by Ellen Gillingham
Reading Title(s) (Author, “Title”):
Matthew P. McAllister, “Girls with a Passion for Fashion” The Bratz Brand as integrated spectacular consumption
1.) What is this week’s readings major arguments/points?
The readings major points are that the Bratz dolls are encouraging young girls to be consumers. The nature of the dolls is influential for forming tween identities. Their image is displayed in products and on television. The article compares the Bratz brand to Barbie and American Doll. The Bratz are seen as more carefree about consumption and child-orientation. Overall, the brand has themes of girl power and friendship, but are focused on commodity fashion culture.
2.) What are some things that you did not understand? Or, are there questions you have for Professor McCune, or the author?
I don’t understand why the article does not examine the Monster High Dolls. I think these dolls produce a negative body image and esteem. I have tried to find literature on this topic, but have not found any.
3.) What did you learn about Gender and Spectacular Consumption?
I learned that spectacular consumption could be focused not just on celebrities, but also on media and products. The doll brand is well-known and influential. Integrated Spectacular Consumption is a term used in the article that explains the commercial scope and nature of Bratz. It shows the importance of “image-oriented communication forms such as television” (245). This is related to gener as the brand is marketed towards “Girls with a passion for fashion” (244).
4.) How might you apply the author’s ideas to other examples, beyond what is
presented in the essay?
Beyond what is presented in the essay consumer culture is integrated in America. Consumption and ownership are big parts of being an American. Additionally, the consumption element in this article can be applied to many things. For example, hip-hop can be viewed the same way. The songs encourage listeners to “stay fresh” with products (especially shoes and arguably created that nation).