Now that we’ve all had a minute to calm our blood pressure after we heard about the Hasbro doll with the genital button, there’s a new doll controversy brewing up on social media.
In a Facebook video that has now gone viral, a mom named Hilary Williams went live on Wednesday to show her friends that her kids’ LOL Surprise dolls have a bizarre “secret.”
When you dip them into ice water, the LOL Surprise dolls reveal lingerie and “tramp stamp” style tattoos.
#SaveTheChildren #SaveTheKids #SaveOurChildren #SaveOurKids #lolsurprise #lolsurprisedolls #LOLDOLLS
Posted by Hilary Williams on Tuesday, August 11, 2020
The video has been viewed 27 million times in a single day and has generated quite a bit of discussion in social media posts across Facebook and Instagram.
Parents basically want to know, what the hell is up with toy companies right now? And why are we over sexualizing toys that are intended primarily for girls at ages as young as three?
And moms all over social media are now checking their dolls (that actually point out clearly in the instructions that they change underwater) and are feeling shocked at what lies underneath.
However, let’s remember what LOL stands for: Little Outrageous Littles.
Let’s also remember that they are not the first to push the envelope in terms of sexualized outfits, after all, Bratz dolls and Monster High dolls have also raised some eyebrows.
The LOL Surprise doll is no stranger to backlash.
In 2019 the MGA toy company came under fire when some customers were enraged that the male LOL Surprise dolls were anatomically correct.
At the time, the MGA CEO, Isaac Larian told Fabulous Digital that,
“all of our LOL Surprise boy dolls have been (and will continue to be) anatomically correct.”
Mr. Larian went to say that,
“We believe in the importance of clarity and authenticity with our products and our consumers, and this approach has been carried through all of our products over the past 40 years.”
The MGA company firmly stands by their products and they don’t appear to see a problem with the styling of their award-winning LOL Surprise doll series. And they aren’t alone, not all parents are flipping out about this either.
“My daughter is an avid collector of LOL dolls, and although they have never been my favorite I see nothing wrong here,” Melissa, a Utah mother of 3 girls tells Filter Free Parents (we’ve removed her last name for privacy). Melissa points out that the LOL dolls have always dressed provocatively and come with adult accessories. In addition, she says, the ice water color changing surprise that has moms posting videos that go viral aren’t really a surprise at all. The instructions are clear.
“The responsibility lies on the parents to buy toys that they deem acceptable, and we are not given a free pass on what they are given as gifts,” Melissa says.
“I will still let my daughter play with LOL dolls. She doesn’t even know this part of the toy exists and I don’t plan to buy her lingerie anytime soon, so I don’t see a problem.”
But not everyone is falling for the shock value of the viral videos that demonstrate the element of surprise, which is central to the allure of the LOL Surprise doll, to begin with.
The fact-checker site, Truth or Fiction took aim at William’s viral video by pointing out that her reaction to the dolls changing in water may have been hypocritical.
It doesn’t help that her video utilized the hashtag #savethechildren, which was once a legitimate movement but has now been banned on Facebook after QAnon conspiracy theorists flooded social media using it.
The site stated,
“The user feigned shock, but anyone who has been asked to buy or bought the toys was likely aware their ability to change color (whether clothed or unclothed) is a major selling point.
The feature described here involved unclothed dolls, necessitating the ‘surprise’ be confined to something like underwear or a bathing suit,”
“Although some naked LOL dolls genuinely changed color when immersed, framing the heavily-marketed feature as a shock was disingenuous — that trait was emphasized in every description of LOL Surprise! dolls of that subset.”
Anyone who buys LOL Surprise dolls is likely already aware that the dolls are hyper-sexualized and no stranger to constant accusations of being improper.
But that doesn’t seem to slow sales. In fact, in 2020 MGA announced that the LOL Surprise doll won Toy of the Year, COllectable of the Year, and Doll of the Year for the third year in a row.
That’s quite a feat.
In the end, though, what really matters is what message a parent wants to give their child. That is a parent’s right and choice no matter what Facebook posts will tell you. As Melissa explains, there are bigger things in the world to get upset about.
“With everything going on in the world, it is our job as parents to prioritize and minimize trauma to our children, perhaps our time would be better spent learning about racial differences or supporting those affected by the pandemic, instead of shaming our kids about their bodies and favorite toys,” she said.
If you’re not cool with tramp stamps on dolls then maybe just don’t buy them, to begin with. And speak out with your wallet instead of with outrage on social media.