f(x) Amber Liu’s First Solo US Tour ‘Gone Rogue’ in Chicago!

6 Dec

After being immensely entertained by Kpop star and global charmer Amber Liu, I only have ONE question for her…………………….

Was it cold enough for you?

Greetings GenNext readers!

Last night, I was able to see one of my favorite Kpop stars, one of my biggest inspirations, and one of the greatest personalities out there: Amber freaking Liu.

Most readers know my admiration of f(x)’s Amber, right? F(x), The Korean Spice Girls + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

I was very, very disappointed when I missed the f(x) Dimension 4 Tour. The announcement of this tour was my chance to see Amber Liu live in person.

And here she was, right here in my hometown Chicago!

Just to give y’all a recap of this experience…Let’s start from the beginning.

It was a cold December afternoon. I thought of every excuse to leave work early. Work was going to keep me trapped. Ironically, the day, THIS day, I had to stay 15 minutes later than usual.

No. “I have to leave,” I kept telling myself. For the first time, I was going to see an f(x) member. My bias wrecker at that. And it took me awhile to get these tickets, I’ll have you know. I didn’t initially think I could go. I was broke as smoke with no hope back in November when I first saw the tix go on sale. It was so bad, I couldn’t even buy the tickets as soon as they went on sale (What kind of journalist am I, right?). Guess what that meant? I couldn’t get the VIP “Meet and Greet” treatment, either.

Okay. That’s fine. I was happy that I snagged two good General Admission tickets. At least, if I couldn’t be VIP, I could have a chance at being close to the stage.

But NO. Work didn’t want to let me out.

At about 3:36pm, I walked myself out. I ran to my ride (my sis was picking me up), hit that gps, and said, “It is time.”

It was then that I remembered one very defeating thing about Chicago: RUSH HOUR. I had to think, think, think. Should I take the Expressway or the “scenic” route. One would take 40 minutes, the other, about an hour. But as soon as I saw that expressway traffic, as soon as I saw the gps tack on minutes, and recalled all of those accidents I hear on the Dan Ryan everyday during this time, I decided an hour wouldn’t be too bad.

As I drove downtown, I kept second-guessing my decision. I would just make it to Park West an hour before the opening of the doors with this route. Which meant I probably wouldn’t be at the front of the stage. Fans arrive early. I know this. Some probably even camped out since noon.

Okay. Fine. I wasn’t going to be upset. I would get as close as possible and maybe even ask a fan in the front row to take some pictures or video captures for me. It was all good.

The road to Amber Liu’s first tour was only filled with a few potholes, but was really overall smoother than I expected.

I arrived downtown at around 5:11pm. I thought I was early. Getting downtown, I knew one important thing about Chicago. Chicago is infamous for its lack of on-site parking. Beforehand, I researched parking garages, but they were super far from the venue. I knew I would have to pay for parking. I happened to nab a spot right away, but it was fifteen minutes away from the venue BY CAR. There’s more time to add when you’re WALKING.

Unfortunately, the meter would only let me have the spot until 8:30 (Performance began at 7:30). I would either have to leave the concert early or hope to the stars the cops wouldn’t boot my car.

So, now it’s time to walk. It’s then that I realize the biting cold. Chicago’s also infamous as the “Windy City”. Walking down the street, finishing my gps by phone, I tried to spot as many landmarks as I could and checked those alleyways (runaway cars, ya’ know). Digital Adventures, apparently some kind of store, still comes to mind.

Finally, my sis and I could see the Park West sign. We knew we were close because two teenage-looking girls were right in front of us. Why else would they be in this part of Chicago, Lincoln Park, which doesn’t have as much nightlife as the other side of Chicago?

We had to zig-zag (see that f(x) reference right there?) across the street because we reached a weird intersection. As soon as we reached the venue, we could already see a line snaking around from the front. Damn.

Okay. It’s fine. We were only at the very side of the building. Some people were lined up into the neighborhood, so we didn’t really have it that bad in comparison.

We had some nice fans both in front of us and behind us. I expected Amber to have very caring fans. She’s usually somewhat of a diplomat herself and tries to encourage people to get along. I certainly expected her fans to carry that same attitude. I sneezed once, and someone just shouted, “Bless You!” way in the back. It was pretty good to be sharing this moment with fellow Llama Bears. One fan even passed out light sticks in f(x)’s “fan color” (Kpop is known for “fan names” and “fan colors”, which fans brought over to this concert).

Now, here came the tight spot in the experience. I drank some coca-cola before arriving downtown, and my body decided to tell me to go to the bathroom right at 5:55pm. Why now? I had a good spot in line! I didn’t see an open store or restaurant on my way there! I have to wait. After all, the doors open at 6pm, right?….

I deceived myself into thinking the doors opened at 6pm. Checked my tickets and found out the time was 6:30pm! I didn’t want to leave my spot in case the doors opened sooner, but I had to go! Fortunately, behind me, someone told me there was a Subway down the street. I decided to follow them to it (See? Nice fans).

Inside the Subway, it was crawling with Amber Liu fans. Not just any Amber Liu fans. The VIP kind. Flashy VIP badges with Amber’s casual cool photo caught my eye. I was green with envy already.

That was on my mind and “bathroom”.

The bathroom sign said “For customers only. Must make a purchase to use the bathroom.” There was a line for the bathroom and an even longer line for food. I went to the bathroom first and decided to purchase something later. Next, I came out of the bathroom and the food line was twice as long. By the time I even got close to the counter, it was 6:15pm. The VIP fans were leaving. I knew I was screwed. The doors were going to open in 15 minutes! The orders were longer and more complicated as I inched forward. I couldn’t stay there and wait for some cookies. Despite the sign’s request, I ran out of there. I owe that Subway my service someday.

If I’d known I would be waiting another 30 minutes before entering the venue, I would’ve stayed in line for my cookies.

Yes. In the biting cold, where toes were getting numb and legs were getting cramps, the venue decided to leave us out there even longer. I thought I was prepared. I had my hat, long coat, and gloves on. I’m a Chicagolander after all!

Nope. I was still cold. And this venue must have played a cruel prank on us to leave us out in the cold until 7pm! The concert was due to start at 7:30pm. Would we really have to stand out here 30 minutes before showtime? I kept thinking. Definitely won’t give anyone time to get souvenirs before the show.

When the doors finally opened, people bunched together to escape the cold weather and find their own special spot in the venue before the start of the show. When creeping closer to the front, a beautiful sign of Amber hung to the left. All the gripes and complaints about the late start and bitter cold melted away.

So many people lined up to capture it that it was impossible for me to get a capture. Plus, I needed to get as close to the stage as I could so I could complete this little piece for y’all.

Inside, they had to do that bag check. I’m glad I prepared ahead of time. I emptied out my bulky granny purse in favor of a light sack. Reaching the lobby, to my left was a nice little merch stand. However, security rushed us up the stairs or forced us to stand in line. I didn’t have time for that. I had to get to that stage.

To my right, I saw a bar. Ooh. A bar. Didn’t have time for that either, but it was nice to see.

The venue had a rather intimate feeling, with a simple dance floor close to the stage, where fans huddled to get closer.

There were seats for people to sit and relax, too. I was tempted because my little worms for toes were frozen. But I had to get a close-up.

We only had to wait 10 minutes. 10 minutes was a long time for all of the excited fans.

Suddenly, lights turned red. In all the excitement about Amber, some of us forgot that Justin Park was also a guest there tonight, there to open the show. Justin Park’s fans didn’t forget. No way. But none of us were upset. After all, Amber has friends everywhere. Amber’s fans know this. I didn’t hear a grumble or a sigh.

Plus, Justin, my man Justin, can put on a show.

A handsome, smooth, silky figure moved onto the stage. My sis and I instantly became fans. With his smooth R&B feeling, hat shading his eyes giving him a mysterious air, and quick body rolls, he owned that stage for a moment. He gave us a glimpse of his music dropping this Friday, December 7, 2018. He didn’t disappoint. I will be making that purchase and binge watching his videos all week.

Among the songs on his setlist:

Dates in LA

Honey (with a nod to Andrew Garcia)

All I Wanna Do (Betbaks by KRNFX feat. Justin Park | Jay Park)

I think he also sang Summer Shxt…But even if he didn’t, it’s a great song by him. Give it a listen.

NAHIMMASTAY (Namaste) (I think he sang this too, though I’m not certain, but it’s also a good song)

Like We Used To

He seemed so grateful to be there, so fresh, so revitalized, that I came along for the ride. Justin definitely kept the crowd at bay. What a distraction.

Then, lights got dark. We knew who was coming on next. Fans began to scream before we even saw her face.

Here came a woman, in her denim jacket, burnt orange top, and denim jeans-California Casual Cool, ready to bring her energy. The energy turned up notches higher than before. She opened with my personal favorite of hers: “White Noise”.

Throughout the night, Amber’s character shined. I’ve been to a lot of concerts (and my sis is the lesser fan of the two of us, and has been interested in more artists). But of all the concerts we’ve attended, this one was the most fun. I tried to put my finger on it. Why was this one, of all the concerts I’ve attended, so much fun? It wasn’t until after it was all over did we discover why this concert was so much fun…

Throughout the performances, we didn’t have time to think that deep. We all came to have a good time, and a good time we had. My sister became a bigger fan after last night.

Amber sang live. Yes, live. Her vocals were very impressive: angelic and soft, countering her rugged image perfectly, and moving in sync with the EDM and acoustic pop genres. She also brought in some sharp dance moves this time, too. She emerged onto the stage with her talent, charisma, and excitement (and her hint of humble shyness). You could tell she was excited.

This was her night of “firsts”: Her first solo tour, the first night of her tour, and her first time in Chicago. I hope she had a chance to try some of Chicago’s unique cuisine (deep dish pizza) before heading off to the next city. I’m glad it was her first, right before the burn-out and the jet lag. It was the perfect performance to see.

She didn’t need a large stage or flashy lights to make that night special (though she had the flashy lights, she didn’t need it). She used the complete stage to charm her audience and brought her dorkiness to the fore. Very few artists can achieve that on their own. They just don’t have the personality to make a complete show as a solo body. Some artists need the effects.

Amber was also born in the USA, so she didn’t need any effort to speak English. That also helped to reach her English-speaking audience. She did perform one song in Korean, though, which Kpop lovers LOVED.

She knew exactly what fans were expecting and she gave a special delivery to enchant the crowd. She didn’t try to be super perfect (though I’m certain she was concerned about that), but that was why it was perfect. If there were any mistakes present, most of the crowd would’ve thought it was all apart of Amber’s colorful antics.

Actually, I would say despite Amber’s genuine and humble demeanor, there was a legendary veteran diva hidden in there. Amber has been performing for nearly 10 years, and she didn’t feel like a stranger to the stage (despite this being her first solo tour). She knew to move from right to left across the stage to make sure each fan got the most out of that night. She was completely compatible with her back-up dancers. She knew how to react to each moment, no matter how random. It didn’t feel calculated, but it went along effortlessly. She managed the stage like she knew what to do (even if she felt she didn’t).

Even people who were initially “dragged to the concert” (which Amber jokingly pointed out during her “Three Million Years” set) eventually felt spell-bound by Amber. A guy next to me who was not initially a fan was screaming by the end of it all, especially during the encore when Amber surprised her audience with a Christmas song. This guy wanted to go home while he was waiting in the cold. Once he got a taste of Amber, he didn’t want to leave. He left the venue after me!

Amber interacted heavily with the crowd. From shaking her “brass” during the lively “Shake that Brass”, to laughing her way through “Three Million Years” (as well as putting couples on blast), from giving a cute “I love you, too” back to a fan who shouted it first, it was a riot from start to finish. Fans shouted a lot of random nonsense, all for which Amber reacted to. It was very amusing. I joined in the nonsense myself (for which I’m almost ashamed, but not really 😀). Fans even threw stuffed animals and other presents at her (though I would advise next time that fans ask first because we don’t need a Swae Lee incident).

Amber fans are truly in awe of her. Among the mix of “Amber is so cute!”, “We don’t deserve her!”, and “You’re fuxxing amazing!”, there was also waves of respect for her music and those super aware of Amber’s music inspiration. Amber would explain what each song means, but she didn’t have to do much explaining. Most of her fans understand and even relate to her songs. As Amber introduced each song, fans would shout out its name.

Among her setlist was:

White Noise (mentioned before)

High Hopes

Lost at Sea 

Need to Feel Needed

XL Uber (Justin Park and Amber)

Borders

Beautiful (English version)

Get Over It

Three Million Years (which I regrettably didn’t capture. I forgot to take a photo or record 😦 )

First performance of Countdown

Shake That Brass

Encore: I Just Wanna and a special Christmas surprise (which I won’t spoil)

I enjoyed every single song. Unfortunately, my battery was dying and my phone is booty. I only caught glimpses of this amazing, entertaining, and wild ride. I tried to capture as much as I could. It was very difficult. It didn’t help that I was caught in the moment and having fun. My photos and videos reflect my excitement. I acted like I was drunk and I didn’t even have a drink. I was high off of Amber’s energy.

I promised myself I wouldn’t lose my voice. Promise broken.

I promised myself I would leave before the encore to beat traffic and tickets on my car. Promise broken.

Needless to say, I found a nice surprise from the City of Chicago when I got back to my car. No, it wasn’t because I parked there too long. It was because I was too close to the curb…Damn you Chicago. They got me.

I also had a nice surprise when I woke up this morning. Voice gone.

After the high of the performance, I finally nailed why this concert was so fun. It’s amazing how just one personality-no matter what outfit or what lights or flashy dance moves-can be the sole source of entertainment. Amber didn’t just bring music. She brought laughter. She brought smiles. She brought wisdom. She brought encouragement. Everyone walked out much lighter, happier, and united.

The saddest part was when Amber confessed to feeling in a slump. I kept thinking about how much she gave that audience that night despite being in a slump.

She touched many hearts, even through her sadness and pain. I could hear it in the audience. A true professional, no matter how honest about her feelings, Amber came with everything she had. Maybe beyond the stage last night, she may have felt underappreciated and underrated (which needs to cease). But last night, she was everyone’s Queen, everyone’s Goddess. I hope that, through the cheers and light sticks flashing, the fans gave her the will to continue her tour so that she can bless all the other fans across the nation.

In a nutshell, Amber’s performance felt more like a large party rather than a rigidly calculated concert.

For all of you planning to attend one of her live performances, this tour is as “rogue” as it gets.

Well, that’s my spill on last night’s performance! Leave me a comment and let me know of any Amber Liu experiences you’ve had! Did you attend the performance last night? Are you attending in another city? Let’s talk about it!

I made a video compiling all of my videos of that night…Yeah, it doesn’t look the best, but you can feel the energy, okay?

 

7 Dolls I Played With As A Kid That Shaped My Life As An Adult

23 Oct

Greetings Gen Next readers!

People often say that dolls can influence the children playing with them. As a huge doll enthusiast, I can agree with this to a certain extent. It’s amazing how a plastic item can make such an impact on a child. I’ve had dolls that really shaped my view of the world and I’ve seen dolls shape other children around me.

With that being said, I understand why parents, particularly mothers, are so concerned with how dolls influence or shape the lives of their children.

However, I can honestly say that kids view things from a different perspective than adults. While mothers might think a doll brand will influence their child in one way, the child may pick up a completely different message depending on the other surrounding things going on in their lives.

I can honestly say that has been the case for me. Growing up in the 1990s and early 2K, we didn’t have the technology these little kiddies have. We had TOYS! And in the 1990s, toy aisles had anything a kid could ever want to play with. They were filled to the brim.

My parents encouraged me to play at a young age. I was a shy anti-social kid who didn’t like playing too much with the neighbor’s kids. Toys were my escape. My mother, along with other family members, always tried to find the best toys for me. My family always considered how each toy would impact my life, but they never knew exactly how that would occur.

Toys became an integral part of my life. Being raised a girl, my parents and grandparents always saw it fitting for me to play with dolls. Early on, my mother encouraged me to be feminine. She would encourage me to play with the most pro-girl and pro-feminine dolls she could find. She was that way. Little did she know I would grow into a tomboy who loves androgynous fashion!

My other family members, like my grandparents, also tried to find dolls that instilled values.

With my family members encouraging me to play, you can imagine I had a lot of toys, especially dolls, growing up.

Still, you might be wondering, “How did those dolls influence you to the point they impacted or shaped your life right now, as an adult?” Well, let me run down SEVEN dolls I played with as a child that shaped my life today as an adult. When I mention how they influenced me, you might understand more…

I will do a countdown style.

If you hate reading, skip down…Skip

 

7. Kenya

Created by Tyco, Kenya was a doll that promoted the beauty of African American girls’ hair. Her slogan was literally “the beautiful hairstyling doll”. You could style her hair just like you do yours African American girls!

This was probably one of the first pro-black dolls I saw on TV. Seriously, all of the dolls that came out of the Kenya brand were images of black girls.

When I first saw Kenya in the commercials, the thing that stood out to me, as a kid, was how her hair could be styled to look just like mine. To me, she looked like my vision of a “real girl”. A “real girl”, in my mind, was someone who looked like me! It’s kind of how I feel about American Girl’s Melody now. Kenya was the “Melody” of the 1990s. She was more of a modern girl that encouraged me to love myself. And I could feel that message as a kid. She was actually one of the first black dolls I was exposed to and I loved that doll. I played with her everyday. I even tried to draw my own tattoos on her…Which didn’t turn out too good, but at least she was loved.

I think having a doll like Kenya did something to me. For starters, It exposed me to the country of Kenya. In school, when we were studying countries, I never forgot about the country of Kenya because the Kenya doll had the same name. Every time the teacher would ask us to name one country in Africa, I would always remember Kenya. And I still remember that country to this day. I paid a lot of attention to that lesson and now I know so much about the country.

Then, Kenya helped me love being black with thick hair and made me desire more black dolls. I think after seeing Kenya, the generic white Barbie wasn’t satisfying enough. I began looking for more diverse brands with dolls that looked like me. Kenya made me aware of the underrepresentation present in the media because I couldn’t find any other dolls like Kenya. I always wanted to braid my dolls’ hair and put beads in my dolls’ hair. There were few dolls that offered that.

Seeing Kenya take that spotlight helped me see the beauty in being African American. I think that’s why I push for representation and equality to this day.

The only thing I never loved about this doll was the commercial. It was basic and cheesy then, and it still is. XD

I heard Kenya made a comeback some time in 2012. She came with more modern clothes and more diverse skin tones. I heard she even came with a 12″ Barbie looking type. Kenya is still making waves with trying to push representation…

 

6. Global Friends

I’m sure most of you guys know nothing about this 18″ doll brand. It didn’t even come with a commercial or anything fancy (though they had a website back in the 1990s, which was a big deal back then, but I didn’t have a very good computer in the 1990s and the internet was dial-up). If you grew up in the 1990s, maybe you got one of their catalogues.

Created by the company of the same name, Global Friends Company, inc, it spawned a brand of around 12 to 13 dolls, all from different parts of the world. Their collections and accessories centered on their cultures and their friendship through the Global Friends pen pal service set up online. At that time, the computer was just becoming a household item, and the internet was the newest advancement. With the internet age, people were able to connect with other people from all over the world. I remember when I was in 4th grade, I got my first online pen pal. She came from a different world. That was so amazing to me at the time.

This brand was trying to encourage girls to connect with girls of different cultures and backgrounds. It was a brand trying to expand the minds of girls.

Like the other 18″ dolls of that time, they were apart of the “18”” doll trend (though they were technically around 14″), meant to look like real girls, and were sold only by “mail order catalogues”. That was the allure of these dolls. They were exclusive and expensive, yet educational and wholesome.

Unfortunately, I never got to buy a Global Friends doll until I was an adult. However, I always got their catalogues in the mail and would flip through them for hours.

Though the dolls may have highlighted mostly stereotypical forms of girls from around the world, they were the first dolls that got me interested in other cultures and traveling. The dolls looked so pretty to me and the outfits were bursting with color. The diversity was fulfilling. It filled my eyes up like I-candy.

Basically, these dolls at least exposed me or became a gateway to the world. The one thing I remember most about the dolls was their “greeting” printed next to them in the magazine. I literally learned how to say greetings in many different languages because of this brand. Gretchen from Germany was first, so I always remembered “Guten Tag” (which means “Good Day”). I always remembered “Jambo”, “Ni Hao”, “Oi”, “Ahllan”, “Dobree Dyen”, Bonjour”, “Konnichiwa”, among others! I may not have learned how to properly pronounce these greetings, but I learned OF them. It was an introductory exposure to other cultures. And it worked!

