Blog Post

What's Wrong with Monster High Dolls?

Draculaura Draculaura

MW wrote: "Yesterday I was watching the Disney movie, “Bolt.” During the breaks there was a commercial featuring “Monster Dolls.” I was absolutely horrified! They had four featured dolls made by a company whose logo bore the image of a feminized skull. The dolls themselves feature a ghost doll whose face was all white, a pirate doll, and a skeleton doll, I think. All of the dolls were glamorized and hip. They reminded me of the brat dolls in a way. I thought the commercial inviting girls to enjoy the realm of monsters and ghosts to be incredibly harmful! Have you done any study into this new product or do you know anything about its manufacturer? It gives me the willies!"

Your “willies” are warranted! This is a truly macabre toy that is sinister on so many levels I hardly know where to begin.

For those who never heard of them, Monster High Dolls is a line of dolls introduced by Mattel several years ago that is aimed at girls ages 6+ that feature a variety of ghoulish characters such as Frankie Stein and Draculaura. These characters consider themselves to be “scary-cool students” at a school which boasts as its motto “Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster.”

Not only are these dolls teaching children that the occult is cool, they’re also very scantily dressed and come with questionable biographies such Clawdeen Wolf, a teen werewolf doll who claims to spend her time “waxing, plucking and shaving”.

“My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial, and that’s just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full-time job but that’s a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous,” reads the character description who says her favorite hobby is “flirting with boys.”

Clawdeen Wolf Clawdeen Wolf

Draculaura claims to be 1,600 years old and lists gossiping among her favorite activities along with wearing “freaky-fab fashion”.

Frankie Stein says she was “brought to unlife as a teen” so she’s a bit naïve about the world; and the Headless Headmistress Bloodgood is featured holding her head in her arms.

A doll named CattyNoir teaches little girls how to be superstitious. “For instance, I always eat the same thing two hours before every concert: 7 chicken nuggets, 5 apple slices, 1 strawscarry shake,” she says in her bio. “I have to enter stage left under one ladder and exit stage right under another, and finally, I always wear a piece of broken mirror when I’m on stage. I find it very unlucky if any of these things don’t happen.”

The bio for each doll lists its “Freaky Flaw”, favorite food, favorite activity, and friends. Some of these “freaky flaws”, such as Clawdeen’s penchant for plucking and shaving, has garnered a good deal of criticism from mental health experts.

“These dolls are training girls to feel ashamed of their bodies, to focus on being sexually appealing and sexually attractive from a pre-pubescent age," human behavior and body image expert Patrick Wanis PhD told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. "By sexualizing these young girls, corporations also create another avenue to market and sell more products to a younger demographic. These dolls also promote skimpiness of clothing, encouraging a young girl to dress like a stripper and believe that they must be sexually enticing to everyone around them.”

Clinical psychologist Sari Shepphird, Ph.D. is also outraged by the message she feels the toy conveys.

Headless Headmistress Bloodgood Headless Headmistress Bloodgood

“Young girls especially do not need a doll to point out physical flaws or encourage body image preoccupation in teens and young girls. Dolls are for play and escape and pleasure, and they should not be another source of criticism for young girls these days,” Shepphird said. “It used to be that dolls were part of childhood and represented and offered an extension of innocence, but now some dolls are encouraging the opposite of innocence.”

While most criticism was leveled at the dolls scanty outfits and heavy makeup, I also see a danger in the way it tries to make werewolves, vampires, astral travelers, zombies, and spell casters (i.e., the occult) into something cutesy and benign when it is exactly the opposite. By making these practices into toys, such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, and dolls that make spell casting look glamorous, we give children the impression these practices are harmless. Not a good idea.

Sadly, these dolls are best sellers and have been for several years, which proves why we need to do a lot more work with parents to help them understand the reality of occult dangers so they can better protect their children.