In an effort to combat increasing criticism of the jaded worldliness of the Bratz doll line (see Time Magazine, 2-20-06) , Mattel Inc. has agreed to create a "very special" Bratz first communion doll. In a press release, spokesperson Jillian Johnson said, "This doll will be a wonderful gift to girls celebrating their first communion. It will be dressed in an off white First Communion-inspired mini-gown, which can be repurposed as a hankerchief. We hope this doll, named Chazz, will inspire a new market in the Bratz collection."
Our intrepid reporter (yours truly, I.C.) snagged an exclusive interview with Ms. Johnson.
IC: So why do you want to appeal to religious Catholics, after all your success
JJ: First and foremost, those communion dresses. You know,
our motto is "We've got a passion for fashion," and let's be honest, those
dresses with the long sleeves and veils, for the love of Pete. We thought they
could use the updating we specialize in, as well as appeal to the Catholic girl
IC: How do you plan to update the traditional communion dress?
JJ: We'll follow our brand's lead: sleeveless dresses, skirt slits on
the side, navel peek a boo options, etc. And sparkly white wedge heels.
IC: Have you heard what the Catechism of the Catholic
Church says on modesty? I'm quoting here: "Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means
refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose
sensitivity it bears witness. "
JJ: It's an issue, a consumer sent a letter about that. That's why we're naming her Chazz.
JJ: Chastity, right. I think that will appease the potential boycotters, I mean,
IC: Time Magazine recently published an opinion piece on the bad influence of Bratz
dolls, and focused less on their dress, or lack thereof, and more on their
attitude. To quote the article, your dolls faced appear to be painted within an
inch of their life, and full of attitude. Nancy Gibbs' word for their expression
was "stoned." Do you think that expression is an appropriate match with the First Communion outfit?
JJ: (silence) "Stoned" is so...pejorative...I think the market will understand that Chazz is high on Jesus.
Marketing will begin in select department stores in early April.