The brand expanded my worldview and got me thinking about how other people live outside of my existence. I think ever since I got into these dolls, I developed a desire to travel and meet people from so many different backgrounds. I still have that desire, and I want to take the greetings I learned with me.

 

5. Amazing Amy

Amazing Amy, the interactive doll by Playmates Toys, Inc, with over 10,000 phrases. This company had a lot of interactive dolls come out of it in the 1990s and early 2K era.

And oh no, I can’t forget about Amy. I still have the commercial jingle lodged in my head, “Amazing Amy! How does she know?” And she responds, “I just know!”

Of all the dolls I grew up with, this doll actually had quite a negative impact on me.

Maybe most of us have had a negative fear of dolls before, right? Especially fearing dolls that talk. I know people who have doll phobias. I’ve never really hated dolls neither have I been scared of them. Toy Story might have scared my friends, but it didn’t scare me…

But then came Amazing Amy.

Amazing Amy was battery-powered and mechanical, which was becoming a thing at the turn of the 21st Century. She had her own clock, which could be set to the player’s specifications. She came with lots of accessories. She was blonde and wore pink. I was told she had a black version, but I knew about the blonde one from the commercials.

Quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t get the black doll. If any doll wanted to influence me to form self-hate tendencies, it would’ve been the black Amazing Amy.

This doll…was the most annoying piece of plastic ever to come into my life.

I first saw her in a commercial and thought it would be cool to have this cute doll that could talk to me. I thought it was appealing to be able to take care of my own daughter. Appealing…So I thought.

Amazing Amy came with some pretty cool accessories, too. She had a toothbrush, a partly chewed popsicle, a bottle of milk, hot dog, juice, pizza, a banana, a cookie, and a plate of disgusting-looking “mashed food”. She liked to play “Simon Says”, “Feed Me Something”, and her “Squeeze Games”, too. She had a dress, diaper, and pajamas.

Oh yes, Amazing Amy was going to be my daughter. It didn’t matter to me that she was white and blonde in comparison to her black mother. I was excited to have my very own daughter.

So how did this cute and interactive doll shape my life negatively?

Maybe it’s not all negative to everybody, but…I believe Amazing Amy is the reason I resolved in my heart, at a young age, that I never wanted kids. To this day, I not only take motherhood seriously but I have no desire to have a baby too soon. On the plus side, I think that’s why I avoided teen pregnancy.

When I got this doll at 8 years old, I was not ready to take care of a baby. Having Amy around and turned on was like taking care of a baby. Once you set her clock in the middle of her body and turned her on, her slogan took full effect: “She knows what she wants and how to ask for it!” At first, I enjoyed taking care of her needs and feeding her. Her sensors would glitch, which would be annoying, but overall I enjoyed giving her what she wanted.

Well, one night, I forgot to turn Amazing Amy off. All night, Amy kept asking for food, to play a game, to get her hair brushed. I was knocked out sleep. Well, Amy cried. She cried so loudly, it sounded like an alarm clock piercing through the night. She woke me up at 4:00 AM so that I could change her diaper, feed her, and play games with her. Then she glitched, so she started crying AGAIN! When I turned her around to turn her off, the button was stuck on “ON”! I tried taking out her batteries, but it was hard for my little hands to get the back open. So, she cried.

Eventually, frustrated, I snuck in the kitchen, picked out a fork, and pried out her batteries. Once those batteries were out, I never put them back in again.

The next day, I was so tired I couldn’t stay awake at school. My mother asked me why I was so tired. When I told her Amazing Amy kept me up all night crying, my mother laughed and said, “Imagine a real baby! But with your own, you can’t just take the batteries out!” That statement stuck with me.

So, now, every time I even think of having a kid, I think about how hard it was for me (at the time) to take care of that annoying, expensive little doll. Now, that I’m older, I’m wiser, but I still understand that taking care of a child is no glamorous or easy task. Amazing Amy definitely taught me that at a young age. Whenever my friends would say they wished they had a baby sister or a baby, my mind would flash back to this doll.

In some ways, I’m glad it taught me to take parenthood seriously. But when I’m interacting with others who really want children, I might not sound the most positive.

 

4. Barbie

Barbie has impacted thousands of girls the world over, including this girl.

Barbie is the world’s #1 fashion doll. Created by Ruth Handler while on vacation in Germany, and produced by the company Mattel, her husband’s company, Barbie was meant to be a challenge to the Baby doll industry and a response to the growing love of adult paper dolls. Ruth Handler wanted to create an actual plastic figure of famous comic and paper doll characters because she noticed her daughter preferred them to the baby dolls.

At the core, Barbie was meant to be a doll young girls could admire and dream of being one day. She fit the American ideal: white, blonde, beautiful, stylish, wealthy, glamorous, and forever young.

I grew up with her in the 1990s when she’d already had a huge empire and had expanded beyond the fashion world. Barbie could do and be anything by the 1990s! That’s the vision they sold us.

This blonde adult figure inspired a lot of playtime out of me growing up. I would always pretend she was my mother. She reminded me a lot of her. My doll was white and my mother was black, but they both were stylish, career-oriented, and could do things I couldn’t at my age.

Interestingly enough, Barbie’s fashion sense never appealed to me. I didn’t like her for her fashion. I liked her for all of the mini items she came with. For example, my Teacher Barbie came with a chalkboard, mini chalk, and desks. I always thought it was cool how I could create my own classroom in a mini-sized version.

So how did Barbie come to influence who I am today? How did she influence a messy tomboy like me?

It might shock you, but Barbie ushered me into the technology age. Yeah. She also expanded my interest in dolls. I have to give her credit for this.

When we first got a computer in my home, one of the first websites I knew about was Barbie.com from commercials. I can’t find that commercial anymore.

The jingle went like, “What can you be there, what can you see there? Now you can be there, uh-huh…” Something like that.

Anyway, Barbie encouraged me to navigate the internet. It was the first website for dolls I’d ever heard of.

Barbie also introduced me into video games. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I had always watched my young uncles and cousins play video games, but I didn’t have a system or games of my own. My mother and grandmothers didn’t think it was a suitable toy for “girls”. I would try to play games like Mortal Combat and NBA Sports at Arcades or at restaurants or laundromats.

But when I first got my playstation, the first game I played was Barbie Race and Ride. By playing this game, I learned the mechanics of the playstation system. Eventually, I moved on to more advanced games from there. I loved Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games, Tekken and Street Fighter, and eventually RPG games like Kingdom Hearts. It was because of Barbie that I fell in love with video gaming. I still love video games to this day.

I also used to play Barbie Super Sports (which was a little more challenging than Race and Ride) and Detective Barbie. The most fun Barbie video game I played was a PC/CD-Rom game called Secret Agent Barbie. That was my first PC game. I wish I could still play that game. It’s not compatible with anything nowadays.

In all honesty, Barbie made me into a gamer girl!

Barbie also got me interested in diverse and unique dolls. A lot of dolls have claimed to have been the first major diverse dolls out there, but Barbie has always had sister and spin-off brands that focused on a group of diverse dolls. Generation Girl was about 8 best friends from different backgrounds and cultures who attend International High. Diva Starz was also a diverse brand, and probably the first I saw with the big head and big feet design. Polly Pocket was innovative. Myscene was stylish and mature. Even to this day, Barbie’s sister brands Monster High and Ever After High continue to produce diversity. Going to Barbie’s website, I was able to get in touch with the other lovable brands.

Barbie’s mini world inspired me to look for more out of my collections. She pretty much set the bar for how far a doll line could expand. Barbie has had it all. I can only be impressed by how much this doll brand has accomplished for over 50 years. It’s amazing. The appeal of Barbie was that I could be in a lavish mini world I wouldn’t naturally be able to afford in real life. I could be anything when I had Barbie.

Barbie developed my interest in building a career, believe it or not. I always had working women around me. I didn’t have the privilege of a stay-at-home mom. My mother had to work. Barbie made that seem okay for me. Through Barbie, I could always pretend she was in a career. She had so many career options in the 1990s. I believe she inspired my ambitious nature.

Barbie may have had an influence on me, but she didn’t turn me into a materialistic and superficial broad. She may have done that to some kids, but not me.

Little did I know I would take this influence and drive it towards a rival brand…

 

3. Magic Attic Club

Oh, The Magic Attic Club. This club was like the Babysitters Club of the 1990s, only it dealt with magic and younger girls. But it was the club every girl wanted to be in. Magic Attic Club inspired me in many ways but also taught me valuable lessons. Let me explain.

Magic Attic Club was following that “18” doll” format. They were sold by mail order catalogue, were expensive, and exclusive. They were cheaper than American Girl though. Unlike American Girl, Magic Attic Club was a modern and more fantastical line. They came with a series of books that followed the characters’ adventures through a magic mirror that would allow the characters to explore their imagination. The adventures they would go on would also teach them how to deal with their everyday life (though the things they go through might seem minor).

Magic Attic Club dolls passed through the hands of many companies before retirement. They were first sold by Georgetown. They filled the gap American Girl didn’t fill at the time: They produced modern girls (while American Girl still primarily sold historical dolls). Eventually, Magic Attic Club went to Knickerbocker and last Marian (which was a company created by actress Marie Osmond and her husband Brian).

Magic Attic Club influenced my life in five ways.

First, Magic Attic Club got me interested in the fantasy genre. Magic Attic Club was able to be and do anything, at 10 years old. I was always excited about whatever adventure they would go on. And the outfits they came with! They were just bursting with color and luxury!

I think the mystery behind the Magic mirror was so intriguing that I longed for that mystery in other genres. To this day, my interest in the fantasy genre has expanded. I enjoy Harry Potter, Circle of Magic, Jewel Princesses…I got into a lot.

Second, Magic Attic Club made me realize indigenous people still EXIST, not as a foreigner but in my own country. Yes, I was an ignorant little child back then. I used to see indigenous groups as groups belonging to the past. I didn’t realize that there were still people from these groups, even little girls like me, living modern lives while trying to hold on to their ancestry. Rose Hopkins, the Cheyenne girl in the Magic Attic Club, taught me that. To this day, there are still very few doll lines that have a modern doll representing the indigenous groups of people. Ever since I was introduced to Rose, I have felt she was a rare gem, and I have looked for that kind of representation in every doll line. Rose is also one of the most gorgeous dolls in the brand.

Global Friends also had an indigenous doll, but at the time, it didn’t dawn on me that the character was “American”. Unfortunately.

Third, Magic Attic Club taught me to shut my mouth and stick with real friends. When I was younger, about 8 years old, that was the one time in my life I wanted to fit in with the other girls. I had so many popular girls in my class. They were kind of mean and stuck up to some of my friends. I used to be like a loser or an outcast because I would hang out with the underdogs.

But one day, I had been talking about the Magic Attic Club. All the “cool” girls liked Magic Attic Club because of how exclusive and pretty the dolls were. These girls found out I loved Magic Attic Club, knew a lot about the dolls, and let me be apart of their clique because of it. Me, being a fan of Magic Attic Club, would share fan info with these girls, insider knowledge. At that time, they were giving me some attention, and I liked it.

Eventually though, that died down. They started cooling off from me. I guess all they had in common with me were these dolls. So what did I do? I came up with the biggest and stupidest lie. I told them that my grandmother works for the company that makes Magic Attic Club dolls and that she could get them dolls for free.

After that, the girls came back around me.

But see, I had to keep up with this lie. The girls kept pressuring me and asking when they would get their free dolls. I had to keep pushing back the date to make it believable. Eventually, one of the lead girls got suspicious. She came up to me and said, “I don’t believe your grandma works for the company.” I tried to defend my lie. And I managed to defend this lie up until I was 10. I finally confessed that my grandmother didn’t work for Magic Attic Club and that my grandmother just happened to buy me two dolls and books. Obviously, this made me the bum of my elementary school days. I deserved it.

On the other hand, my real friends stayed by me and liked me for who I was. From that Magic Attic Club encounter, I learned that you can’t buy friendship and I learned to shut my mouth. If I can’t speak truth, I don’t need to speak. I learned not to lie about who I am.

The fourth way Magic Attic Club had an impact on me was it actually got me interested in doll fashion. The one thing Magic Attic Club had over all the other 18″ dolls of the time was they were girls my age that wore trendy and modern clothes. They were the first dolls that got me interested in the fashion aspect of doll brands. Beforehand, I just liked the stuff dolls came with. Magic Attic Club had an array of different outfits and clothes, but they were also on trend in my eyes. Barbie was fashionable, but she was an adult. The MAC were wearing clothes I could wear and WANTED to wear. My interest in their fashion expanded my interest in fashion dolls in general (even though they weren’t fashion dolls!).

Last, Magic Attic Club has influenced my summers. Magic Attic Club always reminded me of summers spent with my great-grandmother (who I would visit every summer). When I was younger, I couldn’t afford all of the Magic Attic Club books. However, during the summer, my great-grandmother would take me to the library and I could find all of the MAC books! I would check them all out. The librarian knew which books I would get every summer. Eventually, this turned into a tradition. Every summer, even up into high school, I would check out the Magic Attic Club books and read them.

Eventually, the library closed. I also couldn’t spend as much time with my grandmother. But I managed to buy all of the ones in print (still looking for Jane in a Land of Enchantment). I still read them every summer. Summer doesn’t begin for me unless I read these books. Having the dolls also remind me of those lovely summers.

Overall, the Magic Attic Club dolls have had a profound impact on my life.

 

2. American Girl Dolls

The American Girl dolls come from a brand focused on educating and inspiring girls through play. They come with a line of historical characters and modern characters fleshed out through dolls, accessories, and books. Through storytime, their characters help girls face the real world around them. Honestly, of all the 18″ dolls, American Girl was the first to do this and has always been the most effective at this.

American Girl was originally produced by Pleasant Rowland through Pleasant Company. It was designed to combat Barbie’s influence as an adult figure and bring back dolls that looked more like girls. It also bounced off the popularity of the Little House on the Prairie, which had been popular decades prior due to the TV series. The dolls were meant to help connect girls today with girls of the past, to bridge generations of girlhood, tell history from the female perspective, and inspire future leaders.

Ironically, Barbie’s parent company, Mattel, ended up buying American Girl. American Girl continues to educate and inspire girls.

This company definitely inspired me. I got into American Girl in 1995 with the books I would get from my school library. I received my first American Girl doll in 1997. At that time, the modern girls were just becoming a thing.

American Girl influenced me tremendously. First, this doll brand inspired my love of history. It was the gateway to learning the important events in my country. And as they say, if you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I think American Girl encouraged me to appreciate the place I live and even to appreciate the histories of other countries! American Girl made history come alive for me, and made history fun and appealing. In school, I always got As on my history tests. I would win history bees and competitions. American Girl didn’t have all the answers, but they were the only books telling history from an everyday perspective, not from one of those glamorized and over-dramatic perspectives. They would go over things about history I honestly never heard of, like what foods people ate and what clothes they wore. I literally got interested in how people live.

American Girl is the reason I have the job and career I have NOW. I was inspired to get into education. I was inspired to build up my own community of African American children and help them value education. Addy was my first American Girl and she made slavery and reconstruction even more real for me. I’ll never forget when she got her freedom and she still had to build her life. It wasn’t a walk in the park. The books were so real for me, not cheesy at all.

I currently work with black children and I try to get them into their own roots and history. I try to inspire them the way American Girl inspired me. I wanted to give back. American Girl showed me the importance of doing that.

American Girl instilled some really strong morals and character traits in me. I think the brand helped me develop courage, a spirit of adventure, open-mindedness, kindness, compassion, sacrifice, strength, and determination. Whenever I thought my life was hard, I would think about girls who came before me who had it harder. I try to live up to these qualities everyday. I think American Girl helped me see the importance of developing these qualities early in my life.

Having the dolls really made history real for me. I could pretend to be from a different time and place, a different race or culture, and through that playtime, I learned to understand people and I learned to understand life. I’ve learned how to cook foods and prepare them in ways different from my own. I’ve learned to study the way people dress and live. I’ve learned to melt my own prejudices when seeing someone different.

I definitely learned to transcend myself. Perhaps my favorite non-black characters are Kaya, Kit, Molly, and it doesn’t feel like American girl without Felicity. I’m still into the brand and have loved newer dolls like Melody and Julie. I do hope to have a 1920s character soon as well. That’s on my American Girl wishlist. Through these characters, I feel like I’ve lived several lives…

I feel like I’m recording a brand ad or something right now…

American Girl also helped me connect with my elders. By learning about times in the past, I knew about some things my grandmother and great-grandmother enjoyed. My great-grandmother always felt she could talk to me because when she did, I knew what she was talking about and showed interest. It helped me bond with my family. I was able to appreciate doing things with my grandparents and my mother, things a normal child wouldn’t find interest in. I think it helped me respect women of all ages and what they have done for me.

American Girl showed me that women can be strong leaders, and I take the lessons from the brand with me into my adulthood.

 

1. Bratz

Bratz is a brand of cutting-edge and fashion-forward dolls that arrived shortly after the 21st Century began. These dolls were meant to make the beginning of a new century, and they did that for me.

Just when I was losing interest in playing with dolls and was growing into a tween collector, out came the Bratz.

The Bratz were created by designer Carter Bryant (freelance designer on break from company Mattel) and produced by MGA Entertainment.

I got into the Bratz late 2000 when the website was under construction. Most of my followers know the story. I was actually looking for new dolls to get into. Something interesting. I had been looking for a particular doll when I accidently typed in Bratz. When I pressed the link and saw the website under construction, I thought it was going to be some kind of fashion cartoon (which I felt would’ve been awesome).

A few months later, the first Bratz commercial hit the scene and I was a different girl. The rest was history.

You might be wondering, “How can a line of fashion dolls top a girl-empowering line like American Girl?” I didn’t think that could happen either.

At the time I got into Bratz, I was what most people considered “too old” for dolls, especially during the surge of popularity Bratz received in 2004. I was a teenager by then.

The first thing Bratz taught me was that you’re never too old to like dolls. Bratz was set to target girls like me. I soon realized that. When I first heard Bratz was meant to target girls my age, I was shocked and excited. I knew that something different was brewing in the toy industry.

Bratz truly made me a COLLECTOR. I loved dolls before, but the clothing, items, and edge was so inspiring, I actually saved my money and bought even the hardest to find dolls if I could find them. Some items you couldn’t get anywhere.

Bratz exposed me to the toy industry in general. I’m not talking about as a toy but as a business. Bratz was on the rise during the computer age. MGA was one of the only doll companies FULLY open to suggestions back then. I remember I would email Mattel ideas of mine and would get one of those automated responses. I only got one real response and it was pretty rude.

MGA always responded in a very thoughtful and engaging way. And the things I asked for at my age…They delivered! I think after I heard Bratz was releasing a CD in Japan in 2003, I asked for MGA to get a CD created for worldwide release. Shortly after, Bratz’s “Who We Are” and “Bratz Rock Angelz” was released. When Bratz had a show released in Japan to tie in with the CD, I asked for the Bratz movies and shows and got it shortly after! I wouldn’t say my emails made a difference, but by seeing the results, it made me feel like my opinions mattered.

I realized my own fan power in shaping the success of my favorite brand and I brought this fandom power into many other fandoms.

I also realized harsh truths about the doll industry through the Bratz. I think the Bratz business is the only one I’ve followed closely. I’ve seen how a doll line could rival another doll line in sales. I saw how that impacted the direction of toy brands. All of this at age 11 to 17.

I began to see the difference in companies. When I was a kid, companies didn’t matter. I didn’t know Amazing Amy, American girl, and Barbie were even from different companies. They were just toys.

After getting into Bratz, I realized the difference.

I learned the legal system that works around toys as well, especially seeing the legal issues surrounding Carter Bryant, MGA, and Mattel. I learned that just because you created something doesn’t always mean you are allowed to have full rights over the product. That whole situation made me “business-smart”.

Bratz has taught me so many valuable lessons about toys in general.

While American girl inspired the career I’m in now, Bratz is inspiring my future goals. Everytime I see a Bratz doll, I feel inspired to get creative. The amount of detail and coolness that goes into Bratz draws out a lot of ideas in my mind.

Bratz has even inspired my sense of fashion and developed my social identity. I think I told followers that I was raised in a very super-feminine home. It was so suffocating, I couldn’t slouch, spill messes, or accidentally ruffle an ounce of my attire. I used to hate fashion and femininity because of how I was raised.

When I first saw the Bratz, and this may not be anyone else’s experience, I saw girls in baggy pants, beanies, bandanas, and sneakers. The dolls were wearing a diverse range of styles. They didn’t fit into one feminine box. Sure, some wore skirts. But they could throw on a denim jacket and sneakers in a heartbeat. That had an impression on me. I finally felt I found a doll brand that represented someone like me.

