Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

Fishnets and Fangs for the Win? The Dark Side of Monster High

I’ve written a lot about the Monster High brand and looked closely at the story lines and characters. While Mattel claims that Monster High is all about “celebrating your freaky flaws,” … Continue reading

July 18, 2013 · 7 Comments

A Monster Problem: Monster High may be good for business, but is it good for girls?

Lori Patel, Vice President for Girls Marketing for Mattel recently wrote a piece for the Huffington Post entitled Believing in Girls is Good Business. In this piece, Patel talks about … Continue reading

July 27, 2012 · 4 Comments

Monster High’s Mixed Messages about Bullying with Tips for Talking with Kids

Episode after episode features similar messages: You get to the top by being the biggest monster possible – and not in the fun, unique way the line might insist you should, but by threatening or using physical violence, bullying tactics, cheating, lying and whining.By coating bad messages in an outer layer of good PR and catchy slogans, the company makes it harder for kids and parents to reject the toy without looking like they support bullying.

June 16, 2012 · 4 Comments

Monster High: Is this how you teach acceptance?

I wrote a post last year asking, Does Monster High Teach Kindness and another that provided an exercise in Deconstructing Monster High. My main problem with the Monster High brand is … Continue reading

June 13, 2012 · 11 Comments

Deciding if a Product is Right for You: Deconstructing Monster High

UPDATE: I published this post awhile back to help you walk through the process of deconstructing messages with particular products. As Halloween approaches and Monster High is front and center … Continue reading

September 23, 2011 · 6 Comments

Positive Pick: Go!Go!SportsGirls

One of the things that I advocate for both adults and children is becoming a media critic. A critic not only points out negative media products and messages, but also … Continue reading

July 29, 2011 · 2 Comments

Kids & Friends: The Power of Friendship

Today I was struck by the beautiful power of friendship. Our family moved to a foreign country for over half a year, to a place where we didn’t know any … Continue reading

June 15, 2011 · 2 Comments
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