I get it, I really do. Sex sells. Companies will always use scantily-clad vixens to market goods and services, but shouldn’t they be relegated to beer and car commercials aimed at grown men and/or women? They should not be on the cover of, say, a Powerpuff Girls comic book (like the one to right). Seriously, look at it. Would you have ever imagined Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup wearing skin-tight latex outfits and thigh-high boots? Yeah, me neither. Three sultry women replace the trio’s classic cherubesque cuteness of the trio, who are dressed more for an evening of clubbing than crime fighting. And you know what? It’s not cool.
It’s not just moms of daughters (like me) who are totally put off by this less-than-desirable makeover of these icons of girl power. Retailer Dennis Barger stated on his Facebook page (via the Hollywood Reporter): “Are we seriously sexualizing pre-teen girls like perverted fan fiction writers on the internet???? Is that what this sh*t has gotten to? DISGUSTED.” If you think this was some Powerpuff Girls offshoot made for the adult market, think again. This was, according to the VP of Marketing for IDW comics, “Actually a Cartoon Network mandated cover, by an artist of their choosing. I think they were thinking of it more along the lines of female empowerment’ than the kind of thing you guys are talking about, but certainly, we’re sensitive to the issues here.” This became so sensitive an issue that they opted to not release the comic, which was supposed to hit the shelves next month. Score one for parents!
This tradition of taking iconic kids characters and transforming them into hotties is not new, unfortunately, but the more iconic the character, the more I find it disturbing. There is such a thing as progress, but turning a sweet doll or beloved childhood character into a sexy and sultry caricature has nothing to do with progress. These makeovers send yet another bad message to our kids. What was wrong with Holly Hobbie, My Little Pony, and the Powerpuff Girls to begin with? Can we just leave them, their sweetness, and their childlike qualities alone?
It’s not just about making them sexy, but they are “aging” these characters. Instead of letting them continue to be cute kids, toy makers are thrusting the characters into tween and teen-dom, despite the intended audience for the dolls staying the same age. Dude, they even made the characters on the Candyland board game hot.
We’ve collected some examples of this so-called “progress.” Which do you think is the worst?
Powerpuff Girls Gets Sexy
Holly Hobbie Then and Tween!
My Little Pony and Her Hot Equestria Girl Transformation
Strawberry Shortcake Grows Up
Rainbow Brite Goes Babe