Later on, Bratz tried many outrageous styles, which helped me explore all possibilities in fashion and even other forms of art! I had developed an interest in cutting edge and avant-garde fashion. I really began taking a liking to androgynous fashion. As a youth, the Bratz produced an image that encouraged me to be my individual self. They helped me explore my identity.

Bratz has developed me into an adult that is willing to take risks, stand in my truth, and explore my options. I believe these were the last dolls that truly inspired me. Bratz has changed my whole world vision.

Bratz set the bar for this century. For all new dolls, I’m looking for a spirit of individuality, style, and innovation. I take that attitude with anything I do.

That’s my list of dolls that have had an impact on who I am today! Leave me a comment and let me know of any dolls or other toys that influenced you in your youth! What do you think of my list? Let’s get the discussion rolling!

If You Could Have a Bratz Series Again…

13 Oct

Hello, Generation Next readers!

I’ve noticed that the Bratz Youtube Channel has been posting all of the old episodes from the original Bratz series! I know many fans loved that series, especially Bratz fans from the U.K. and Canada.

I think I’ve shared with some of my other readers my secret dream: to write for the Bratz series, possibly even a new one! I’ve been having this idea for years. However, I’ve been losing my confidence for a minute, seeing how Hayden Williams was treated after working so hard on his dream. I also have been analyzing what fans want and I’m not sure my idea is what they might be interested in. I decided I would do a poll to better understand what fans want!

I’ve been writing a scripted series for Netflix/web/tv that is loosely based off of the actual Bratz dolls’ “life”. I really thought the old series was cute, but I would’ve liked to see some other characters get animated, like Felicia, and I would’ve liked some elements to be more true to the original design of the characters (back before release and in 2001). I haven’t pitched this script to anyone YET, but I would like to soon.

I’ve already created the pilot. I just can’t decide if it should be CGI, live action, or 2D…If it ever does get picked up…

Anyway, aside from this script, I wanted to personally ask fans: If you could bring the Bratz series back, what would it look like? Make your choice above!

Thanks if you can read and play the poll.

ANOTHER KH3 Theme Song Announced! “Face My Fears” By Utada Hikaru and Skrillex!

7 Oct

Greetings readers! This is Gen Next! I am back with some more Kingdom Hearts 3 news! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve come out with some news on Kingdom Hearts 3…but here I am!

I know I’m a little late on the news due to other obligations in my life, but I just had to get in on the news about Utada Hikaru and her newest opening song for Kingdom Hearts 3!

That’s right…it’s an ALL NEW THEME SONG. The name of it is “Face My Fears”. This isn’t just any old KH song though. It is a song made with the collaborative efforts of Utada Hikaru (the main songstress of Kingdom Hearts) and EDM DJ Skrillex!

Source of info

According to Kingdom Hearts’s official twitter, the opening song for Kingdom Hearts was originally going to be a Skrillex remix of “Don’t Think Twice” (the first KH3 theme song). However, as stated on twitter “owing to the pair’s friendship, this has now developed into a new and original collaboration…” Awesome sauce!

This is some seriously big news because this is the first time in Kingdom Hearts history that we get TWO Kingdom Hearts theme songs for one game (the opening will be “Face My Fears”, while the ending song for Kingdom Hearts will be “Oath” for Japan and “Don’t Think Twice” internationally).

Of course, some may have mixed feelings about Skrillex being on board with this collab. Skrillex is an EDM DJ who is known for his “head banging” beats that may not seem to fit with what we are used to from a KH soundtrack. Honestly, I have seen great Skrillex songs and not-so-great ones in my opinion…But Utada’s vocals can make any song a good one, so I am not worried!

Skrillex has done collaborations with Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Korn, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Fifth Harmony, Ellie Goulding, Zedd, and so many other really popular artists. The fact that Square-Enix is getting a more well known EDM composer on board shows that Kingdom Hearts is expanding and more popular than ever. Hopefully this collab will bring in more newcomers who are fans of Skrillex to the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Who knows, they may decide to purchase the game due to Skrillex’s involvement with the opening theme song. I’m excited to see what will come from this combo!

 

I must also mention that Skrillex has been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts game series for a long time, longer than some KH fans were born. This is another reason why I do have a little faith in this collab.  In an interview with 98Rock Baltimore back in 2011, when he was asked to think of an ideal setting for his music, he responded, “If anybody’s ever seen the video game Kingdom Hearts, there’s Destiny Island, which is the first level that you play on, which is like total RPG from Square-soft or Square-Enix.” He also says later in the interview “Its the most beautiful island in the world and I would love to play in it”.

For a KH fan, this collab is obviously a dream come true for him. Not only is he working with one of the greatest Jpop singers of all time (a close friend of his) but he is also working on a song for one of his favorite video games. What a lucky guy!

Alongside Skrillex on this project is Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, who has worked with Skrillex on several projects and another person who has worked with famous people like Justin Beiber. From what I’ve heard, Poo Bear is quite a talented singer so I can’t help but be excited about his involvement in this project as well.

So, what do you guys think about this piece of news? Do you like that we are getting TWO brand new KH3 theme songs, or would you have preferred a remix to the original song? What do you think about Utada and Skrillex doing a collab on this? Let me know in the comments below!

Bratz are Back Again! A 2018 Bratz Collectors’ Exclusive Review: Look Two

3 Oct

Uh-oh! She’s back!

What’s up readers! This is Gen Next!

I’ve had to take some time off due to my personal life. I came back and like three people dropped me from Twitter! Am I boring you? Okay, I’m not that pressed. I’m here to tell my story.

Did you hear? I was RIGHT! The Bratz are coming with TWO outfits! The Bratz 2018 Collectors Exclusive dolls’ SECOND outfits have been revealed! Yes! I’m glad we’re getting more. That has been a weakness of Bratz the last couple of years: They’ve only been coming with one outfit. Yuck! But now, I got something else I wanted and that’s two outfits!

We’re going to review each girl individually, like we did before with the first outfits. You can read and watch my review of the first outfits below.

Look One Review

The first girl we’re going to review is Yasmin aka Pretty Princess.

Yasmin’s Review

Yasmin looks so, so, SO stunning. Expressing myself in threes again.

Yasmin is like a sexy, sassy, gangster godmother. “You come today on the day of my grandmother’s funeral.” “Yah, see? Yah!” That kind of look.

She looks like she’s walking in and owning the place, like a boss. All I can say is YAS Yasmin! You’re not a princess anymore! You’re a “Gorguz” Queen!

With this look, I can honestly say less is more in my opinion. However, more accessories and details would still make this $50 worthy. It’s a stunning ensemble for sure, but more should’ve been added to give it  photo value. Hopefully, we get some of the other details when the actual doll comes out.

Honestly, there are so many people who were biased towards Yasmin from the jump, that I never worried about her sales. She’s naturally beautiful. I’m most worried about Sasha and Jade because of the Closmin issues in 2005 to 2009 (especially). But Yasmin? I wasn’t ever worried about. I wasn’t feeling the execution of her first look that much, but this one is satisfying to the eyes.

Does this look live up to her fashion passion? As mentioned in the first review, Yasmin is into retro and bohemian styles in autumn or earth tone colors. She likes exotic textures and patterns. She often blends different styles together to make one graceful look. Yasmin is considered the feminine one of the pack, and it often shows in her style.

This one isn’t quite as bohemian as her first look, but it has a retro flair about it. I would say the pin-stripe feel gives it a 1920s gangster style, but the actual suit reminds me of fashion I would’ve seen in the 1990s (especially with those pointed shoes and black at the toe).

Maybe the fringe at the end of the skirt looks a bit bohemian, since many bohemian looks have a cut-off kind of feeling to them.

Yasmin does look more feminine in this look than in the last one, but there’s also a masculine touch that’s put together in this style gracefully. Did I ever tell you all I love androgynous fashion? I would like to see an androgynous line from Bratz one day, maybe some outfits inspired from male fashion and mixed with a feminine touch or something…

Anyway, I would like to break down Yasmin’s look piece by piece.

Head

First let’s talk about Yasmin’s head. I basically covered her face in the first review, but now she’s not wearing her hat. I…honestly think she looks stunning without her hat! Her hair looks glorious. That little part on the left side is giving me vibes. I feel my life is returning.

I don’t know how I feel about those eyebrows. The arch is sharp at the top. She’s extra arched. But she’s still beautiful. I have to hand it to her.

After seeing her second outfit, I think the light makeup works more for this look than the last one. If only you could change your doll’s makeup! Hint, hint: MGA that’s an idea.

I still think a smokey eye and darker lips would add so much sass to this. But the light eyes and pink lips do this new outfit some serious justice, too.

I’m glad I can see the earrings more. I think it goes really well with Yasmin’s sassy yet professional look.

Body

Yasmin snapped in this outfit. Obviously, when I saw the artwork, I was stunned stupid. I did worry how it would be executed on the doll. Wow, did she come for me. I bounced back like a heart attack.

This outfit is business professional with a little sass. Yasmin looks like she’s on her grown woman. Someone compared this look to Meghan Markle’s style. I love the little cleave she’s showing. The ties on the front are an amazing detail. I like that the sleeves are kind of long and fall off of the wrist. I want this outfit for my very own!

The mini skirt has fringe at the end, giving even her prof look some edge. And we get to see some long legs because it’s not saturated with tacky stockings and poorly executed magenta boots!

Some people say they don’t like that it looks too professional because they envisioned the Bratz looking more like teenagers. Some young fans, even in their early 20s, feel they wouldn’t wear this. All I have to say to you is…LEVEL UP! Get on Yasmin’s level. Y’all should be trying to get those high-paying jobs. If you take tips from Yasmin’s wardrobe, you will be ready for those high-profile meetings! Especially if you’re working in the fashion industry.

I think these dolls are for adult collectors, so I don’t see the problem with her looking more grown-up. The Bratz have been teenagers for over 10 years. They have a whole empire now. It’s time for them to bear fruit from their hard work and look like they’ve worked off all their debt.

Okay, I get we were hoping to see some styles that are trendy with this new generation of teens. Bratz have always reflected what was trendy with tweens and teens. But this is kind of refreshing, bold, and new in a good way. And actually, adult fashion was something I hoped Bratz would try eventually.

I’m super glad she doesn’t look childish like in 2015. She looked corny back then, I’m sorry. They all did.

Now, as much as I love this look, I do have my own criticisms that have nothing to do with the professionalism of this look. Here me out.

The first thing I want to discuss is the fact that MGA called this “Mix and Match”. Is it really mix and match fashion? It’s more like strip the first and put on a whole new look. I can’t see mixing anything from Yasmin’s second outfit with her first! Maybe the shoes…The outfits both seem professional, but they don’t seem like they can be mixed with each other. Maybe the lace top can combine with the suit’s jacket and skirt…Okay, I can see that. Other than that, the hat from the first outfit wouldn’t be compatible with the second outfit to me. The jacket might look nice on this, but it might look like there are too many layers.

I don’t know. I have to get it up close and personal. Yasmin’s second outfit sealed the deal, so I’m buying it. But these two looks are directly exclusive from one another and I don’t see the large mix and match potential in them, at least not to my taste.

The other thing I want to talk about are some missing details that actually would’ve made this outfit even more of a stunner in the photos. Just some minor housekeeping y’all.

Looking at the artwork, I anticipated some ruffles. Now, I know some people hate ruffles and may think it’s better this way. But the way the ruffles seemed to sit in the artwork made it very feminine and appealing to me.

I was thinking the sleeves would be fit tighter around her arms and that her cuffs would have a loose ruffle feeling to them. Maybe they felt they outdid the ruffles with the last look. Still, I would’ve liked that detail. I like that her sleeves seem longer, but it also might look like the jacket is too big for her. You have to be careful with that. It’s a fashion risk. I’m glad it was taken, but it would feel more feminine if it was tighter on the arm.

I was also expecting matching ruffles at the end of the jacket and skirt. I really expected the material to be more of a chiffon. I thought the jacket would kind of hang down gracefully.

Yasmin is also missing her choker. I get the feeling they’re intending that brown choker to be used with this look and honestly…I wouldn’t. A nice black choker with a dog collar would’ve set this off.

Overall though, her outfit is still an amazing doll item. I can’t wait to own it.

Feet

Again, the shoe game continues to be the weakest part of the look for me, to be honest. But this time it ain’t as bad as it was before. The execution is better. In fact, again, I can say less is more in this case. It looks just as classy and sophisticated without the straps from the artwork.

Of course, I was hoping it would match the artwork. Where ARE her straps and why were they scrapped? That detail made the feet fierce as opposed to classic (though Yasmin tends to like that classic look, but still). Y’all know you have to come harder!

And we’ve been talking about these “granny heels”. First off, the actual heel looks a little shaky in the back. Is it just me? Or is the heel curved down in the back? Not sure, but it doesn’t look firm. That’s not a big deal to me, but I know these heels could’ve been higher and more fierce. The foot should’ve been curved bringing the heel higher. I think I talked about that problem in the last video…

Again, the shoes aren’t ugly and they are in fact very classy and stylish. I just wish they’d paid attention to the details in the artwork. Matter fact, stop showing us artwork you’re not going to live up to! Different people will expect different things. Y’all been doing this since 2002. I should’ve emphasized this in my video “Please don’t”…

Overall, Yasmin’s look is still gorgeous. Her ratings just went a little higher for me. I still would like to see WhatCollectorsWant’s take on the look. He is so talented at nailing and envisioning what fans see when they look at the artwork.

In this look’s case, I don’t care if they keep it the way it is. The outfit is still a treasure I would love to have at home. I can see some other Bratz items I can mix and match with it.

 

Jade’s Review

Overall, Jade has more of a mixed reception with her second outfit than Yasmin. Personally, I like it. It didn’t stop me in my tracks like Yasmin’s, but I’m biased towards Jade. She’s cutting edge and I love that.

This outfit fits with her fashion passion. Some people don’t get her look EVER. People didn’t get it in Strut It when all the girls had a mature vibe and she had that ballerina skirt and baby doll top, but that’s what makes her cool.

In this look, Jade looks HAWT! But somehow all the pieces don’t merge together as well as I thought they would.

The plus side is that the execution is at least closer to the artwork than the others have been. But Jade’s look didn’t appear public-friendly to begin with when I first saw it.

Does it fit with her fashion passion? Yup. Jade is cutting edge with a sizzling flair. Nailed that. She also has an affinity with the feline persuasion. She’s always a little quirky. Only Jade would shoot for a look like this.

The other pro is that there’s more mix-and-match potential between this outfit and the first in comparison to Yasmin’s in my opinion.

Head

We finally get to see Jade without her beret. A plus is that at least she has a hairstyle. But I don’t know how I feel about it. The bangs or fringe looks a little messy. Maybe they were going for that? If they were, that’s innovative, but jarring.

The electro buns on her head give me a Jade vibe. But is it just me or does one bun look smaller than the other? Maybe that’s part of the plan, too?

I don’t know about the hairstyle. I think it could’ve been executed better.

As far as the makeup, still would’ve preferred it darker like in the art and in WhatCollectorsWant’s edits. Watch my last video to see that. It will be linked below and will appear at the end of this video.

Body

I feel like I like it, but there are things that are off. First off, the fur arm warmers. They look like plucked feathers. I expected it to fall gracefully or be a lot smoother. However, it’s definitely innovative and different. It’s just not what I was expecting when I saw the art. And what I saw in the art appealed to me more.

The choker, top, and bra are killing it. However I expected the red bra to have black straps and have some black at the bottom…I like that it’s all-red though. However, some black in the top would’ve brought out the black in the fish nets.

I was expecting some red to pop up in the skirt, too. It looked like there was a shadow of red in the skirt in the art. That would’ve brought out the red in the overall look.

I also don’t like the fit of the skirt. Again, I would’ve preferred a high-waist style for this look. It looks like it was supposed to be designed that way, so it makes the skirt look like it doesn’t fit her somehow.

I was also probably the only one that thought the skirt would be denim with designs…

I still like the skirt though. It looks like it’s silky. I just don’t know if it goes well with anything in this look.

Feet

Far better executed than I expected it to be. The fish nets merge with each other and I’m living for the shoes. I still expected the heel to be higher, but it’s still a beautiful shoe. I was expecting a little bit of blue in there, but I’ll live without it. Still, we need something to bring out this blue skirt. It’s standing on its own in this look.

Overall, I like Jade’s look. A little housekeeping and I would’ve fallen in love though.

 

Cloe’s Review

Cloe’s second look is really cool to me. With some adjustments, it could be the best look in the line!

Honestly, her artwork for her second outfit was the best of all the girls to me. I’m bitter-sweet about it because I get the feeling Cloe will outsell the dolls of color (yet again), but I’m glad at least one of the dolls has a pretty cool look.

However, there are still some elements I felt could’ve been executed better. Don’t cut my throat for this, but I actually feel this could’ve been a show-stopping look if only it had those details polished from the artwork.

Does it live up to Cloe’s fashion passion? It doesn’t really give me the Angelic vibe. It gives me more of a devilish appeal.

Cloe is into setting the trends and wearing anything dramatic-like animal prints and sparkly or shimmery fabrics. She’s angelic and fluffy in her appearance at times.

This outfit is pretty dramatic, as Cloe likes. But there’s no animal print or sparkly fabrics, not even the hint of blue or pink. It doesn’t feel “angelic”. It’s more of a Jade try than a Cloe try. However, the furs add a touch of drama. Maybe the fur is meant to be that nod to “animal print”?

So far, it’s giving me a Dynamite feeling. It would’ve been giving me a Vegas tease…but I’ll get into why I feel that part of it is going over my head.

Head

Speaking of heads, let’s look at Cloe’s head. Though we’ve had a look at Cloe’s head in the first review, there seems to be a change here. Is it just me?

Are there going to be two dolls in this collection?

Personally, I don’t like the newer Cloe’s face as much as the one we just saw with her first outfit. The smokier eye was what I was living for. These eyes seem to lack color, which is a no for me. The eyes seem way too arched. Wow. It went in deep on the right!

You can’t tell me it was just the shading of the hat that made the eye look smokier. If that’s the case, I will be seriously disappointed with Cloe’s face. I hope this is just a prototype version. I mean, she’s not ugly, but I love the smoky eyes I thought I was seeing in the first photo.

Her hair seems shorter too. I personally don’t care about that as much as other fans, I just wonder why they changed the doll.

A lot of fans want dolls with long hair so they can style the hair any way they want to. I personally miss when Bratz would come with elaborate styles. That made them unique.

Again, I understand people want the option to style the dolls’ hair themselves and some people don’t want to have to maintain difficult hairstyles. But as someone who is designed-impaired and cuts like a 5-year-old, I would like an already-designed hairstyle to come with my doll so I can take photos and observe them around my home. I don’t want to put in the work I feel a doll hair stylist should be getting paid to do. If I can do the hair and design the clothes, why buy anything from a toy company? I want a full-out design, like I used to get from Bratz back in 2002 to 2003.

So far, only Jade and Sasha have given different hairstyles from the normal feminine and generic “long straight” hairstyle and even Sasha’s disappointed me a little. I already expressed my disappointment with her hair in my original review.

Anyway, looking at the rest of Cloe’s face, we can finally see the little earrings she has, which I’m okay with. I would like them to pop a little more. They can be bigger. Still, they’re cute and look pretty good.

Body

I love the little fish net leotard thing going on. That snapped, crackled, and popped for me!

Unfortunately, it looks like it’s using leftover fabric from Sasha’s outfit and I was hoping they wouldn’t be borrowing from each other, but it’s fine. I love, love, love the top to be honest. I’m expressing in threes. Since I loved Sasha’s top, I can’t help but be cool with Cloe’s.

That fur vest though…It’s giving me wicked witch of the west type of tease. It’s giving me scarecrow type of tease. It’s ready for October.

It really looks like it fell in the tub and they didn’t have time to comb it out, so they thought “Well, we will have to make it work”. I applaud the fashion risk that it’s taking, but again…it ain’t public-friendly. I think you can be unique and still appeal to the public with the right execution. This could’ve been like Bratz Fabulous Las Vegas, but it became Fabulous Lost Vegas because you lost me with these crow wings.

Here’s my thing about these furs (and I’m including Jade’s in this). I honestly thought the furs were going to start at the elbows, not the shoulders. Actually, it would’ve looked more unique and stylish moved downward. They should be falling downward, in a combed fashion.

I think the messy hair look comes across cheap and dirty. I’m not one to talk because I look like a mess everyday. But I think it’s because I’m a mess, I know what a mess is when I see one.

Purely, though, I like the idea of it with this look. It has a dangerous glam-rock feel. I get where they were going with it. With the right execution, this outfit would be set.

The pants are really cool to be honest. However, and here comes my critique, you know what would’ve really made this bomb? If it had come with that fish-netting on the side with the ties at the bottom. Yet again, another loss for not being close to the art. I preferred that detail than the four slits in the pants.

