Most of us grew up with Bratz as a major part of our childhood; falling in love with the glitz and glamour of their high school popularity, Bratz magazine, their passion for fashion, and above all their empowerment as girls with big dreams, leaving their mark on the world. This world of ferocious glamour held within it what Barbie didn’t: a range of ethnicities, such as Sasha who’s black, Yasmin who’s Latina and Jade who’s Asian.

They exist with not just killer outfits, an attitude that screams powerful and confident, but academic success too, or providing the lessons of how important education is. I remember coming home (home being the number of houses we moved to, up until they stopped showing Bratz on CITV) every day after school to sit in front of the TV to watch Bratz, watching as the girls navigate their school life to the boy drama to working on their very own magazine, something I used to dream of having, and still do, for years.

The Bratz franchise has more than just a TV show, from movies, such as Bratz Rock Angelz and Bratz Passion 4 Fashion – Diamondz to Bratz Genie Magic, Bratz Starrin’ & Stylin to Bratz Girlz Really Rock!, dolls (I’m dying for a Yasmin and Jade doll especially!) to video games. My favourite Bratz movie is definitely Rock Angelz, but i was also totally in love with Girlz Really Rock! (speaking of, i may watch it again just for the nostalgia.)

I didn’t just love Bratz, i wanted to be their friend—i wanted to be one of them. Who wouldn’t? From drop dead gorgeous and iconic fashion sense and an unlimited wardrobe, to a writing career I’d love, with their own brand of individuality and passions making a difference in their world. They were living the dream. They taught me so much about friendship and how it comes first, through every drama and mess that threatens to sink you in it’s debris to the transitions of life and love and fame.

Not only are these girls dreamy and popular and highly fashionable, they’re also kind and compassionate and intelligent af. Cloe aka Angel is in charge of the “Dear Cloe” vertical of Bratz magazine, responding to readers who ask her for advice. She has a wide range of interests, from specialising in drama and debates to fashion, skateboarding, photography and loving motorbikes. At first glance, she appears to be shallow and boy-crazy, but beneath that demeanour there is so much more to her. Sasha aka Bunny Boo is the music editor of the group, with a passion for fashion and hip-hop dance, as well as being a songwriter. She’s bold, sassy and fierce as fuck, and I love her and her style. Jade aka Kool Kat is the fashion editor of the magazine, with interests in surfing, skateboarding, fashion design and trying new sports. She also loves studying Chemistry! Yasmin aka Pretty Princess is the main journalist for Bratz magazine and is extremely passionate about literature, with a strong philanthropic side to her—shes got her own animal shelter. She’s got wider interests in poetry, music and nature.

The Bratz girls are badass fashion icons and teach a lot about representation from the get go, as well as women empowerment. We can see this in the way they include two stylish af gay dolls. If that doesn’t show that Bratz is superior then what does? Whilst i aimed for perfection in the way i played online Bratz games, i also learnt to embrace my flaws, be unapologetically sensitive like Cloe, passionate about writing like Yasmin, fierce and bold like Sasha and try to experiment with more hobbies (and love cats!) like Jade. These girls taught me to explore with fashion and mix it up, be feminine af and proud of the things i love, and how to rise above the dilemmas that come with being a teenager and even going into early adulthood.

Even now, I still aspire to be exactly like them, have that same level of confidence and even their wardrobe. Maybe i’ll try to attempt a Bratz makeup look one day? (it’ll probably fail epically, but let’s try to stay optimistic, yeah?!) The endless possibilities in fashion, their clothes, are everywhere I hope to be able to achieve one day. Maybe it’ll never happen, but i can dream right? I’ll probably just go back to playing Bratz games online to satisfy the boundless fashion aspirations I have. Through Bratz, I learnt the power of creativity and expression via a medium of options, from things like the outfits I could wear, my writing and other outlets of passion. The girls’ aesthetic is one that is high fashion, glittery dreams and living one’s best life, no matter the tidal wave of heartbreak in whatever form it comes in. It is triumph over everything, choosing to love oneself, becoming stronger and more confident and grabbing hold of every opportunity.

I love the freshness and life Bratz bring to the world; whilst their very name ‘Bratz’ signifies a specific kind of attitude, it is still one that teaches young girls to stand up for themselves. We can see this in the way the girls battle for their own place in the world of fashion, against Burdine and the Tweevils, Kirstee and Kaycee. Bratz honestly helped shape a huge part of me; that part is one that is creative, passionate and fiercely protective over things—and people—i love. The woman i am now, because of them, is a woman who values friendship and loyalty, the unequivocal love that comes from the bonds of sisterhood amongst friends and women lifting up women, always empathetic. And of course, like Cloe, i am a huge romantic and always daydreaming.

The representation Bratz brought into the world still lives on today—they’ve created a huge impact on the world through their domination in the fashion and style industry to girl to woman empowerment, and best of all, inclusion. They accept imperfections and show that it’s more than okay to be just who you are, as long as you can accept it too and learn to love yourself.

Sumaiya, x

Posted by:Sumaiya Ahmed

Sumaiya Ahmed is a Muslim student, poet and freelance features journalist, aiming to break down the boundaries of cultural stigma and shame attached to mental health and sexuality within the South Asian culture, and bringing marginalised topics to light.

7 thoughts on “On Bratz, Representation & Empowerment

  1. It’s interesting that most people remember the Bratz for the TV series. I’ve been a long-time fan of the doll brand since 2001, and can definitely say they’ve always had the attitude and style. But the TV series really boost their popularity and is what most people think when they think of Bratz.

    While Bratz Rock Angelz remains my least favorite Bratz movie, it is great to know there are women who felt just as positively influenced by the Bratz girls from their presence as I was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I vaguely remember the dolls, but it was the TV show i first fell in love with. Which one is your favourite Bratz movie?

      I get why some parents think of it as a negative influence, but it’s more representative of the wider population due to the different ethnicities of the girls, as well as the aspirations and their empowerment of one another!

      Like

      1. My favorite Bratz movie…LOL I’m doing a complete video soon on it. I would definitely say Bratz Kidz Slumber Party Adventure. Since getting into Bratz in 2001, I feel that movie was Bratz’s best. Unfortunately, it was for the Bratz Kidz. I completely agree that Bratz represented so many people and backgrounds, which was why I shared your article on this. You hit it on the nail.

        Liked by 1 person

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