Date of Release:
February 26, 2007
Contact: Josh Golin (617-896-9369; josh<at>commercialfreechildhood.org)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CCFC to Scholastic: No Bratz in Schools!
(Boston) Amid increasing concerns about the sexualization of young girls, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is urging Scholastic, Inc to stop promoting the Bratz brand in schools. Bratz dolls were recently singled out in a report by the American Psychological Association for contributing to the sexualization of young girls. CCFC launched a letter-writing campaign urging Scholastic to stop selling Bratz items such as Lil’ Bratz Dancin Divas, Lil’ Bratz Catwalk Cuties, and Lil’ Bratz Beauty Sleepover Bash through its school-based book fairs and book clubs.
“Commercially-driven, sexualized stereotypes have no place in school,” said CCFC’s co-founder Dr. Susan Linn, author of Consuming Kids “By allowing Scholastic to promote the Bratz brand, schools undermine their own efforts to educate girls to believe in themselves and nurture their academic growth and development."
The best-selling Bratz dolls – whose wardrobes include ultra-miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and bikinis – are marketed to girls as young as four. The Bratz brand includes TV programs, DVDs, web sites, accessories, clothing, and even a lap top computer.
“The Bratz send a host of harmful messages about play, appearance, sexuality, and what it means to be a young girl,” said Dr. Diane Levin, professor of education at Wheelock College and co-author of the upcoming So Sexy, So Soon. “They teach girls to focus on appearance and fashion, to aspire to an eating-disordered body, and to play at being sexy before they’re even capable of understanding what sexy means.”
“No parent wants their young daughter targeted by brands that promote hyper-sexualized behavior,” said Joe Kelly, president of Dads and Daughters. “And when the marketing takes place in school, to a captive audience of students, it’s even more pernicious.”
Scholastic has been the target of increasing criticism because so many of its in-school programs promote commercial toys and media. In response to complaints from its members, CCFC recently released A Guide to Commercial-Free Book Fairs which encourages parents and educators to work with local booksellers to hold book fairs that are free of corporate marketing and media tie-ins.