I also would’ve liked more silver ties in the front of the pants like she had in the artwork (Are there even ties anymore? I can’t tell).

However, overall, I still think this look is pretty cool. I hope it comes with the pearl choker and the glasses. Cloe looks very sleek. That art was just so mesmerizing, I did want more.

Feet

I like the shoes a lot. The solid black would look good with this outfit and with the first one honestly. I prefer it to the boots to be honest.

However, again, housekeeping needs to be done. I would like more of a curve at the bottom so the heel is higher, like what was shown in @WhatCollectorsWant’s photo edits in my first review. With a higher heel, the dolls will be fiercer. Just my take on it.

Again, Cloe looks cool and she definitely still has that Bratitude.

 

Sasha’s Review

Sasha’s second outfit is really hot. When I first saw it in the artwork, I knew I was going to like it.

I really like the doll form too. Of course, a couple of tweaks would really make this a seller. But it’s still a worthy doll outfit to me.

I’m kind of done with the pleather look though. Jade, Cloe, and Sasha have sported it. It feels like too many dolls have it. But it’s not terrible. I was just looking for something different. On the other hand, the line looks cohesive, which is always a plus.

I still like the dress. It looks really great on Sasha.

Does it live up to her fashion passion? I think it does. Sasha is into styles from the streets-a little bit of the old and new school hip-hop fashions. She’s also always on the hunt for a new look, so she’s into styles that are experimental and avant-garde as well. Sasha also likes it “flashy and classy”.

Sasha’s second outfit isn’t as flashy as the first one, but the orange pops out. It’s definitely experimental. It does have a street feeling, though it’s not quite as hip-hop as her first look. It’s still a nice look though.

Head

Without the hat, I dig the head a little more. I was expecting pigtails like in the art. Yes, I know I can make my own pigtails. But y’all, I have poor hand-eye coordination and I’m not a stylist in the least. I can quack up some pigtails. I can’t even do a simple braid right.

How do I do my hair every morning? I told y’all I’m a mess. I pass by calling it natural.

I would like my $50 dolls to come with their elaborate hairstyles already. At least advertise it to me that way, okay? Show me the possibilities. I do like the little braids. But it’s not as cute as the pigtails. I also hope the doll still comes with those hair pins or clips or whatever too…

The lips look a lot darker than they did in the last photo. I’m convinced that the lighting is playing tricks on me. I hope she comes with the dark lips. I think I told you all how much I hated those pink lips back during Wintertime Wonderland when she was clearly advertised with darker lips. Sasha looked like she was modeling for a racist toothpaste ad back during that Wintertime Wonderland release.

wintertime wonderland sasha

Racisst Darkie toothpaste

Sasha looks better with darker makeup in my opinion. Honestly, she would look better in any color but pink.

I will definitely have to see the dolls up close to really see if the makeup is what it is though.

I still like the earrings. It definitely gives a nod to old-school hip-hop. Remember back in 2K, everyone wore those huge silver hoop earrings?

Body

This is definitely a unique dress. Again, I feel the pleather material is overdone. I don’t know why I feel that way. Too many outfits have it in this line, so it doesn’t feel novel. However, it’s still a cute dress and is pretty close to the art.

I love the orange at the neckline and the wide sleeves. The sleeves are selling me. I would have to add the choker to see the full effect.

I think the other part of the dress is less impressive. A true-blue lace-up would’ve made the dress a stunner for sure. The side print-ons feel cheaper and less impressive. It doesn’t take away from the look but it doesn’t add to it either.

Feet

I like the shoes a lot. I was worried about the execution because it looked like a sock in the art. I thought it would get the Yasmin treatment. I feel the plastic was safe if they didn’t know how to execute the sock shoe.

However, I wish there was someone on board who really did know how to execute it. I think real sock fabric over a shoe would not only be innovative but truly trend-setting. And that’s what the Bratz are supposed to be doing.

Again, I feel the heel should be curved and higher, like I expressed in my first video. @WhatCollectorsWant’s edits really nailed my visions of the shoes. I want high and fierce heels. That would make the shoes better. Right now, the heel is giving me soccer/football-team-mixed-with-chess-team foot type of vibes.

Overall, I like Sasha’s look. I love the orange in the dress, even if the pleather thing is overdone. I love the shoes on their own, though I’m not sure how they fit into the whole look. It’s still very unique in the doll world.

 

Cameron’s Review

After seeing Cameron’s second outfit in the artwork, I decided I liked it way better than the first. Cameron still reminds me of a Kpop star, but it also feels a bit more true to him than that first outfit. I say that because of the casual jacket and rips in his pants. This look is less flamboyant, which is fitting for him.

Some people feel it’s too plain. I think it should be. If he had any more to him, I think it would be too gaudy. This look doesn’t need anymore. It just needs adjustment, like all the other outfits. Actually, I’ve found Cameron’s outfit to be pretty true to the art (surprise ya’ll, surprise!) or it’s basically what I expected. Still, I think there are some tweaks I would’ve added.

Now, I want to address something that’s been bothering me about some fans’ observations about him. Some of the fans have been saying some pretty homophobic things about him. If you’re saying, “Is Cameron gay now?!” with an excited tone, fine. But some people are saying, “Um, I’m not a homophobe, but…” See when you add the “but”, that means you’re getting ready to say something negative about a doll representing the gay community. I understand that Cameron hasn’t tried this kind of look before, but that doesn’t mean the look itself is bad for any dolls.

And since when did a look come with a sexuality? I think it’s pretty narrow-minded to color your critiques of the dolls with your own prejudices. I can’t respect that. Yes, I think Cameron’s first look is flashy for HIM. But I don’t see a problem with him being gay, no matter what he’s wearing. In fact, as I mentioned in my article and video about what I wanted to come back and didn’t, I want the Bratz to go back single so we can have a Secret Date line again. I hated the day these shows and movies stuffed Cloe and Cameron together for views. That’s me. You all are welcome to disagree.

I think it’s disgusting that people look down on Cameron and the gay community. Do you all not realize Carter Bryant was gay? Do you not realize gay people run this thing called the fashion industry? Get your life!

When people start to focus on what community the doll is representing, they are taking away from the real constructive critiques that should be coming with this doll.

Anyway, I’m going to talk about his look from head to toe right now.

Head

Still not feeling the head…even with a new outfit. But now…I’m seeing that the back part is plastic. Sigh. I was okay with the little long mohawk when I thought the back at least felt like hair. To find out it’s plastic…I’m beyond disappointed. It reminds me of the hair underneath the Star Stylez dolls’ wigs…Only, it’s not underneath some hair.

Again, I’ve shown how @WhatCollectorsWant made his face stronger. I prefer the softer look to be honest. I still like the earrings on his ears. That’s a detail I love.

Body

I thought Cameron’s sweater would have more black thread than white, but the white pops more than the black. I’m still okay with it. But he looks extra hot with that jacket on top. And I’m not talking about “The Blaze” kind of hot. He looks like he has too many layers.

The sweater itself reminds me of something Koby would’ve worn as opposed to Cameron, but I guess the jacket makes it look cooler.

I like the jacket. Again, it’s a gender-neutral product. I think I can have fun with it. I was expecting it to be of a white denim material, but it’s still a pretty cool piece of clothing. I don’t have a doll with this look.

I like the jeans. I like the little rips in his pants.

Overall, his second outfit is better than his first. Still would’ve liked a chain necklace with this than the pearls, but it’s nice.

Feet

Cameron’s shoes…They are just kind of bland and go with nothing in his outfit…I don’t know how I feel about these boots. To be honest, I feel disappointed because I feel like this outfit could’ve sold Cameron if only he had a different pair of shoes.

Fortunately, Cameron actually has some mix-and-match value, unlike some of the girls. I can put his black shoes on this outfit and he will be alright.

Overall, the second look is better than the first.

 

Overall Bratz “Second Outfit” Review

Overall, I like the second outfits far better than the first. They look better-executed. However, they weren’t as spot-on as I’d hoped, and it made the difference in some areas. There were some details I was hoping would actually be there and they weren’t. The details they had weren’t the ones I cared about. But the second outfits are still more on fire than the first ones and I still look forward to buying the dolls when they’re released.

Again, as I said in my first review, MGA has NEVER been good at sticking to the art. I think I told you all about my disappointment with Funk N Glow, right?

Still, we were hoping they would fix that problem in 2018.

There’s another thing I want to address: I don’t really see the mix and match potential here as it was advertised. I feel like only Jade’s outfit can be exchanged with her original in a larger capacity. Many of the accessories seem exchangeable, but not anything else. Some outfits seem set. But two outfits are better than one I suppose?

Still not feeling the faces too tough, and I was let down by Cloe’s face. But they aren’t ugly faces. I will say I like Yasmin’s pink lips better with the second outfit than with the first, but Jade and Cloe’s makeup look too underwhelming to me. Sasha’s eyes need to move to the side and needs a smokier shadow, too. They’re still pretty, just too sharp where they should be soft (like with those eyebrows) and too soft where they should be hard (like with those eyelids). Of course, that’s my subjective opinion.

The feet did better this time. Last time, they got a D from me. Those shoes were gross. These shoes are better. They still could’ve been even better, but they work this time. The execution was better this time.

As I’ve said before, you can’t please everybody. If you wanted to please me as a fan 100%, you’re bound to disappoint other fans.

I still think these dolls have some play value, even if it isn’t a playline. Again, there really isn’t anything out there like this on shelves. I’m not going to turn down dolls like this because I want to encourage more doll companies to start at least thinking about being creative and trying fashion-forward styles.

Of course, there still needs to be some polishing with these dolls, and I’m not going to end this review without saying it.

So, ratings for the second outfits:

Head Game: B-

Body Game: B+

Feet Game: B (far higher than the first pair of shoes)

 

My Overall Review of the Whole Line

Heads: B They received strikes for not having the glossy look I desired, and another strike for not having smoky eyes. Cloe fooled me. But the dolls are still pretty. I’m open to new screenings, though I still don’t think they’re as nice as older screenings. They’re still better than 2010 and 2015 if you ask me.

I also wish the hair had been styled in more incredible styles, but I guess I can do it myself. Sigh.

The hair still seems to be of good quality and the dolls are still relatively pretty.

Bodies: B All outfits look like they have real material, a sense of experimental style (which I love), two outfits, and a spark of individuality, which has been missing from the Bratz since around 2006 with Bratz Birthday and Bratz Forever Diamondz to 2008.

But strikes were given because some material was overused and I believe the execution needs housekeeping. With that attention to detail, this would’ve seemed like a high-quality doll line worth the price. I would’ve liked for it to be more like the art (which MGA has been failing at since 2002, but okay). You won’t believe how many old-time Bratz lines I’ve rated low for that reason.

It’s obvious where they decided to go the cheap route with some of the print-ons and two-toned boots. I don’t like that they decided to cheapen Sasha’s second outfit, a doll of color who barely gets any love as it is, by not adding ties to the side and real fabric on her shoes, but they did okay with adding Yasmin’s ties in the front of her second outfit and didn’t forget to add fabric to her boots. I don’t like that favoritism.

Also, they seemed to stuff too many things in one look for many of the dolls. Particularly with Jade’s second outfit and Yasmin’s first outfit, which isn’t public-friendly. However, in my case…I like it stuffed.

The second outfits were a lot better than the first though. I felt the execution of the second outfits was stronger and more public-friendly. And overall, I like many of the outfits and would probably want to wear them.

I like the articulated arms with the normal Bratz legs and bodies. As I’ve said before, I don’t care for completely articulated bodies. It makes many dolls look skinnier. It just looks awkward to me. I like this body best.

Feet: C+ The feet from the first outfits and even some in the second…The game is weak. I wanted higher heels. I’m not feeling the foot shape at all. Some of the heels were really good, but many of them were disappointing and not as striking as the art. I just prefer the art versions.

I preferred Jades’s chunky shoe from the original.

I preferred Sasha’s “sock shoe” to have real sock fabric like they gave Yasmin’s boots real velvety material.

I just really feel that Yasmin’s boot execution was not it. She’s not that girl in those boots. She’s just not that girl.

I don’t know how I feel about Cloe’s “snakeskin”, but it wasn’t what I expected and I can’t bring myself to like those boots as much as the plaid I saw in @WhatCollectorsWant’s edits.

Sasha’s camo shoes don’t appeal to me, especially with that granny heel.

Yasmin’s, Cloe’s, and Jade’s second outfits have pretty nice shoes, though I was expecting straps on Yasmin (which I would’ve loved but I don’t need) and more blue in Jade’s shoe to make that skirt pop.

However, I like that all of the shoes are very individual and unique. All the Bratz girls managed to have different looking shoes, which was a problem in the 2010 era. I still see play value with these shoes.

To the average person, these dolls may not look too different from how they once looked. I’ve heard people say the Bratz have always been gaudy.

Some people can’t really see the difference in the screenings. Some people argue that the screenings have always changed.

I’ve heard some people say Bratz should look like they’re from the 2000s…which I don’t understand. The Bratz have been about keeping up with the latest fashions.

Again, everyone will have their own opinions about these dolls. You can’t please everyone. Even Carter Bryant struggled to please everyone. But hopefully, there are fans of these dolls who will support them. That could help the Bratz bounce back.

 

Where Do the Bratz Go From Here?

According to Hayden Williams, he mostly worked on this one line.

According to him, this is just a “collaboration” and “won’t interfere with his regular schedule”.

From this, I take it he isn’t the permanent designer for the Bratz from here going forward. He just came together for this project. If these dolls do well, he might be asked to do more. But so far, we don’t know where the Bratz will go from here.

Is this a good-bye line? Or is it the first stepping stone to a new era?

If it’s a stepping-stone, there might be completely different designers for the rest of the Bratz dolls going forward. There might be a new designer every time.

On the other hand, if these dolls are a success, they may ask Hayden Williams to return. I know there are some fans who have beef with Hayden, who didn’t like his attitude in the fan community, may not like to hear this. There are still some fans out there set to flop these dolls because of that altercation in the Bratz fan community.

A lot of people said they would like older lines to be revamped into more modern styles, like Flaunt It, Beach Party, Funk N Glow, Xpress It, etc. I would like to see something like that, too.

However, at this point, Bratz doesn’t even have a team. Everyone from the old era is gone besides Isaac Larian. They have to rebuild this brand over there at MGA. Who are they going to get to do this?

I also received some interesting information about the doll industry as a whole, which affects Bratz, and is a nod as to why Bratz may have been sold as Amazon exclusives. I spoke with someone who has experience as a Senior Designer and they brought to my attention that some dolls are launched as retailers’ exclusives because the dolls wouldn’t have come about without the help of that retail company. In other words…these new Bratz dolls wouldn’t have even existed had it not been for Amazon. They are the reason these dolls are possible.

Basically, if it hadn’t been for them, the Bratz wouldn’t be back. I don’t know how I feel about that.

And this same doll designer confirmed what Carter Bryant had been saying from the jump: market buyers DO have influence over what companies produce! It’s highly likely they have been influencing the direction of Bratz from the jump.

Remember I released a video “Bratz 2018: So, What Happened to the Bratz dolls? Why Did they Go Away? Why’d they change?” If you haven’t seen it, it will be linked up below.

Taking this information I received from news articles, Carter Bryant himself, and the book “You Don’t Own Me”, I posted for all of you all reading my blog and listening to my videos everything I learned.

I had been expressing how retailers control the industry and can change every detail of a doll line they don’t like (which is why the Fashion Pixiez were changed from their prototypes to what we know today). I had expressed how I got this info from Bryant.

I shared this same information with a group of elite fans. Among these fans was someone who was hired by MGA and worked with MGA. This person has a lot of fans themselves. They’re like idol status in the Bratz community.

That “insider’s” fans had no hesitation when it came to stating I was misinformed and that I didn’t know what I was talking about. They basically came for me and said I sound dumb because I’m spreading false information. Their source was this Bratz fan “insider”.

The insider only shaded me once with a heart towards someone who had been very rude, but overall their responses have been cordial. This “insider” responded by saying basically that they have been in the room when these things “literally go down” and that mostly market buyers “write little notes” but hardly pay attention to the details of a line. Basically, they were saying I don’t know what I’m talking about. I took the L for that.

I talked about that whole conversation I had with the insider and the L I took in the video “The Truth or not the Truth! What really happened to Bratz in 2015? Why exclusive in 2018?” That will also be linked below.

I didn’t take offense. I looked at the whole ordeal as a chance to really get the truth. Maybe I was misinformed, right?

This fan insider that I spoke with said that “designers are hardly in the room with these buyers, though Bryant was more than just a designer, so he was an exception”. The “insider” also said that what happened with the Fashion Pixiez was “rare” which was why that “case was so famous”.

However, recently a high-profile designer, who goes by the name of guruuvy on Youtube, has been the Director of Product Development/ Lead Designer at Chic Boutique, the lead Barbie Careers designer for 5 1/2 years, and is currently Senior Project designer for other brands, came to me to confirm the power of retailers. The lead designer I talked to said this “INSIDER” sounds like they haven’t been in a sales meeting with buyers. Hmmm…

The Lead Designer that commented to me said this:

“A principal designer in a small company would be in the room with the sales team to pitch to the buyers, so Carter was definitely in that room every season until he left.

Some lines are launched as retailer exclusives and would otherwise not have come about without the boost from that company. (Like in 2003 when I was the Director of Product Development/ Lead Designer at Chic Boutique and was in the room with Toys R Us when they helped launch the Hottiez dolls).

Buyers can comment on everything, and sometimes will send you back to square one during a meeting.

Retailers will also request solid packs of the non-White dolls in order to order them separately and not ship them to certain locations where they will not be well received. This often results in not meeting the MOQ (minimum order quantities) for non-White dolls and having to cancel those dolls.

So even if you design the doll, the retailer might tell you that they only want 5,000 pieces (even though 10,000 pieces is the typical minimum order quantity) so it can’t be made.”

Now, in regards to the “fan insider” who said I was misinformed…It’s unclear how many of these meetings they’ve been in to assess that market buyers have little influence on the direction of the brand, especially comparing their view of the issue with these high-profile designers. When I asked the “insider” what their role was in the industry, they didn’t want to share. And that’s fine. But the high-profile designers had no problem sharing their roles and experiences, which makes it easier for me to see where their experiences are coming from.

People can say a lot of things. I think TWO, yes TWO, lead designers who clearly have the same experience, would know what they’re talking about.

I do believe that the fan “insider” was right about 2015 dolls being the result of a new anti-Bratz team. I peeped that when I read an interview about the designers some years back. I looked at the instagram of one of those 2015 workers and just knew they didn’t have that Bratitude.

However, I believe the lead designers are right in stating that market buyers carry most of the control in the doll industry. If anyone wants to dispute it, they have to prove different. That’s all I’m going to say about that matter.

With all of that being said, the Bratz have the odds stacked against them. They are moving into a new era with barely a team, with market buyers that don’t want to take a chance on these dolls, and some fan altercations and mixed reactions that put a damper on their recent project launch. It will be hard to see where they go from here.

Based on Twitter and Instagram posts, it looks like MGA and Hayden might be thinking of some makeup that could come with this new line. That sounds interesting to me. From there, who knows.

 

My Continuing Comments on the Fans’ Reactions

Continuing with the fandom drama…With the release of a lot of these dolls, there are people who are supportive and people who are not. There are people who want these dolls to flop because they don’t like Hayden and felt he wasn’t being professional when responding to the Bratz fan community a few months back. Some people might even be jealous of Hayden’s success as a designer.

Of course, there are people who really and truly don’t like the dolls and the styles presented, and that’s okay. However, there are people who do like them and think they are worth $50.

In my opinion, most people are not willing to spend $50 for any dolls nowadays. But when that price is out there, most people will be critical, as I’ve stated before.

However, if some people think it’s worth the price and they’re willing to spend their money on it, it doesn’t mean they aren’t real fans either. Even if they are new fans, it doesn’t mean they aren’t real fans. A fan is someone who shows admiration or respect for something. There are people who like the Hayden dolls and Hayden has brought them into the Bratz fandom. That’s fine.

At the same time, everyone doesn’t have to like the same dolls. If you hate these dolls, it also doesn’t mean you aren’t a real fan. Personally, and this is as an old-time fan, I get what all the criticism is about. You all have read and heard all of my criticisms thus far, right? I’m not about to bow down to every single angle of this project.

On the other hand, the dolls are still good enough for me and still seem like fun. I like to have fun with my dolls and consider all the possibilities.

People will like what they like, and it’s okay to be the Bratz outsider.

I know there will be people disappointed. Again, Bratz will never please everybody.

