Apparently, it’s very popular with young teenage and pre-teen girls and it reminded me of a favourite childhood game of my own. Most of my womenfolk will remember the cardboard cut-out dress-up dolls that could be found within the pages of the girlie comics. And most of my womenfolk who now have daughters of their own will also know that these cardboard cut-out dress-up dolls have moved with the times and onto the next level – ie – virtual. My own two girls have spent many idle hours playing fashion dress-up games on websites, styling their very own fashion model dolls from top to toe. As far as I can tell, they’ve shown no signs of unrealistic aspirations or inappropriately deep attachments to a fantasy alter-ego of their own creating.
But it seems that this Miss Bimbo gets a bit deeper into the vulnerable girlie psyche than the innocent Miss Cardboard Cut-out. It seems from all accounts that this Miss Bimbo is an altogether bad, bad role-model for susceptible young girls who, let’s face it, are already anxious about body-image and burdened with hollow life expectations.
To give you an idea – from Miss Bimbo’s home page:
- Find your own cool place to live.
- Find a fun job to pay for your needs and all the clothes a Bimbo could possibly want.
- Shop for the latest fashions and become the trendsetting bimbo in town !
- Become a socialite and skyrocket to the top of fame and popularity.
- Date that famous hottie you’ve had your eye on and show the Bimbo world the social starlet you are !
- Even resort to meds or plastic surgery. Stop at nothing to become the reigning bimbo !
- Tackle your 104 tasks as quick as possible to become the rising star bimbo !!
The men (yes I did say men) who created this site have described it as “harmless fun” and reflective of real life. They said that the missions and goals are morally sound and teach children about the real world. Well that’s stretching it a bit! Personally, I don’t think our young girls need another meritless celebrity-type wealthy role model to look up to - they already have Victoria Beckham.
But after saying all that, I’m really not so sure that this Missy Bimbo character will be that much more of an influence than all the Barbies and the cardboard cut-out dolls that us girls have happily been playing with for generations, be they paper, plastic or virtual. It’s just a doll after all – with added dimensions. Ok, it’s been argued that the game might encourage eating disorders among some kids but by those principles Barbie is just as guilty because I’ve never seen an obese Barbie.
Of course, there is the danger of the internet itself which isn’t going to go away anytime soon so the usual rules would apply in terms of internet child safety. And I’m a firm believer that we should balance our kid’s internet time with healthy outdoor fun (with outdoor fun being dominant hopefully). Other than that, as a parent myself, I’m not unduly concerned. If my middlie wanted to play with Miss Bimbo, I would sit and watch for a while. I’d probably have a giggle and try to refrain from sniggering. And I would slip in a few subliminal moralistic comments for the sake of guidance after which she would be likely to tell me to go away and that would be it.
But if I could spend some time alone with Miss Bimbo, I think I would turn her into a pill-popping alcoholic with huge breast and lip enhancements and an over-botoxed face, then I would have her checked in at a virtual rehab clinic where they can really screw with her head.