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The OGs of style. Eyelashes long enough to tickle your forehead. Lips luscious enough to top up on filler once a decade. Eyes large enough to see from space. Brows snatched to the gods. Hair long enough to climb out of a window. Yes, I am talking about Bratz dolls. And yes, the nostalgia is real.
Bless up Reddit for gifting us this trend and reminding us just where our passion for sass and glamour came from. Social media stars and beauty bloggers alike have recently taken it upon themselves to globalise this new makeup trend: #TheBratzChallenge. Here, the makeup savvy lot of us have decided we don’t want to just take a trip down memory lane, we want to live and breathe our doll fantasies too. Plastering Instagram with the latest recreations, beauty enthusiasts across the globe have united in using clothing and cosmetics to imitate any Bratz doll in which they like. A fad I can finally get behind.
Though I am no where close to being a trained and accomplished makeup artist, I took this challenge as the opportunity to reminisce about my Bratz dolls days and have some fun with makeup at the same time. In the midst of recreating my own Jade doll, I began to realise there have been some significant implications since Bratz dolls were birthed, perhaps impacting (whether conscious or not) the Westernised cultural aesthetics of Generation Z today.
By this I mean how the dolls, and how they were made to look, have exposed and exploited us to a certain notion of what it means to be beautiful. Whilst it is important to mention that Bratz were probably one of the more inclusive range of dolls of their time, their ideals specific to physicality were regressive, and quite frankly unrealistic. Their eyes were painted on to fill at least a third of their face, with their lips taking up another third, leaving just about enough room for some perfectly shaded brows and a subtle bump for a nose. Although this isn’t a true reflection of facial composition, it has helped the body modification and cosmetics surgery industries to skyrocket. As Bratz were once showing off their poppin’ glossy lips, we now take regular action to pump ours full with hyaluronic acid in attempt to live up to such spectacle. And while I remain a firm believer in using the likes of beautification processes to boost one’s confidence for one’s self, I can’t help but feel Bratz could be a little to blame for the extent to which beauty rituals have accosted us over the years.
Amidst this deep political thought process, I was having real difficulty bringing my Brat to life (probably for the reasons discussed). Confronted by just how perfected and clean their lines and shapes were made out to be, I was prepared to make my imitation a closer, and more exaggerated reflection of our current climate. I got rid of the lined lips, the definitive sculpted lashes, and swapped them out for messy, smudged and irregular versions. By now I was looking a bit like a mad woman who had just got home from a 4-night bender, but I felt more than happy to exude this status rather than establishing one that could potentially be deprecatory. I know in my heart of hearts I will infinitely be a Bratz passion-4-fashion fanatic, it’s just unfortunate that most good things do have to come to an end.