I personally had disappointments with Bratz Fashion Pixiez, Bratz Flower Girlz, Bratz Rock Angelz, and Bratz Forever Diamondz dolls. Come at me for it! I felt the dolls lacked individuality, their fashion passions were lost, and those dolls just looked cheap and easy to me. They weren’t the Bratz I loved in 2001-2004. But does that mean everyone who loved the years from 2005 to 2009 isn’t a real fan? No, it doesn’t.

People could easily say I’m not a real fan because I expected more individuality and detail from Rock Angelz and wanted to boycott Pretty N’ Punk for excluding the black girl in its lineup. That’s fine. I have my own taste and expectations.

But guess what? I still showed some interest in everything that came with Bratz, even the lines that were not the best. I still had fun with the Bratz lines because there was always an effort to be unique, experimental, and trend-setting. Okay, maybe 2015 was the exception, but I’m not going to say I wasn’t interested in SOMETHING. I saw potential in lines like Study Abroad and Music Festival Vibes. Bratz always had the potential to knock down barriers and I love that. That respect and admiration from me is why I’m a fan.

I just had fun with what I got and considered what I was willing to spend money on.

Even if I had some disappointments, I never really outright hated one Bratz doll. I always loved this brand for being the dolls that took risks. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty easy to please. I loved the brand for being that outlet for vision. It’s still a brand that’s taking risks, and I can only respect that Hayden brought that back. I’m glad he made the dolls more individual than before. I’m glad there’s an element of sass. I’m glad the fabric at least looks like it will feel real. The hair might even be of the finest quality.

These dolls ARE pricey, but most collector dolls are $100 or more for very little, especially when a designer is designing for a playline brand. Remember the Vfiles doll Vee? She came out in 2015 for Bratz and was $100. She came with less than these dolls and was not of the best quality in my opinion. But her price was higher than these dolls are rumored to be, which I believe these dolls are going for around $50 to $70.

VFILES_BRATZ_VEE_FILEZ_OUTFIT_2.0.jpg

So, if people think this is reasonable, they do. Maybe they’ve got it like that. Vee’s doll sold out. Apparently, someone wanted them. There’s something out there for everybody.

For me, personally, I expected the execution of these dolls to be precisely like the art in my vision, but I still like the dolls. None of them have blown me away with the wind, but I’ve mostly been interested in at least seeing them in person.

I do have a little advice for MGA and any future designers: In the internet age, fans drive brands. It’s important to listen to their concerns and respond in a considerate way when dealing with the brand. Consider everything that can make your brand successful.

On the other hand, this is my message to fans: I think it’s important for a person to stand by their designs and not sell out their vision, so I understand why Hayden stood by his looks. If a designer caters too much to the crowd, they will lose their own individuality. We have to respect the visions of each designer and give respectful criticism when we don’t like something. We should consider how everyone feels before we say something towards someone. I’m not perfect at this either, so this is just for all of us out there. Maybe we should try thinking about how we approach situations we don’t like.

At the same time, if a company like MGA is seeking to make a profit off of any future dolls, it’s better to listen to the general Bratz fandom. Don’t even listen to just me. Take a survey of everything Bratz fans are asking for and pull out the most frequently asked things. Then you will find what you’re looking for. That’s the one thing a lot of these companies are disconnecting from.

 

Wrap Up

Anyway…

When it comes to 2018 Bratz, I hope there’s more planned for the Bratz despite the setbacks. I look forward to whatever they’ve got. Even though we didn’t get all we wanted, I’m more hyped for Bratz than I’ve been the last 10 years! That means a lot!

MGA has asked if we would like makeup to come with the line. I think that’s pretty innovative and fun. I would like Bratz t-shirts and handbags (something cheap and gimmicky) in adult sizes to wear and carry around.

I can’t say I was blown away by everything I’ve seen, but I can’t say I was completely let down either. I feel bitter-sweet. I hate that so many fans feel disconnected from these dolls, but I understand fans’ desires.

Still, I honestly feel this is better than what we’ve had in 2007-2009 and some of 2010-2016, aside from the screenings in the ’07-’09 era.
Ya’ll don’t know. Starting with 2007, when they had the Closmin attacks, outfits looking like clones, and that low quality, I was starting to lose my excitement. But these Bratz dolls got me back on my toes with this brand.

I gained some of that spark and excitement with Bratz Boutique, Star Stylez (a little, not with those painted leggings on Cloe though), and Duct Tape Fashion. I was just starting to feel the dolls were on the right track, but there were some hits and misses for me in 2013 and 2014. It still felt like they were trying to play it safe, which felt uninspired. The styles and faces were still better than 2015, but the quality wasn’t as good as what Bratz had in 2015-2016.

I didn’t like the look of 2015, but the quality was pretty good. Study Abroad and Music Festival Vibes were two of my favorites from that era. Even Hello My Name is had decent quality. The style was just childish and the vibe was too safe.

Overall, I hope to see more fashion-forward and sassy dolls from this brand. Of course, I would like 2001 or 2004 screenings and designs closer to the advertised artwork. You live and you learn.

That’s my overall spin on the Bratz in 2018. Tell me what you guys think. Do you love the new dolls? Hate them? Do you think they pass or did they flop this time, too? XD Leave me a comment and we can start a discussion on it.

American Girl Characters as Teens and Adults? A Glimpse Inside: Julie Albright’s Natal Chart!

23 Sep

Greetings GenNext readers!

American Girl is a doll brand that is known for historical and contemporary lines of dolls, such as Beforever, Willie Wishers, and Girl of the Year, that are designed to relate to girls today as well as teach life lessons. There are thousands, even millions of people, who have become fans of the brand since the company’s debut in 1986. The target age of American Girl is between 5 and 14. They have doll lines for every single age group. However, there are many adult fans, like myself, who grew up with the brand and still love it. Some adult fans are drawn to the positive and empowering message American Girl sends. Many adult fans are drawn to the historical line because it makes them nostalgic.

Of course, the heart of the brand are the characters.

Because many of the books are told from a 9-12 year old perspective, many fans often wonder: Who will the American Girls be when they grow up?

Of course, they are just fictional characters. Any of their futures can be written. Samantha’s was sort of written in The Titanic (American Girl: Real Stories From My Time) . 

But there wasn’t a whole lot of details in the book.

Despite the fact the stories are fiction, the stories were inspired by real people and the events they live through are very real or realistic as well.

It’s natural for people to be curious.

Even if we never get a book series about the characters’ adult lives, there is a way we can find out without having to wait for a book series: Through the Natal Chart!

I have actually been studying the American Girls’ natal charts for TEN (10) years now. I’ve been contacting authors to get more information about their birth times and I’ve been rectifying their birth charts. I have been working hard to piece together the American Girls’ lives. Even now, I’m working on this project.

And my findings were very enlightening.

I was inspired to want to do an article after I read a review about American Girl’s 1970s character Julie. The article focused on “Generation Xers” and how Julie teaches some often sad lessons about their growing up years.

Lessons from American Girl Dolls: The Divorce Generation by 

Three paragraphs in the article stood out to me.

We never know why Julie’s parents have divorced, which shouldn’t really surprise us. The stories are told from the child’s perspective and, as Judith Wallerstein’s research on children of divorce revealed, most children never fully understand why their parents have split. Julie, a spunky, adaptable child, does learn resilience, but I found myself wondering, as Wallerstein does, how Julie will learn “to create a long term loving relationship, how to resolve family conflict, how to build trust, when to compromise, when to stand firm, and as [she] grows, how to choose a lover and how to commit to another with realistic hope that it can last?”

Wallerstein’s question points to the yawning gap in Julie’s story. We learn only about the first year after her parents’ divorce. The book does not describe the life long shadow of divorce in Julie’s life. How will Julie traverse between two worlds as she matures, hopefully go to college (if either parent can help her pay for it), perhaps get married, and even raise children herself while negotiating the reality of her parent’s split worlds? As a Gen Xer in 2013, Julie would likely now be helping her divorced, Baby Boomer parents think about Medicare and aging, agonizing about how she will practically, financially, and emotionally handle caring for either or both of them should they become sick or debilitated, and taking care of her own kids. Not to mention what her obligations might be for any stepparents in her life.

I also found myself wondering about Julie’s inner life. What does she think about the big questions in life? Does she believe in God? Might she have become more or less religious after the upheaval of her parent’s divorce? Sociologist Melinda Lundquist Denton revealsthat many children of divorce will experience a change in their religious lives, but we hear nothing about Julie’s. I recently co-wrote a report, Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?, in which we present more than a dozen family scholars and theologians addressing the impact of divorce on the long term expression of faith. The finding was that people who came of age in an era of widespread divorce mark the beginning of a generation that often claims to be “spiritual but not religious.” Yet, children of divorce became “a kind of broken leading edge,” with spiritual stories quite often characterized by loss or suffering.

It’s interesting you brought this up Amy!

And the points I highlighted? That’s similar to what I’ve been analyzing in ALL of the American Girls’ charts! I decided that I would share my findings with other American Girl fans. This will just be for study, just to share some knowledge I gained.

I plan on actually doing a natal chart review for all of the American Girls, but I decided I would start with Julie since she is the character that inspired the article.

I will do a poll to see which character to do next at the end of this article. Any newer American Girl characters that come out within the next couple of years will have to wait unfortunately.

I have observed the contemporary characters as well. However, American Girl has told me they don’t have birthdays for all of the Girl of the Year characters. I’ve only analyzed the ones that do. Furthemore, a lot of them would still be children today, so we’d basically be predicting a future that hasn’t come yet. Though we’re predicting the Beforever characters’ “futures”, we kind of already know the results of their “events”.

Still, I’ve discovered some interesting things that could possibly influence even the contemporary characters as they age. But I’ll save it for another study.

For now, I will be focusing on Beforever characters.

I’m not going to focus on their Best Friends for three reasons:

  1. They don’t have enough development and information to do a proper rectification. They only had one book each.
  2. All of the other lead Beforever characters don’t have best friend character dolls, so it wouldn’t be fair. Marie-Grace and Cecile are an exception because both acted as lead characters in their own stories and had their own friends.
  3. I figured I could put the best friend characters in with the lead character somehow, since they are usually connected with the lead character in some way.

Now, on to Julie!

The following article will be my brief review of Julie’s chart and her potential adult life.

When thinking of the American Girls as adults, I had to think to myself: What is the difference between the life of an adult and a child? What makes an adult?

I thought of these several differences:

Career and work or Higher Education

Relationships (Romantic partners)

Marriage life

Pregnancy

Children

Family and Home-making

Adult Children with Aging Parents

Religion

*The following review may contain SPOILERS.

 

 

 

Sagittarius Rising

The “rising” sign is always connected with the first house. The first house tell us our “querent” or what we seek in life. It is our outlook and how we see ourselves in the outer world. It represents our outer life.

Julie will always be a person who wants to explore what life has to offer. She will have the full high school experience and will want to have a full adult experience (meaning she will go to prom, have her first boyfriend, go to college, drink when she’s 21, etc).

She will always be on the move. Julie will be more outgoing as she gets older and is able to do more by herself and get around more without permission. As a teenager, she probably won’t spend much time at home. As an adult, she may move far away from her parents or hardly see them due to her travels. There is definitely a lack of stability sometimes.

It’s likely she will move around a lot. She will be restless. She might have several homes in several different cities, states, or countries! This could be a burden on her partner and especially her children unless they enjoy traveling with her. She might just enjoy taking long vacations and having great adventures with partner and children.

She might be interested in foreign cultures or exotic religions. She would definitely be interested in going to college. By the time she’s of college age (1984), she will have more opportunities to go to University and pick up a study of her choice than other Beforever American Girls. More than likely, she will take up any study that gives her the opportunity to travel or meet foreign people. She might even go to University in another country for some time.

Because of Sagittarius’s ruling planet Jupiter, expansion on a physical level is likely. Julie may gain some weight as she ages.

She may be someone who acts childlike even as she gets older. She has a positive but idealistic view of the world and she might seem to lack seriousness, even as an adult. She might have quite a bit of letdowns, but her positive attitude will be able to see her through the most trying circumstances.

Extroverted rising signs are considered quite attractive. She will definitely attract a lot of people to her in her lifetime. Julie might enjoy throwing parties, which could make her rather popular. And Julie will probably invite everyone, no matter the background!

Jupiter’s sign, house, and aspects are important to analyze to get a fuller picture.

Julie’s Sagittarius Rising quotes:

Everything will turn out groovy. I just know it. -Julie at American Girl.com

Even though change is hard, it brings the chance to grow. -Julie at American Girl.com

I’m bright and sunny on the outside, but on the inside, I’m a real fighter. -Julie at American Girl.com

I try to make everywhere I go a little brighter.”- Julie at American Girl.com

“I keep every day colorful by looking on the bright side.“- Julie at American Girl.com

 

House 2: Capricorn

As Julie gets older, she will become practical, responsible, and cautious about spending money. Her children might find her to be strict with handing out money, but she will just be interested in knowing where her money is going. Julie will have few items to truly call her own throughout her life. Living in an apartment for most of her life, and having to figure out what she should pack from going to both parents’ homes, might have taught her to live simply. She will expect that of her own family.

However, she may have a few items that show off her and her family’s status, like trophies, certificates, and other accolades lying around the house or put up in a decorated and special place.

As far as earning money, Julie could inherit money or valuable possessions from her parents or grandparents, especially from her father and father’s side of the family, but she will definitely make sure that she’s in control of her own money and is capable of making her own money. She’s not likely to rely on a spouse or her parents to make ends meet. She will have this opportunity more than other Beforever girls who come before her.

Julie will more than likely become an important figure in life and could probably make money from her social standing alone. Julie might make money by giving financial guidance or counseling. She might be good at giving financial advice. Her resourcefulness will come in handy as she gets older. She might work in marketing, financial departments, at a bank, etc and make money from that at some point in her life.

Julie could go for being the boss of a company or her own company. She’d definitely be interested in being an authority figure or climbing the ladder in her field. It’s likely she will make some money from it.

Julie might develop some skills she learned from her parents and make money off of that. She could seek to be a basketball player, based off the skills she learned from her dad, and get far. It’s likely Julie will play basketball in high school. She may get a scholarship out of it.

She could take useful business skills from her mother.

Being a politician is also an option, but she would definitely choose a solid profession before she’s old enough to run for office.

Despite Julie’s entrepreneurial spirit, she’s not likely to go into a profession that’s out-of-the-box. She might choose a job that’s very “real” and promises retirement, health benefits, and security.

Saturn’s sign, house, and aspects are important to analyze to get a fuller picture.

 

House 3 Aquarius

The third house rules over siblings (even adult siblings), neighbors, the community, and communication.

Julie will be very progressive as she gets older. It’s likely, even at the time she’s a young adult (1980s-1990s), some of her ideas will be unusual and unique. She would have the ability to make changes in the world around her. She might use her voice to speak on issues and try to encourage changes in the world around her.

She could become an inventor or she could work with communication inventions. She might play a part in social media or cell phone technology. She might have many ideas on how to improve these forms of communication.

Julie will continue to have an unusual relationship with her sibling. She may be able to be as quirky and unusual around Tracy as she wants to be, even as she gets older.

She might still feel different from Tracy in many ways. At some point in life, they will develop completely separate and independent lives. Tracy will more than likely go off to college or move out before Julie, which will allow them to develop differently. Their lives will eventually seem nothing alike.

Tracy might always find Julie to be the unique one in the family. Julie might take on causes and ideas Tracy doesn’t really understand at the moment, but eventually everyone will get it.

Julie has a very scientific mind and can work with scientific ideas and studies if she chooses to. Her mind is always thinking ahead.

Julie might live in a very unusual neighborhood and might have some strange or aloof neighbors. If not, her neighbors might consider her unusual or the odd one in the neighborhood. She might be rather detached from her neighbors, being friendly but not really caring what’s going on with them. She might not want to get too personal. Neighbors might have the latest security devices and technology, as well as interesting holiday decorations. Heck, Julie might choose a neighborhood to live in simply for its unique points. Julie might be involved in Block Clubs or community events. There may be a neighborhood watch wherever she moves.

Wherever Julie moves, it’s not going to be a boring place. She might like living in a city her whole life, but if she moves to a suburban area, she would like her block to be unique. In a rural area, she would stand out because she would make sure she’s up-to-date with the latest technology.

Saturn and Uranus’s signs, houses, and aspects are important planets to analyze to get a fuller picture.

 

House 4 Pisces

Having this position, it’s likely Julie’s home would be connected with water in some way. She might continue to live in California, where she could be near the beach. She might live in a location right off the ocean, a lake, or river. If not, she would probably have an aquarium or a pool. If Julie doesn’t live near water throughout most of her life, she might decide to live with a water view as she grows old. Having water near her home would always be a selling ticket for her.

She would also like everyone to have access to the different rooms in her home. She wouldn’t want feet to be a problem. She’d probably have many sofas and chairs where people can kick up their feet.

She might live in a very spiritual home or near a spiritual area. Her home might be a very tranquil place, a place to unwind. Julie will want the ideal home. Julie might eventually develop a very spiritual home as she grows older.

Julie might have quite the bohemian life where even her home isn’t as solid as others’.

Julie’s home might have a lot of fragile trinkets in them, such as glass figurines.

Julie might have many forms of entertainment to help her and her family escape the world. This could come in the form of movies, music, fantasy books, and plenty of art.

Throughout Julie’s life, she will make sacrifices for her family. She will give up everything she wants and desires for her family. She will forgo all of her plans if it means making her family happy and more secure. She would end up being a selfless parent. Everyone’s feelings and needs would come before her own. She would never complain about it, even if she feels tired. Hopefully, her family recognizes her breaking points and shows mercy on dear mom Julie.

More than likely, she’d end up being the daughter caring for her parents as they age. She might even move in with one of her parents or have them move in with her. She will not be able to refuse if they need her.

Julie may have felt she grew up with a weak and ineffectual family because of the divorce. This will affect Julie’s own family. When she starts to develop her own family, she may have issues with being an effective mother figure. There may not be enough boundaries in the home. All responsibilities might fall on one person or there may not be enough communication about roles and responsibilities. Members of the family may not think about personal space. The whole house might be run by too many people. There may be too many people living within the home. Many people who enter the home might find it to be chaotic somehow.

The home may also often be a little messy. It’s not likely Julie will keep to a rigorous cleaning schedule (especially if she’s set to be an important figure who is always on the go, moving around). This isn’t to say she will be dirty or junky all the time, but she will sort of go-with-the-flow. She might rely on her children or spouse to help with chores and they may not really deliver what they promise or they may do a sloppy job.

Afraid of disappointing her family, Julie may not lay down the law as often as she should. She may be afraid of being critical and hurting her family’s feelings. She really fears breaking her family apart. But actually, by not setting boundaries, she could create the damage she wants to avoid.

In order to bring her family closer, Julie might have her family volunteer together with her. She might get them listening to music and dancing during family nights. She might indulge in spiritual practices with her family. This may not necessarily be religious, but she will want to build her family’s faith in the world in some way. Seeing as Julie wasn’t raised in a religion, it’s likely she will just believe in a general universal being that cares for others and may not care to follow any particular practices regarding that belief. It’s likely she believes in many Christian beliefs since that’s the dominant belief of the country, but she may also be interested in tales or spirits and other mythological beings. She has also shown interest in astrology and may share her findings with her family.

She will not only enjoy watching movies with her family, but filming her family during important events. As the video camera becomes more publicly available in her adult years, she will more than likely want one.

Julie may try to create an atmosphere of kindness, compassion, and creativity in her home.

As Julie ages, she may develop confusing feelings about her country (with events like the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the election of Donald Trump). Julie may constantly have conflicting feelings of love and hate for her country.

Jupiter and Neptune’s signs, houses, and aspects need to be analyzed to get a fuller picture.

 

Saturn in Pisces

With this position, Julie might have a hard time dealing with day to day life. She might constantly feel out of touch with the world around her and may drift in many places before finding herself. It may be hard for her to feel as successful as she would like early in her life. This could mean she has a hard time keeping a home, starting a family, developing successful relationships, keeping a job, etc. All of it might seem extra stressful.

Throughout life, Julie will have lessons in overcoming irrational but deep fears caused by her past, overcoming oversensitivity and negative emotions, a wandering imagination, and setting boundaries. Too often, Julie will let people into her life who will use her and take advantage of her. Too often, Julie will forgive and forgive until other people have basically stopped caring about her needs. She will be afraid to hurt others, and yet she will hurt others because she’s afraid. Julie also feels responsible for everybody, even when she doesn’t have to be. She feels obligated to help people when they’re suffering, and as she gets older, she might overassist.

