From “The Tyranny of Self-Perfection” by Anne Summers on The Australian website:
“… voicing her concerns that, overall, women were slipping backwards from the promise of equality that she, the daughter of a feminist, had grown up with. Another guest demurred: ‘Young women now have good role models, they are forging ahead,’ Anne McElvoy, deputy editor of the London Evening Standard told her ‘Why do you think things are bad for them?’
“It is entirely possible that McElvoy had never seen a Bratz doll or watched a Lady Gaga video. Unless she has young daughters or other close relatives she might not be aware of the ubiquity of pink or the Playboy logos that are now de rigueur adornments on the pencil cases of the pre-teen set.
“This reviewer has to confess a comparable ignorance. Sure, I’ve seen little girls dressed inappropriately for travel in pink tutus at airports. I’ve checked myself from disapproving of the skimpy outfits sported by 10-year-old daughters of friends. Gee, I still thought Barbie was bad.
“It’s partly that she now has daughters and has discovered that the ‘slutty and sultry’ Bratz with its wardrobe for clubbing and shopping has displaced innocent blonde Barbie as the top-selling doll for girls. It’s partly the growing use of the language of liberation—most often the word ‘empowering’—to describe the new sexual thraldom. And it’s also the realisation that ‘the rhetoric of choice may have burgeoned in this generation, but in many ways the range of female characters and role models available for young girls has narrowed’.
“Girls want to be WAGS, ‘glamour models’ (pose naked without displaying genitals) or even prostitutes because they have been led to believe that these vocations will deliver them the celebrity lifestyle so relentlessly documented in magazines and on television…”
… and in the aisles of toy stores, too, if the Bratz pack has anything to do with it.