my own imaginary play. Next time she calls Chloe, I’m pickin up the phone and saying, “OMG, the popular girls are so super nice to each other… BTW, everyone knows that.”