Julie has some scars from the past that causes many self-destructive behaviors. She might quit life at times, giving up on everything when the going gets too tough. She might shun society as a whole because she might feel she can never be apart of it. She might get into addictive behaviors. This may come out in her teen or early 20s years. Saturn return (occurring in her late 20s or early 30s in the 1990s) will have forced her to grow up and seek help or advice and channel this sensitive energy into helping others.

But because of all of Julie’s trials, she will be able to come out with the ultimate understanding and compassion. She could be a healing force for others suffering the same things she did. All of the scars Julie experiences could become her strength. As she ages and gains more wisdom from her challenges, she could develop a career helping those who are suffering in some way, particularly in areas that have affected her too (the house would shed more light, and it’s the 4th, so she has scars dealing with her family).

As Julie ages, she may be able to discipline her imagination and create successful works of art.

Julie might develop her spirituality as she grows older and experiences more in life. It might become a grounding force for her. Charity work could also keep her grounded. Julie might work in social work, institutions, or group homes. She might volunteer in these places. She might visit harsh communities and help those in need of services. She might end up working in a hospital, a refuge, a care home, an orphanage or for a charity. She may not directly help people’s suffering, but her work may solve their problems in some way.

Sometimes, she might think she has it the worst and that she’s such a bad person. Helping others less fortunate will allow her to see what good she has right in front of her.

Ultimately, Julie’s biggest lesson will be learning to say “no” and not wasting her energy on useless people and things.

If Julie overcomes all of the challenges life throws at her, she will have a lot to offer others.

Observe Saturn’s house and aspects. Jupiter and Neptune are planets that should be analyzed to get a fuller picture.

 

Saturn in 4th house

This part reveals the actual divorce and break that Julie felt in her family. She ended up spending less time with each of her parents, creating some distance there. Even before the divorce, it seems her father was always gone working. Mom was busy setting up her business. Julie might have felt alone.

Julie’s mother probably will have started dating again by the time Julie is a teen, but it’s unlikely she will get remarried quickly. Her mother may be busy running a shop and her leadership may intimidate men in her lifetime. Her mother also may be slower in committing than she was before. It’s likely Julie’s mother won’t remarry until she’s much older (if at all), maybe by the time of her own Saturn Return. By then, Julie will be an adult. However, it won’t impact her any less. In fact, it may impact her life more, considering she would’ve gotten used to her mother being single.

With this placement, it’s highly likely Julie will be the one taking care of her parents as they age. During her Saturn Return, around 28 to 30 years old, it’s likely she’d be stuck caring for an aging parent or grandparent. It may feel burdensome. This probably won’t be because of her parents but because she might be the only one taking on the responsibility (with Tracy seeming to do her own thing). She might find the situation to be overwhelming, and she might have her own affairs to attend to. But all of Julie’s life will take a backseat for her parents’ lives.

Julie might fear starting her own family or she may always be worried about her family to the point she seems to take her job as a mom too seriously. More than likely, she will become a mother much later in life. Because she fears starting her own family and sees the heavy responsibility it could have (this is due to her own experiences with family), she might even get married later in life.

By the time she is a mother, she may be older. Though Julie will always have a progressive mind, there may be a huge generational gap between herself and her children. This could make her far more conservative in her rearing. Her children may also have to take care of her much sooner than other children. They might have to grow up faster.

Julie might choose to adopt children rather than have children from her own body.

Julie might spend a lot of her time with her ambitions and working that she may struggle to truly bond and be there for her family.

She may want to focus on her goals instead of building a family early in life. She will definitely pick this up from her mom.

If Julie has children early, Julie might have some financial worries that also put a lot of pressure on her early years, so she may not feel she was ready. She thinks practically when it comes to a family. Considering her Saturn is in Pisces, she would want to give her everything to her family and the struggles of being a mother could overwhelm her if she has a child too soon.

Julie might end up being a single parent just like her own mother. It’s likely she would fear this and would work really hard to hold her family together. But sometimes, the harder she tries to keep the structure, the more she pushes her family away. This could make her very serious and could make her very pessimistic.

Julie may decide to never marry and have children.

In Julie’s teens and early 20s, Julie might feel even more isolated from her parents and may feel they don’t understand her.

Saturn’s lesson is teaching her to be patient with her family, to balance her responsibility with love and closeness, to overcome her fear of developing a support system. Not every family situation ends the same.

Julie’s home life might seem very controlled in some way. Julie may lack boundaries in many ways, but she may not be as openly affectionate or free to spend time with her family as others with Pisces on the 4th house.

While Julie will face many challenges with her home and family life, as she grows older, she will learn to take responsibility for her family. Julie will be the rock that holds her family together. She will work hard to make sure her family is well cared for and that her children receive the best guidance she can give them. She will be a dutiful wife and mother. After awhile, Saturn will make sure Julie learns important lessons about family (just as she’s been learning throughout her life).

Observe Saturn’s sign and aspects.

“…Even worse than a broken finger is when my family broke apart…Just now, as I was playing back the tape, I remembered something my dad told me when he broke his foot. He said that a broken bone heals back together even stronger than before it was broken. I think families are kind of like bones-they can break too, but in some ways, it makes you even stronger.-Julie from The Big Break: A Julie Classic 1

 

Saturn trine Neptune

Julie will have the talent of making her dreams come true. Julie will want to leave her mark on the world and carry out her visions for a better society. She will likely want to work hard to do so (even if she gets lax sometimes).

Observe Saturn and Neptune’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Venus in Pisces

As Julie grows older, she will become quite shy and reserved in love. As shy as she will be, she can spot love from a mile away. She will be aware of all the people that love her. And she will love a lot of different people in her own lifetime, even if from afar.

Julie might be a hopeless romantic a lot. She might be in love with someone and never tell them. She might even get a kick out of having a secret crush on someone. In high school, this may especially be the case. More than likely, someone else would have to speak for her or she would hope the person she likes naturally forms interest. It’s not likely she will make a move.

Julie might have some insecurities in love. It’s not likely she will think she’s ugly (considering her Sag Rising is so magnetic), but she may not trust love due to her parents’ experiences or she may not feel she knows what she’s doing in relationships because she never really had that example in her life. She may be afraid of getting hurt.

Despite this, when she’s in love, she really falls hard. Julie will do anything, ANYTHING for someone she loves. As a teenager, she may give in to many different suitors just to keep them around. As she gets older, she might sacrifice time, resources, and her own physical body.

Julie will idealize her partners often. In her youth, Julie might fall in love with celebrities or be whisked away by fictional characters in love stories or movies. But once she starts dating, she will see nothing but the good in her partner. Her love will be unconditional. She will accept and tolerate anything from her partner as long as they love her and she won’t let anyone talk bad about them.

Forgiveness is her strong point.

Unfortunately, she might not be discriminating enough. She might let in quite a few losers in her life. Julie also finds it romantic to be saved and be the savior to someone else. As someone being saved, she may over-rely on her partner for things. As being someone else’s savior, she will be drawn to partners that need her help in some way. She will fall in love with the downtrodden and could see the beauty in the person. But some of these people might not mean Julie any good. They could manipulate her, use her, and even abuse her. Julie might have her idealisms shattered at some point in life. She also may not realize when her relationship is no longer of any benefit to her or her partner, and so may be devastated when break-ups happen. She will not take them well.

However, Julie might never give up her faith in love. She might believe real love is still out there, no matter the challenges she faces.

Julie merges herself easily with those she loves. She might let them influence her and end up picking up their behavior patterns. She will pick up positive behaviors from positive love connections. She will pick up negative traits, especially addictions, from negative love connections.  It would probably be best for her to have a second opinion on anyone she shows interest in, though she may not easily listen if she’s smitten.

Because she sacrifices so much for a partner, if her partner leaves, she may feel she’s left with nothing. In high school, it’s more likely to happen this way than when she gets older. Still, even as an adult, she may be a sucker for a spiritual soul mate type of romance and nothing really realistic.

Interestingly enough though, she might actually have a hard time settling down in her relationships. Though she might have a hard time saying no to people, this doesn’t mean she will be in love with everyone she dates. She may just feel sorry for the person. When she really is in love, she will sacrifice a lot, but when she’s not, she may not care to be too attentive. Naturally, Julie will still want to have her freedom, whether she’s in love or not. She won’t like being tied to duties regarding her relationships. She will be a “wing-it” type of partner. She might prefer spontaneous romantic adventures to planned and stiff occasions.

Julie will be drawn to compassionate, freedom-loving, and artistic people.

Venus just doesn’t rule love for a partner, but for everyone. It could even show us how Julie will show love as a mother. She will do anything for her children. She will put all of her plans aside for her kids. She will be gentle and kind. Her kids will adore her. On the other hand, she might be a bit reserved as a mother. She may not be super affectionate. She might also have some insecurities as a mother, not really confident she can make her kids happy.

Julie will be very forgiving of her kids. Some may say she’s too passive as a mother (though she has other energies giving her strength), but she will definitely understand her kids. She will know each of their strengths and weaknesses. It’s unlikely she will want to yell at her children. If she ever did, she would feel really bad afterwards. In fact, discipline might be hard for her. Hopefully, her kids understand how much their mother sticks up for them. The world outside of Julie’s embrace will be much harsher.

Julie could make money working with something creative, like art (since she’s such an artist) or she might make money with astrology and other mystical experiences (since she does like reading her horoscope). She might do some acting or filming in her life, too. She might make money helping others or dealing with people or animals who need her love and compassion.

Venus also tells us how we spend money and what we spend money on. As a teenager, Julie isn’t likely to really care about money too much. As a teenager and an adult, She might try to find ways to have fun for free or by being creative. When she does get some money, it may go towards movies, music, or charities. She may give her money mostly to people who need it. She might spend her money on art, drinks, or anything that makes her feel good or helps her escape the world.

As Julie grows up, she might be attracted to new experiences. She might be interested in experimenting. She will be open to trying anything once. She might also enjoy indulging in substances to relax. It’s likely Julie will like grabbing some drinks with her friends or meeting her love interests for some cocktails at the bar. She might enjoy clubbing. Hopefully, she doesn’t take to any serious drugs for recreation, but she might pick up a cigarette habit if she isn’t careful.

Julie will be easily pressured to do things if her best friends are doing it. I mean, and this is a spoiler, she almost ripped up her petition to join the boys’ basketball team because it caused her to argue with her friend…It’s likely Julie will not want to disappoint her friends. Hopefully, Ivy, Joy, and TJ continue to live decent lives and don’t pressure Julie to lose herself.

And I’m not saying she won’t have one drunk night. Julie might especially try it when she first turns 21 and is able to drink. Hopefully, she keeps supportive friends around and the incident reminds her not to do it too often.

Through all the challenges and hurt in Julie’s life, she might feel depressed a lot, but if she relies on her faith to get her through, she can eventually bounce back.

As Julie grows older, her femininity will blossom. She will be any woman she wants to be, but she will display gentleness and subtle charm, too. She might be quite girly as she grows into a teenager and adult. People at her class reunion won’t be mocking her with “tomboy” anymore! She might still like basketball and may be interested in just about everything, but she will carry herself with more of an ethereal grace.

Look at Venus’s house and aspects. Jupiter and Neptune’s signs, houses, and aspects are important to analyze.

 

Venus in 4th house

Julie’s mother may start other romantic affairs by the time Julie is in high school, which can create some hurt for Julie, but Julie will try to be pleasant and reasonable with any new suitors.

Julie will try to create a home environment filled with peace and comfort. It will be so nice in Julie’s home, most people won’t want to leave (including her children, if she ever has any!). Julie herself will love being at home.

Julie will more than likely pick up her mother’s decorating hobby. Just like she loved decorating her room, she will love decorating her home. When Julie gets her first home, she will love having housewarming parties and inviting her friends over to see how she’s decorated the place.

Despite Julie’s messy side, she will like things to be neat and tidy most of the time, especially when guests are visiting. It may be a challenge for her to get things together, but she will want everyone to feel comfortable and at ease. When inviting guests over, she will make sure there’s plenty of food to eat, too.

Julie will not only make sure her home is furnished and fancy, she will make sure it’s easy to function. She might keep the latest technology to make life easier for her and her family. She will definitely upgrade to the DVD player and then the flat screen as both become available in her lifetime.

Julie will not like a lot of fighting and arguing in her home. She will definitely seek to do things differently from her own parents in this regard. She will try to be the peacemaker and mediator.

Julie will be a beautiful and charming mother. Her children will find her to look really nice and be really nice to them. Julie will focus on keeping family traditions alive at her house (something she may have felt was broken in her own home). She will be the one hosting all of the holiday events. Julie might decorate with some of the decorations she used to love as a girl. She might have many different family heirlooms.

Julie will truly show love to her family and will instill her kind of love in her offspring. Julie may love to share her fond childhood memories with her kids.

The downside to this placement is that her children and spouse may get too comfortable with the comforts and peace Julie provides. They might take all she does for granted and may not appreciate her efforts. Her children may especially laze around. They might act too spoiled and may not want to get out and work.

Throughout Julie’s life, she will receive financial assistance from her parents. She won’t act like she needs this assistance most of the time, but she will never have to worry if she runs into financial trouble. Both of her parents work. Her parents will definitely be there to help furnish her home, buy things for their grandchildren, and even assist with some bills.

Julie could make money by selling property (real estate industry is favorable), working with agricultural businesses, working with mine and land materials, family-related products or services, or products and services related to her country or heritage or historical. Julie might make money working from home.

Julie might mostly spend money on her family. She might buy things that may enhance her home or family in some way. Julie will mostly see money as a way to increase her family’s security and safety. She will always be the one to get her kids out of a financial bind.

Julie will be a protective lover. She will already idealize and stick up for her partner (Venus in Pisces), but she will also provide shelter and security in both physical and symbolic ways. She will shield anyone she loves from the hurt of the world.

She may fall in love with someone from her hometown or someone who is close to her family. She may fall in love with someone from a similar background (this may not mean heritage or race but also familial experience).

When she first starts developing crushes or falling in love, her home will be where she brings all of her love interests. It will be important for them to meet her mom. As she becomes an adult, most of her dates will be dinner at a home, whether at her home or her partner’s. She will want to see her love interest’s house or how they live. She will want to relax on a couch and have long intimate conversations with someone she’s interested in. If she gets married, she will want some alone time with her husband at home. She might find a place to send the kids. Or she will choose a time the kids are gone. XD

She might be drawn to someone who is protective and family-oriented. She may be drawn to someone security-oriented. She might be drawn to someone who understands her background and doesn’t judge (or shares a similar story). More than likely, she will marry someone raised in her same country.

As Julie’s mother ages, Julie’s relationship with her will get easier. They might spend more time together and bond. They will be an attractive pair. They will have plenty of girl time with one another. Julie might feel closer with her mother as an adult than as a child (though she was close to her mother before, but still…).

As Julie ages and becomes a grandmother herself, she will continue to have a beautiful life. She might retain her beauty and charm. She will work to make her home even more beautiful. She might get more interested in developing a garden or tending flowers. She will definitely want to move near a place that has more land.

Observe the Venus sign and aspects.

 

Venus Square Jupiter

Julie is definitely going to be a popular girl in high school, college, and possibly throughout her life.

She will have a burst of creativity. She may find opportunity in the arts, including drama, cheeky comedy, music, creative writing, painting and sculpture.

Julie may have a hard time actually working hard and earning an income. This is a challenge because of the luxurious lifestyle she might desire. She might not consider her finances when making extravagant plans, and may spend more than she has.

She will want stability, but she may be indulging in pleasures or may be too lax on her responsibilities to fully commit to a stable job. She might lack discipline, which could affect many areas of her life. She may especially have issues when raising her children.

Julie’s morals may seem “looser” when it comes to who she chooses as a partner. People may feel she’s “lowering” her standards. Really, Julie has a lax attitude towards relationships in general, which would actually irritate her partner. She might not like the idea of committing to a partner completely and she may avoid marriage.

Venus and Jupiter’s signs, houses, and aspects need to be observed.

 

Venus conjunct Saturn

Julie may have an overall negative or pessimistic view of relationships and love. She might feel she has to buy or earn love, which she won’t take lightly. She may constantly feel she has to make adjustments to make her relationships work. She might feel she will be unsatisfied or restricted when in love or in a relationship. She may feel she’s being used, that’s she’s giving more than she’s getting.

She might be very caring and loyal, but she might have a hard time showing it. This could put a delay on her forming relationships. She might have a partner much later than her peers. Julie may meet some harsh experiences in love until she learns to truly love herself and others. The real root may be that she lacks love of herself and self-respect, which may become evident in her teen years. This will make her shyer and awkward in love. Obviously, the divorce and absence of Julie’s father in much of her life created this distrust in love and lack of confidence when pursuing love matters.

As popular as Julie might be, she might really feel socially awkward, preferring to only mingle with a few people.

And unfortunately, as much as Julie may strive to avoid it, breakups and divorce is very common with this energy. Julie must be careful of repeating her parents’ patterns.

She should be careful of hurting those who love her. They could come back to teach her a lesson.

Observe Venus and Saturn’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Venus Trine Neptune

This influence will impact her relationships and how Julie could make money.

Julie would like to live a life of peace and serenity. It’s likely she will strive to create a home life that’s peaceful.

Her love life will be important to her (if she gets into one). She’s romantic, affectionate, soft, and warm as a person. She would not be drawn to an aggressive, domineering, and ego-centric partner.

On the other hand, Julie may idealize anyone she’s in love with, overlooking things. She’s bound to face some disappointments in love if her partner doesn’t carry the same unconditional love style she has. Her partner may not overlook her faults as much as she does there’s.

Julie may be more about love than sex. She could forgo all physical pleasure and may prefer to do so. Privacy might be a key thing for her as well as shyness.

Julie might have unusual romances or meet her love interest under unusual circumstances that it might seem like fate.

It’s likely Julie could make money from the arts. She could become a singer. She might perform on screen and produce a magnetic presence. However, she may have to rely on other energies to develop the will to go for this as a career. She may be impractical, especially with how she deals with some of her money. It’s a good thing Venus has an aspect to Saturn.

It’s also likely Julie will involve herself in charities and humane societies that help her stand up for people or serve others. Julie will definitely lean towards progressive, socialist, or liberal politics as she ages.

Observe Venus and Neptune’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Chiron in Pisces

In Julie’s youth, the scars of her past have caused her to have the following symptoms as an adult: a loss of faith in religion (which is probably why the writer Amy can’t see any hints of it in the story and why it’s pretty much obsolete), loss of faith in love, and loss of faith in her own truth.

Religions might have shunned her family for their divorce when she was growing up, and her parents were probably never extremely religious to begin with, which caused them not to bat an eye about divorce. She might feel some sort of guilt towards religion because of her background.

She probably carries a feeling of being betrayed. She might feel like a victim of a circumstance she couldn’t control. She might have issues trusting others, especially in deep romantic commitments, fearing she will be hurt. There may be a hard wall there that hides a strong sensitive side.

She will identify with people who seem like wandering and lost souls. She may find herself connecting with homeless people, people struggling with addiction, those from broken families, and the like. She might end up gullible and vulnerable to people who seem to offer her escape from her pain. She should especially be careful in her teenage years. She could end up connecting with the wrong people to deal with her pain.

Julie will have to restore her faith in a higher being and learn to trust again. She has to learn to use her compassionate streak to help others, not to fall victim herself. With age and time, she will heal by finding something or someone to believe in. Involving herself in charity might help her restore her faith. She will sacrifice her pain to help others heal. Eventually, she will learn that all things happen for a reason.

Chiron’s house and aspects need to be observed, as well as ruling planets Jupiter and Neptune’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Chiron in 4th

Most of her early wounds were obviously connected with her childhood and family (as is pretty thoroughly explained by now). There was some unresolved trauma dealing with Julie’s home and family. There was probably a lot of arguing and Julie might have felt broken because she had to move so often.

The divorce might eventually cause Julie to resent one of her parents in her teen years, especially her mother. She may begin to understand the divorce more, and all the signs lean towards the mother’s decision. The books never say who initiated the divorce, but the natal chart reveals that Julie will believe her mother had the most active hand in it.

Julie’s mother may be hurting from it all deep down though. This may stop her mother from developing relationships herself. Julie may later discover how much pain the breaking of the family has caused her, despite her putting on the poker face. It likely has something to do with the mother, so there may be some guilt and feelings of regret.

Because Julie had to move from her birth home, she may never feel comfortable in any home she creates for herself. She will be skeptical about where she lives. She will especially not like having to give up her own home when she gets married, fearing her spouse throwing her out one day. She will definitely want to be in control of her property and assets in some fashion.

She might really have a strong fear of family. There will always be fear hovering over her if she decides to develop her own family. It will take a lot of time to heal wounds. Her children might help her get stronger in this way, but she will feel the “empty nest syndrome” much stronger than others once her children get older and decide to move away.

