Saturday, 21 August 2010

If Barbie was a Werewolf...

Mattel's new range of Bratz-style dolls have hit the shops. Monster High is a new range of toys, apparently selling out quite rapidly. The range features a number of monster-girls, complete with accesories, fashionable outfits and cute pets. And, yes, there is a female werewolf available. Clawdeen Wolf is - according to the packaging - 'a wolf in chic clothing'. According to the official Monster High website, Clawdeen hates gym (because she can't wear her platform heels) and loves 'shopping and flirting with boys'.

What interests me, though, is the reference to Clawdeen's problems with body hair. The website states:

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.

So a female werewolf can't make it to toyshop shelves until it has been shaved. It seems there is nothing 'scarily fabulous' about hairy legs - and certainly nothing we can market to children.

Clawdeen Wolf and the other Monster High dolls are certainly cute, but I can't help but feeling somewhat uncomfortable about this particular presentation of the female werewolf - or, indeed, this particular presentation of teen femininity. It seems that even the werewolf - so often used as a symbol or metaphor for all that is uncontainable, bestial and unknowable about human nature - can be incorporated into the capitalist commodification of beauty and sexuality.


  1. I am so torn. I adore monsters and I encourage teenies to love monsters, but... but... they are glorified Bratz dolls. :< Saddened. Torn and sad. I just don't know how to feel.

  2. Great post! It really raised some interesting points and actually prompted me to write my own blog post about the subject. (Especially since I did recently purchase the doll in question.)

  3. Thanks Macabri. And a great post on your blog too!

    I just rewatched the scene in Ginger Snaps where Ginger has to shave her legs. Deep down, I want to imagine Clawdeen like that - complete with expletives and splattered shaving foam everywhere.

    Or is that just me?