She might have a fear of having a partner she can’t agree with and may fear divorce in her own marriage. This could lead to trust issues with her partner. She may create quite a few defenses, making it hard for potential suitors to impress her or win her affections. She may feel like family life is supposed to be painful and difficult. She might think life in general doesn’t come without pain. This could make her weak to any little arguments that may rise up or stronger than others who aren’t used to the difficulties family will inevitably bring.

She may end up having a difficult time expressing herself as a result of her past, even as a teenager. She may hold in a lot of the stresses she has regarding her own family, fearing her worries may hurt them.

From these experiences, Julie will learn to use her painful childhood experiences to help other people suffering through similar issues with their family and home. She might seek to help children from broken families. She will especially help them express themselves. Within her own family, she will be attentive to how her decisions are affecting her family. She will always worry about it. Unfortunately, Mercury in Aries may move her to make impulsive decisions, but she will ask her family if it’s okay eventually. If she senses her family is suffering from it in any way, she will take it very hard, remembering how change hurt her.

By helping others suffering through the same family issues, Julie can find the path to self-healing. She may learn how to get stronger by helping others heal from family issues.

Julie may not be aware how much her past has affected her. She may not realize the defenses she has placed as a result of her past. She may not realize her trust issues.

Observe Chiron’s sign and aspects.

“…Even worse than a broken finger is when my family broke apart…Just now, as I was playing back the tape, I remembered something my dad told me when he broke his foot. He said that a broken bone heals back together even stronger than before it was broken. I think families are kind of like bones-they can break too, but in some ways, it makes you even stronger.” -Julie from The Big Break: A Julie Classic 1

 

Venus conjunct Chiron

Through Julie’s relationships and while she’s in love, she may experience pain. She already felt this pain watching her parents’ relationship fall apart. This will affect her in her own relationships in some way.

But through her relationships, she may understand how she’s linked to humanity.

She may feel a lack of peace and harmony around her, especially in relationships. Julie will be very sensitive to any little disagreement or disharmony in her relationships.

Julie may go through some social pain, especially in high school. She may have issues figuring out where she stands among her peers, who her real friends are and who aren’t. She might have issues figuring out who really likes her for her. She might be rather sensitive to the topic.

Julie’s self-worth might be wounded at some point in her life, which could influence her relationships.

She might be sensitive on the subject of beauty and attraction. It’s likely she’s met some issues with this. She may not have felt beautiful enough or she may have been too attractive to the point she has attracted the wrong kind of attention to herself, the kind of attention she never wanted.

Julie might be made to feel unattractive, unloved, and unwanted. She may be rejected in love a lot because of these issues. She may be rejected because of her appearance (weight gain is possible in her life, and some people may make her feel bad about it). Julie may be rejected because she’s not popular or pretty enough (though she will have a lot of popularity, someone she likes may not think she’s really cool or good as a person).

Julie may go through moments where she tries to fit in with the popular crowd only to be hurt. She might try some very harmful things to feel beautiful or popular. She might go through moments where she tries unhealthy dieting and exercise practices to stay skinny. She might get into plastic surgery as she gets older.

Julie might feel she has a hard time tapping into her attractive points, which could make her even shyer when trying to attract her love interests. Julie might be afraid of being too attractive, seductive, sexy, and alluring. Julie will have to develop her flirty and sexy side as she gets older. However, at first, she may flirt awkwardly and feel awkward with a sexy expression. It’s likely she will like a style that covers up that sexy side to her. Because of this, she may feel threatened by women who naturally express a sexy or flirty side, especially if she’s in a relationship. She may not be confident she can express that kind of side.

Julie was called a “tomboy” when she was younger, and this may affect her as she ages. She may feel some sort of hurt around the subject of femininity. She may reject femininity overall or she may strive her hardest to feel feminine as she ages. The latter part is likely. Criticism about her femininity is likely to cut deeply.

Eventually, Julie will learn to like herself and will begin to see that beauty is more than skin-deep.

It’s likely that Julie will have had some really painful experiences with women, especially those among her peers. Women may have been jealous or envious of her and she may have been jealous of other women.

When it comes to money and other items of worth, she might be sensitive towards the topic as well. It’s likely she’s had issues with money and may have suffered because of it. She might use money to ease her pain in life. She might use money to impress her love interests, but may discover it can’t buy love or happiness.

Julie may often feel she doesn’t get paid what she’s worth. She may feel unvalued as an artist or that people don’t appreciate her work.

Julie may have to learn to relax and enjoy life. On the other hand, she may use pleasure to escape the pain of life.

Her chart has been showing her leaning towards art. It’s likely she will tackle really sensitive topics with anything she creates. It might have a gentle and sensitive touch to it. Julie may release her pain and hurt through her art.

Throughout everything, Julie will become a good guide out of love trials. She will be an expert on love. She will find and acknowledge what she wants in a relationship.

Julie will have learn to build her self-esteem. She will have to make peace with her relationships and learn to trust love. She will have to learn and understand money. She has to learn to love herself, stand up for her values, and enjoy life.

Observe Venus and Chiron’s signs, houses, and other aspects.

 

Jupiter square Chiron

This position also affects Julie’s religious beliefs. Julie possibly no longer believes in a higher power. Possibly she doesn’t feel a greater force is truly protecting her. Julie may be trying to search for her own truth and may feel tricked by the beliefs she’s been told all her life. She may feel a sense of meaninglessness after finding out the truth about something she once believed.

Julie might have many strong beliefs, but others may find her beliefs to be flawed. She might take her causes overboard.

Julie might take on causes or missions to ease and heal her own pain and hurt. She might try to address the pain other cultures might have. She could use the pain she has had to become a Civil Rights Activist, but she would have to overcome her own doubt.

Julie might try to remain optimistic at times, but she may be smiling through a lot of hurt and pain in her life.

She might focus on parts of life that are unjust or unfair. That may be how she sees life and she may want to make things better for others.

Eventually, Julie may become a teacher or guru for others who have trouble finding meaning and faith in life.

Observe Jupiter and Chiron’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Neptune trine Chiron

It’s likely as Julie grows older she will be able to escape her pain through fantasy. She may join some fantasy subcultures in high school. This could actually help her escape her pain and sorrows that she experiences in her teen years.

Julie will discover that her imagination could heal her pain. She might use her imagination in many creative pursuits.

Julie will be very sensitive to others’ suffering, and may decide to take on that pain. She will especially want to help people who are handicapped or disabled (like her friend Joy).

Julie may enjoy dancing. It could be healing for her. She could do this as a profession. She might also heal by acting or giving acting classes. Being someone else may heal her pain and sorrow. Julie may want to be above pain and sorrow. She might seek to bridge reality with her dreams somehow.

It’s likely she will embrace some spirituality to bring more wholeness in her life (even if it isn’t the spirituality or religion she was raised with).

Observe Neptune and Chiron’s signs, houses, and aspects to get a full picture.

 

Mercury in Aries

This position could not only influence her work life but her relationships as well.

Mercury rules over communication, which affects all of those areas.

Julie might do well in an occupation that allows her to exercise her alert mind and her active body (she’s a very wiry and energetic person). She would do well with military, sports (basketball in Julie’s case), training, emergency operations, and owning or running her own business (which is more likely). She will be the designated presenter at most events because she has such a loud and bold way of expressing herself. It’s likely she will be in a leadership role in whatever job she pursues. Even if she’s just a cashier, she will be able to round up loyal supporters who follow her.

Julie could be the lead in a political organization. She might work in engineering, with motors (like cars), or machinery of some kind. Julie will have multi-tasking skills, so she may be able to work more than one job or handle more than one project. She will be a good marketer because she’s good at pitching new ideas to people. She will be good in advertising and promotional activities. Campaigning could be her forte.

Julie might create an invention one day.

This placement is probably why Julie was pinned as a “tomboy” growing up. Mercury in Aries women tend to think more like men. It’s likely she’ll end up in male-dominated fields tackling tasks most men tackle. She might be very good at winning arguments against men (like debates and even against her spouse if the spouse is a male). She will often earn the respect of men in any field she goes into.

When communicating with her children, Julie will often speak before thinking. She won’t say a whole lot, but she’ll make brief blunt and impulsive statements. Her children might find her quick responses to be open and honest, but she may hurt her more sensitive children often with careless remarks or words. She might also make snap decisions that will impact her family without her realizing it because she may not think too much about how her ideas will affect those around her until it actually starts to affect them. She may expect her children to be stronger, but she won’t consider how they think and feel about situations (Venus in Pisces can help her be more understanding, though).

Her children might consider her loud and exciting in the house, but she also knows how to give sharp commands when she wants to. Her children will know that Julie means what she says. She makes quick and straightforward decisions.

Julie will probably try to force her ideas off on her children. She should be careful with this because as her children grow to be more independent, she may get into arguments with them.

She might get into bickering with her partner too. She might be an active communicator and honest, so her partner wouldn’t ever have to worry about trusting her word too much. But she might try to force her ideas on her partner or she might try to win arguments. She might have a hard time seeing her partner’s point of view. Again, the Venus in Pisces energy might simmer this energy down, but it still might take her some time to mentally understand.

This placement gives Julie an abundance of energy. She will likely not retire from her career until later in life, if ever at all. If she’s left to do nothing, she might get restless and irritable. She has to keep moving.

Julie might move near neighbors who sport motorcycles and bold sports cars. Her neighbors might be frank and may not hesitate to tell Julie their concerns. Julie might live near police or the military. Her neighbor could be a soldier or a family of someone in the military. It’s possible someone in the neighborhood will carry a firearm. Julie may feel she needs to carry one or she may be important enough to need a bodyguard. She might get into quarrels with some of her neighbors.

The Mercury’s house and aspects should be analyzed, as well as Mars’s sign, house, and aspects.

“Mr. Salisbury, your comments on Julie’s idea to change the detention system?” asked Mr. Arnold.

“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” said Mark. 

“Yes I do,” said Julie. “I’ve been to detention. That’s how I know we need to change it.”

“Julie, I’m going to have to ask you to wait your turn to speak,” Mr. Arnold cautioned. –Soaring High: A Julie Classic 2

 

Mercury in the 4th house

With this position, Julie will always think about her family. Her family will cause her to think more about life in general. I’m sure the divorce she experienced in her earlier years caused her to ponder everything around her.

Even as a teenager, Julie will worry or think about what’s going on with her family a lot. The things that go on in her family life might consume her mind.

As she grows older, if or when she decides to have a family, she will worry or think a lot about her family’s needs. Everytime she does something, whether shopping, working, or talking to friends, she will think about her family first. She should be careful not to gossip about private matters within her own home.

More than likely, she will communicate with her family. There might be many long talks and discussions as a family. She might like talking over dinner. She might initiate these conversations (being Mercury in Aries and all). She will encourage her children to speak at a very early age.

It’s highly likely she will do some work from home. Her career may not be primarily at home, but she might take online courses or do a lot of college studying within her home. She might be busy doing chores. Or she may do part of her work at home (having to take some of her work home). If anything, she will be active at home. She may work as a teacher or do work sharing or transferring knowledge. She might work with technology. More than likely, her work may be over the computer (being an adult in the 1990s, 2k era, and now). Julie might be busy, but also restless and stressed at home sometimes. Her kids may sense that she’s very busy.

Julie is likely to be well-educated and she will instill intellectual values in her children. Education will be important to Julie. It’s likely she will have a library, a study, and all the latest technology within her home. Her home might have people in and out, creating social contact for her family members.

Julie might have her home set up where there’s space for studying, reading, and playing around with technology. She might have an office space or desks. She might have a game room. She will more than likely have plenty of games in her home. It’s likely she will buy her children their first video game. She might get interested in them herself. It’s likely she’ll have an entertainment center focused on developing the mind and the hands.

She might develop a family game night.

It’s likely Julie will move around a lot. In her earlier years, before she creates a family, it’s likely she might move from place to place, roommating with friends or even living in hotels. She might not be as stable. As she gets older, she may decide to make sudden moves due to a relocation of her job, which could impact her family. Stability would be a problem especially for her children. While Julie learned to adjust to changeable circumstances while she was younger (being from a family of divorce), her children may not adapt so well to the changes she implements.

She could be the only one traveling a lot, spending a lot of time away from the home.

It might not even be that drastic. She might just travel out of town for special events or functions sometimes on the weekends. If she brings her family with her, she could expose her family to a lot of new experiences and connections with different people. Her children may especially benefit from these connections.

If Julie remains single, she’ll likely not have a stable place to return to. She may have several homes or may live from hotel to hotel, no matter how much money she has.

Despite the fact that Julie will move around a lot, it will be difficult for her to move out of San Francisco, California and even harder to live outside of the USA! It’s likely she won’t live permanently too far from her country. If she were to move to a different state, she would think about home a lot. She would definitely travel to visit her home during the holidays, no matter the weather. If she couldn’t see her family or hometown, she’d be depressed.

As a young adult, she more than likely will not like staying on a campus or place too far from the homes she was was raised in. When she moves, she might think about her home growing up. Moving out for the first time might even make her depressed for awhile. It’s likely she’ll make trips to see her parents frequently.

As Julie gets older, Julie might find a greater interest in history. Julie has already shown herself to be interested in the history of her country (being interested in Little House on the Prairie books and enjoying making history on her Bicentennial adventure). It’s likely Julie will want to publish her own books focused on history or her country. She might do some work focused on history, her background or heritage, and maybe regarding her country.

Julie might also get involved with real estate or property matters. She might manage her own property. She might help run a family business (possibly her mother’s Gladrags shop). She might take on the financial part. It’s possible she will inherit the business, too. Her 10th house Virgo (which we’ll go over later) makes this highly likely.

Despite the fact Julie may have the latest technology in her home, Julie may have a hard time with change and new ideas. She might be attached to traditional values (even though she houses many progressive ideas). This may be difficult when her children want to step away from the family as they get older. There are some things about the next generation she just won’t understand or get. If her children are less family-oriented than she is, she really will disconnect from them mentally.

This position might also make it hard for her to understand her partner if they are from a different background from her. She may be used to certain traditions and may not want to let them go. Fortunately, having Saturn and Venus in Pisces in this same house, she’s had many old traditions broken and many new flexible traditions added in. She will feel the need to try to be as understanding as she can be. Still, she may have felt she lost so many traditions in her youth (Chiron in 4th house leaving scars), that she doesn’t want to experience any more change in her family. She may have a hard time committing to someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas or her favorite holidays, someone new to the USA and doesn’t have the same views on relationships and women’s roles, and people who don’t come from a similar family background. In her case, she won’t want to commit to someone who doesn’t understand the pressures that come from a hard family life (being from a family of divorce and having a mother who worked, among other things).

Observe Mercury’s sign and aspects.

 

House 5 Aries

The 5th house is the house of children. Julie will be very active with her children. Sometimes, she might like to play basketball or go bike riding with her kids. She might get into contests or competitions with her children. Hopefully, this competitive spirit doesn’t get out of hand. Her kids may be more successful than she is in her lifetime, and that may cause her to compete with her kids, too.

She may have one or more competitive children. Her child may challenge other students in school. It would be good if she gets a handle on this early so that it’s channeled in the right direction. One of Julie’s children (more than likely the oldest child) will be rather independent. She might have one or more children with a bad temper. She might have one of those angry children. Julie might feel like she’s always fighting with this one child or her children a lot. She might wrestle for fun or take up a karate course with one of her kids. But she might also argue with her teens or try to manage a wild child.

The 5th house rules pregnancy. It’s likely Julie may not initially want to conceive a child for fear of losing her independence. If Julie ever were to get pregnant, she wouldn’t want it to tie her down. But it can be a debilitating experience, even for active Julie. She may be rather irritated and more short-tempered than usual while pregnant.

This position might also make a her a pioneer in any artistic field she pursues.

The 5th house rules over love affairs too, especially the fun kind that doesn’t always promise commitment. This may be most evident in Julie’s teen and early 20s. Julie might be drawn to dangerous, spontaneous, courageous, and/or confident people. She will want to be thrilled romantically. She might still carry this romantic desire with her as she gets older, but more serious feelings might be added on to it from other areas of the chart.. In her teens and early 20s, she’s likely to fall for the bad boy (or bad girl) type. She might like someone rugged, straight-forward, and active. She will be wrapped up in people who know who they are and what they want in life. She will be drawn to the trail-blazing types.

Julie might be attracted to people with sports cars or an affinity with race car driving. She might be attracted to someone in the military or someone working with military personnel. She might be drawn to sports enthusiasts or athletes. She will be drawn to guys who are action heroes or a guy who enjoys action heroes. She may just be drawn to risk-takers or those who live life on the edge.

It’s likely she will be drawn to aggressive and competitive lovers. She should be careful of this. She could end up in some violent love affairs. She might end up fighting and arguing with her lover a lot. The end of this kind of relationship could be explosive.

She could be attracted to someone wearing armor, like a knight. But she might also be attracted to people who own weapons. She should take more caution in getting with people who can harm her.

She might enjoy play fighting or healthy competitions with her lovers. Her romance might seem a little rough and immature to some outsiders looking in. The affairs are usually passionate, and Julie may be quick to jump into these love affairs (despite her apprehension about creating a family), but her early love affairs will more than likely be very brief. Julie might seem all into someone for a long time. After awhile, she might be ready to date some new person (unless her partner is really exciting). Julie might be rather independent and may not want to settle in a serious relationship while young.

Observe Mars’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

Mars in Taurus

Most of Julie’s success in life will come through strategic planning and long-term goals. It may take Julie a long time to reach many of her goals in life. She may be impatient with this, at the same time, she’s very cautious herself when it comes to going for a goal.

The upside to this position is Julie will have the determination and endurance to continue fighting for her goals.

Julie will do well with physical labor. She might do well with farming or transforming materials into useful products. She could create works of art, build things, or work with her senses. She might not be the fastest worker in her field, but she usually lasts the longest. She can work on a project tirelessly for hours.

Julie might develop a goal of acquiring material possessions and stability in her life. Trying to maintain security will be her drive to get up and go to work in the morning. If it’s not money, she will need some other tangible benefit to motivate her to work. Julie will actively create a comfortable life for herself. She might neglect other aspects in her pursuit though, like her spirituality for example.

In love, Julie might be rather possessive of her partner. She will feel she “owns” her partner and that her partner is off-limits. Her jealous streak might be strong. Julie might hide it well and let it build up until it explodes.

As much as Julie might have an argumentative Mercury in Aries, this ruling energy will cut that down. Julie will not like arguing or solving differences through fights or competitions.

In a woman’s chart, Mars rules the kind of man she’s instantly attracted to in her mind. Basically, it’s the vision of her ideal. It’s her vision of masculinity.

If Julie becomes interested in men, Julie is likely to be drawn to men who are strong-willed, just like her. She will want someone sensual and down-to-earth, someone who enjoys pleasure. She’s drawn to someone who can relax and enjoy. She might want someone she can share a good meal and listen to her favorite music with. She will want someone patient, charming, and even-tempered. She might like when men wear cologne or speak softly to her. She will definitely want an affectionate partner. She wants someone who can provide stability and security.

She might attract men who are lazy, stubborn, and predictable.

Julie will be very straight-forward and conventional in love, but she will be loyal. She will expect the same of her partner.

Observe Mars’s house and aspects, as well as the ruling planet Venus’s sign, houses, and aspects.

 

Mars in 5th house

Julie’s adult life, just like her child life, will be full of activity. She will definitely be an outgoing teen and adult. Most of her energy will go towards recreation, fun, and promoting or expressing herself. Her life will be colorful, for sure.

Julie might be rather popular in high school and college (if she decides to go, which is likely). She will attend and throw all the parties (as mentioned before). She might be interested in flirting for fun. She might continue to play basketball in high school and she may play it in college, too. If not, she will attend all of her school games. She might throw sports parties at her home for her friends. She will spend a lot of fun times with her friends.

As Julie gets older, she will still enjoy the same things, only she should be careful of getting into gambling.

She should be careful not to get into drama with people during these events, as she’s likely to be pushy, aggressive, and more combative when in high-energy situations. No fighting in the club girl!

As an adult, Julie could become a coach, especially teaching elementary basketball teams. She might be a role model for other little girls who want to play basketball (she kind of already is within the American Girl line). Julie will be an active woman her whole life, which could keep her fit (She just has to be careful indulging in too many sweets having Sag Rising and Sun in Taurus XD).

Even if Julie settles down as a wife and mother, it’s not likely she will let it tie her down. She’s not likely going to like being just a “stay-at-home” mother. If she does stay at home all day, she will be restless and want to break away from her role a lot. She will like being active with her children. She will likely take her kids out to amusement parks or take them bike riding or play sports with them while her husband is at work.

Still, she could get irritable if all she does is keep house and tend to kids her whole life. She might pick up something creative to do while staying at home with her children.

She’s going to want to go out and do things. She’s going to need an outlet to express herself and her ideas, so she needs to be making a difference somewhere. Really, she probably won’t be so stable even at work. She will want to try many different creative things throughout her life. She should be careful not to be irresponsible with her work, skipping work for fun activities or quitting jobs that don’t offer the chance for her to have fun or be creative. Sometimes, she will have to do work she doesn’t like.

5th house is the house of love affairs. Generally, when she’s really in love or crushing hard, she will be rather shy (Venus in Pisces). However, there’s a side to her that will not be ashamed to flirt or express her loving feelings towards the person she’s interested in once she does finally confess to the person she likes. It’s likely in real love, she will be much shyer than when she’s just crushing on someone or thinking they’re cute or a lot of fun.

Despite that Venus conjunct Saturn placement, she’d probably have many love affairs. It’s likely she’d still have sudden attachments and then sudden break-ups in her relationships, especially as a teenager and young adult. This wouldn’t be her intention because her Mars is in Taurus. But she might not be too serious with any of them and might even just get with these people for the fun of it. More than likely, she’d go on many dates, but may not ever become an official partner to any of them. She might not see that dating is the same as marriage or that they are even linked. She should be careful of this because some people do feel dating is linked to marriage, that the point of dating is to find a stable partner.

Julie might be entirely too independent to be settled down after just one date. She won’t like partners who get clingy and possessive after one successful date.

When she likes someone, she might treat it like a game. She should be careful not to toy with people. She might not like rejection too much. It could make her angry.

Julie will be drawn to lovers that love to have a good time and socialize. If you’re taking her out on a date, it’d better be fun. She likes to be amused. More than likely, she’ll attend parties, amusement parks and centers, or sports games with a date.

The 5th house rules children. It’s likely Julie’s first child will be a boy or a girl who behaves like a typical boy (possibly inheriting Julie’s tomboy streak). This child might be energetic, hyperactive, courageous, and bold. The biology of the child is dependent on the male, so if she partners up with a male, he will probably have a strong male background (few sisters and female relatives).

She could have a child who is a Transgender male.

If she’s dating a woman sometime in her life, they might both agree to adopt a son or a very active girl first. If she does discover she has a different sexuality than what society is used to, she may not be comfortable fully coming out until far later in life. Though, having Mars in the 5th…She wouldn’t be ashamed either way. But life has a way of placing obstacles.

No matter what, the child will copy Julie’s active approach to life. They will like to have fun and they will be outgoing. They may get involved in sports and other physical activities.

Julie should be careful of being too strict or aggressive with her children, especially when her children anger or disappoint her. This doesn’t always mean she will physically abuse her children, but she might snap at them or discipline them in a harsh way. She might exhibit tough love sometimes. Rather than gently drying her child’s tears or letting them cry, she might tell them to suck it up. Having Moon in Libra and Venus in Pisces will soften this, as she will try to be as gentle as she can be usually. But when her children anger her, they will feel it. It’s likely she might get into aggressive arguments with her child as it gets older. The child is likely to be rather independent at an early age.

If she stays active with her children, it could channel both of their aggressive tendencies. She should be careful that her eruptive tendencies do not create a tense environment for her child. This is why it’s so important she stays away from alcohol and doesn’t deal with her child after drinking.

The 5th house rules over pregnancy. It’s highly likely Julie will remain active during her pregnancy. She won’t let any grass grow under her. However, she might be more aggressive when pregnant. She might feel impatient with the experience. She may decide not to conceive or may wait a long time to decide to do so because she doesn’t want to be tied down by her pregnancy. However, if she’s too reckless with herself, she could have unplanned pregnancies. Because Mars is in Taurus, it’s not likely, but it can happen.

As Julie gets older, it’s likely she’ll like taking risks in her career and personal life. She might try bungee jumping or skydiving one day! As long as these risks have limits, she will have a very fulfilling life worth envying. Of course, having Mars in Taurus might temper this a little. She’s a little more cautious than the average Mars…

Julie might have a lot of side hobbies that she flourishes. She might act on stage on the side. She might join art clubs or communities (as she gets older, maybe these communities will be online).

Observe Mars’s sign and aspects to get a fuller picture.

 

Mars trine uranus

Julie will need independence on her job and to choose her own career path. She may go into paths uncharted, but her recklessness could cause others to criticize her.

She will fight for whatever it is she’s passionate about and will be excellent at promoting herself and her projects, especially if they are unique or experimental. She will definitely be an eccentric leader.

She will definitely work hard and be successful in life, however she won’t be working a closed-up 9-to-5 job. She won’t like working under a strict person either. She will need some control over what she does.

Her biggest problem is she may wear herself out. She might take on too many activities and projects at once. She might lose interest in a lot of them quickly. Her other problem is she will want to do everything herself and have difficulty delegating responsibilities (though she needs to).

When Julie can tap into her sexiness, she will have a danger or risk factor about it that will challenge others. People will be drawn to this. However, she may find marriage and conventional romance limiting. She might not mind innocent flirting even when she’s in a relationship and may be drawn to a partner (especially if the partner is a man) that’s open-minded and experimental. She may be hard to pin down.

 

Mars trine pluto

Julie will have a strong determination, courage, and confidence. Julie will be charismatic and likely very attractive to people, especially to the opposite sex.

She will be heavily involved in social causes and will have strong influence on others. She will seek to change her life and the world around her. She will have strong leadership abilities and will leave her mark on the world in some way. Julie will be able to channel her unconcious sex appeal in every single business she goes into.

If Julie is interested in men, she will be drawn to men who are strong, confident, and sexy. She will want her romantic connections to have a deep and meaningful nature.

 

Sun in Taurus

Julie knows she’s a Taurus.

With this position, Julie will mostly spend her life in the pursuit of comfort and security. This will be what she basically needs her whole life to feel content, confident, and happy overall. She will be seeking to feed her confidence through what she owns, whether it be material goods or some other thing.

Julie will work hard her whole life just to maintain the stability she needs in life to feel esteem and self-worth. Julie will be focused on her goals.

It might take Julie a long time to get her life started down the path she wants it to go. This could mean she might be slow to get a job, develop a career, move out of her parents’ home, develop relationships, etc. She will reach these goals at her own pace. In fact, she will set her own goals rather than try to keep up with everyone else. She will be a strong person her whole life. It will be hard to push her where she doesn’t want to go.

Still, she might seem rather sluggish in comparison to her peers. Mostly, Julie will like to take it easy and may fear change. Leaving home is just another form of change. This is amplified by the fact she will love to be home with her family. Starting a job or a new job is another form of change. Julie will be loyal to every situation, creating stability in her life in some fashion, but she may stay in situations longer than she needs to. Despite the fact Julie will want to drop things if they aren’t offering her creativity or opportunities to express herself (Mars in Taurus), she might not be so hasty if her place of employment provides the stability she needs in life. She might be unhappy, but she will stick with it until she finds better. Even then, she would like to be in a place where she at least knows the routine.

The biggest issue with this stubborn and rooted streak is she might delay her own development in life or let life pass her by because she missed out on bigger and better opportunities.

Julie will only feel successful if she’s able to see tangible results and watch things multiply. As she saves her money and watches it grow, that will give her satisfaction. It’s likely she’ll be interested in job fields that require cultivation and promise increase.

Some careers she might typically find herself dealing with in life are finance, industry, production, something dealing with nature, farming, education, art, beauty, wellness, luxury, or her senses in general (like with catering or food). Art seems to be a strong leaning in her chart.

She won’t like to be in a profession that’s filled with urgency or risk. She is creative and down-to-earth. She’d be good at running her own business. This is also a very strong leaning in her chart.

Julie is likely to want to save up for rainy days and create a cushion for all areas of her life. She will create strategies to maintain stability in some part of her life, no matter how hectic it is in other aspects of her life. She is very organized, and could probably use this in whatever field she goes into.

This position shows Julie will have a connection with beauty. It’s likely she will try to surround herself with items that are comfortable and pleasing to look at. Her home will be a haven for most people visiting. She will like to relax after a hard day at work.

Julie is likely to grow up to be very attractive. Weight gain is likely as she gets older, but she will have curves in all the right places to most people and she will have a sweet face that will be hard to resist. It’s likely many people will like her.

The Sun rules over the husband or committed partner in a man’s chart, usually the one assumed to be the head of the household. Julie might more easily commit to someone she’s attracted to. She’s likely to want to marry for love, not just status or to escape a situation (though those might be added on as options).

She might be drawn to a husband that is dealing with finances, production of something, nature, art, beauty, wellness, luxury, or the senses. It’s likely her husband will be simple but produce a stable income for her and her family. She won’t want to marry someone who doesn’t have their finances in order. She’s also looking for mental and emotional stability, too. He might also be a Taurus or have a strong Venus leaning in his chart. This person would have to be like a rock the family can depend on. She will want someone who willingly gives more than they expect to receive. She will want someone easy-going, mild-tempered, and down-to-earth.

She wants someone faithful, thoughtful, and kind. She won’t care if her husband is filled with surprises, but she values appreciation and love. She might like a little romance in her committed relationship.

Despite her loving that high-energy love life with the 5th house being in Aries and Mars settled there too, it’s likely she won’t commit to any partner like that in the long run (unless she can find someone who has a little bit of both).

It’s likely Julie’s father will remarry or start dating sooner than even his wife. Julie may be quite possessive of her father and jealous of any women that come into his life. But if she’s nice and spoils Julie enough, Julie may like her (but have a hard time admitting it).

Observe the Sun’s house and aspects, as well as ruling planet Venus’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

Sun in 5th house

This is the placement that pushed Julie to develop athletic abilities (the Sun ruling the father and other male influences, that’s where she learned these abilities). This is also why she fought hard to be on the boys’ team.

It’s likely Julie will play sports, particularly basketball, in high school. This position also ensures Julie will be rather popular in high school. It’s likely she will be on many school activities. She will have school spirit! Julie will probably be better than most boys at sports which could earn the admiration of her peers but make some of the boys around her intimidated.

Julie will be a partier. I think I’ve emphasized this enough. Throughout high school, she will probably be at a party every weekend (and maybe after school on Friday). Her college life is likely to have partying in it. As she gets older, she may enjoy more sophisticated parties, but they are likely still going to be fun. She will throw the best birthdays for her children. Her own birthday parties will be on fire. Everyone will want holidays parties thrown at her house because she tends to bring them to life. She should be careful not to get too drunk during these events though. She might enjoy a game of cards and may enjoy bets. However, she should watch her tendency to bet more than she can deliver.

Julie’s own child is likely to be a very popular child. The likelihood her first child is male is very strong. And her son would be an Alpha male, really athletic with a strong ego. It’s likely he’ll like attention. If she has a girl, the girl will beat the boys at sports just like her mother. She might exhibit more dominant and strong traits. She will still be really popular. Julie will be very involved in her child’s life. In fact, her whole personal life will surround her children. They will motivate her choices in life.

This is if she has children at all though. This placement often makes individuals independent of children, especially if the Sun is in a fire sign. Sun in Taurus isn’t bad, but she might take her time changing her whole way of life with children. However, she may be very involved with her neighbors’ children, children at work, or her nieces and nephews or baby cousins.

If Julie were to have children, she would probably spend more time with them than her own partner. She might spoil her children, giving them most of her attention and affection. She would probably spend a lot of time playing with her kids.

While pregnant, Julie might seek the attention of her partner and family. She will definitely want a baby shower to honor her and the baby. She will give all of her attention to her child and try to make it into a celebration (despite her eagerness to have the baby born). She still may be independent and may want to live her life. It may be a challenge, but she will feel it’s important.

Julie will probably have a knack with performing. She may act in several school plays or get involved in talent shows. Career in the arts is likely with this placement. She might even work with children. She might spend much time having fun with children. Teaching is a possible profession or working with children in some way.

5th house rules the love life. Julie is likely to have the feeling of falling in love all the time, even if she doesn’t pursue these feelings seriously. She may just like being romanced.

The Sun rules the husband. Julie may commit to someone who is fun and romantic. She will settle with someone risk-taking. These qualities don’t always come from committal types though, so she may have a difficult time finding someone entertaining and loyal.

Julie’s father is likely to have many romantic affairs or dates with women. Julie may be introduced to all of his dates as she ages. He will have his fun.

The Sun’s sign and aspects should be observed.

 

Sun conjunct Mars

Julie will makes sure she asserts her identity. She will not let anyone tell her who she is or who she should be. She will decide her own life path and what makes her happy. People will know who she is in whatever field she gets into.

Julie will have a fast reaction to situations, so she would be good in jobs that require quick action, especially during emergency situations. She might train in combat as well.

Julie is driven and ambitious. She will get what she wants in life. Julie may find that people receive her as masculine and she may intimidate men.

Observe Sun and Mars’s signs, houses, and other aspects.

 

Sun trine Uranus

Julie will not have a problem with being different or unique, and this attitude will begin to really show itself in high school. She will definitely be interested in progressive projects and will want to be remembered for her originality. She has excellent leadership skills. She can take advantage of her talents without letting her ego take over.

Julie will definitely have a humanistic side, wanting to care and understand people as well as help them.

Observe Sun and Uranus’s sign, house, and other aspects.

 

Sun trine Pluto

Julie will have power over people without realizing. She will make an impact. This will be most evident in her career. She may be placed in positions of power in her career suddenly. She might take on a position of power willingly, but she may not realize how much this impacts others. More than likely, her power will be used for good. If Julie isn’t in a position of power, she will have many connections with people who are in power or with people who have power over people.

Whatever career she chooses, she will go to great lengths to research and master her chosen field.

Observe Sun and Pluto’s sign, houses, and other aspects to get the full picture.

 

House 6 Taurus

With Taurus on the 6th, weight gain is highly possible. These people have rich taste buds and love fine food. They eat for comfort and they are indulgent. This doesn’t always mean they eat junk or processed food. It’s likely Julie may be very concerned with eating natural and organic food. She just might eat a lot of it.

Mars in the 5th house will keep her life active enough where she won’t have to worry about lack of exercise, but she may get lazy sometimes. She might especially be a little lax on her daily chores. When she comes home from a hard day at work, her first instinct will be to get a snack and relax. It might be this way for her in high school. While Tracy is still in the house with her, she gets to share chores. Once Tracy moves out, many of the chores might fall on her, which she might not like too much as a teenager.

Julie may have a difficult time starting high school. She might have to get used to the routine. Eventually, she will master the routine, but she might be a little lazy with classwork and homework. She might pace herself or procrastinate until the end, which she won’t like because she hates to have to rush.

6th house rules the work we do (not necessarily the careers we build like in the 10th house). Julie is likely to work with raw materials. She might work at creating or constructing something like pottery, sculptures, buildings or small houses, and other crafts. She might work with design and style, like styling hair, fashion, make-up, among others. She might create her own bath and beauty products. She could work with relaxing the body teaching yoga classes, working to give massages, or as an aromatherapist. She might do some work with a farm or nature in some fashion. She might be a cook or chef or food assistant at one time. Her first job will be in a restaurant. She might work with money as a bank teller. This house can tell people a lot about our first job as well as how we adjust to our school routine.

Observe ruling planet Venus’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

House 7 Gemini

The 7th house rules our partner, normally the marriage partner. It’s who we work with and who comes to help us balance our lives. It’s not about love or emotional support. It’s simply the partner that can manage and work with the personality. The 7th house is opposite the Rising for this reason.

Because Julie will be humorous, jovial, expansive and broad, she will attract a witty, bright, intelligent, and clever partner. This person might be curious and talkative. The partner might seem like a brother to her or they might seem like best friends. They might be up with the latest trends: the latest technology, the latest styles, the latest music, and the latest social trends. They might be a writer of some sort. She might have a mental connection with her partner. Her partner is likely to be an entertaining conversationalist. Her partner might have some social connections with people. They might be youthful and sociable. The partner might be ambidextrous or they might work well with their hands (manual dexterity).

Her partner is likely to be someone she’s met in her immediate everyday environment, possibly someone from the neighborhood.

The partner might have two last names for some reason, which could be confusing.

Julie will want a partner she can talk to. She will want someone who can make conversation. She will want someone on her level mentally. She will like to have fun and want someone who is socially conscious like she is (know your public manners and what’s socially acceptable, aware of what’s going on in the world, etc).

She might be concerned about the last name of her partner, which might seem unusual to some people but is very noticeable to her.

The 7th house can rule the kind of partner Julie is looking for as well as the partners she attract. She must beware of attracting the negative qualities associated with Gemini into her life.

Julie might end up marrying a thief. She might attract partners that are fickle, tricky, and mean her no good. Her partner might be scattered and superficial. This partner may be good at gossiping or talking about her to other people. The partner may have issues with focus. It could be they lack mental focus or they have issues staying faithful (which will be bad for her Sun in Taurus personality). Julie might be swindled by her marriage partner.

While these qualities could come from the partner, Julie must make sure she isn’t the partner producing the negative qualities. She might end up swindling her partner. She might be fickle, tricky, and a cheater. She could have issues staying faithful. She might have multiple marriage partners or her partner will have had several marriages. Julie must be careful of airing her relationship issues out in public.

The 7th house can rule over business partners and anything legal.

Julie will likely have connections with many different people. Her business partners will be clever and intelligent. She will want to work with people who understand society and how it works. Her business partners might be talkative. Julie herself may communicate openly with her business partners. Her partner may seem like a sibling, even at work. Julie works well with bright, adaptable, and handy people.

She should be careful she doesn’t get with business partners who can talk such a good game they swindle her, steal from her, or trick her in some way. Her business partner might be superficial and gossipy too. This person might be scattered, hard to pin down, and unfocused.

12th house rules hidden enemies, while the 7th house rules over open enemies. Julie might have issues with thieves, tricksters, and high-strung children (especially if she’s working as a teacher) throughout her lifetime.

Julie might marry or do business with a partner that’s Mercurial or a Gemini.

Observe Mercury’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

Jupiter in Gemini

Julie will gain many benefits using her natural wit and curiosity. Julie is naturally social, and people naturally gravitate towards her. She’s likely to make many connections in life that lead her to the path she wants to follow. She’s versatile and adaptable. She can adjust to any circumstance.

She will have the ability to be open-minded and might have a love of learning. As the technology age fast approaches her in her adult years, she will adjust very well. She will be able to absorb and use it to her benefit. In fact, getting involved with technology could be something that brings opportunities to her. She might work through social media or with rising technology (the 3rd house Aquarius even makes hints towards this).

Julie will be filled with ideas that most people will find amazing. She will have success in broadcasting these ideas in writing, music, performing, teaching or taking care of children. Spoiler: It’s likely she’ll be back in the news based on some new idea she had. She may be involved in publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications or travel. She will definitely have some connections with media and the arts.

Her gift is the art of communication. This will get her far. She will gain many opportunities because she knows how to speak to others. She could pick up new languages quickly (and we saw how quickly she picked up sign language and Chinese). She would be good at teaching it to other people or traveling to foreign countries to do business. She might be good at multitasking, which could make her good with any secretarial responsibilities.

Her first weakness is a lack of focus. She might have too many opportunities. This might not seem like an issue, but the money may not be stable after a while. It’s a good thing Sun in Taurus is there to put the breaks on this scattered sign. Still, she should watch this tendency so it doesn’t affect that part of her Sun life (which is so important for overall contentment). To ease this energy, she should head towards stable fields that offer a lot of variety.

Her other weakness is neglecting the emotional and physical needs of herself and others (especially her partner). She might be too busy with her own activities, she forgets to tend to her intimate and personal life.

Her last weakness will be her issue with not knowing how to shut down. She may get information overload. Eventually, as she gets more technology in her home, it may become even more of a challenge. She will have issues seeing the big picture, taking a step back, and looking at life outside of her smartphone.

Taking a walk in her neighborhood and actually chatting with people could lead to luck. It already had in her youth! As she gets older, she should continue to do this and not let work or technology absorb her.

Her cousins and siblings might become good friends and allies of hers as she gets older. They might bring her luck and opportunities as well.

Observe Jupiter’s house and aspects, as well as ruling planet Mercury’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

Jupiter in 7th house

This is a great placement. All the negative I just listed about Gemini on the 7th house cusp might not happen because of this. Or Julie might end up with the benefits or unscathed by any negativity in the end.

This placement can make the dream of a wonderful marriage a reality. Julie might also have successful business relationships with this placement.

One marriage in Julie’s life is likely, even if she’s hesitant to start a family (Saturn and Chiron in the 4th house). If she doesn’t marry, she will likely be in a committed relationship at least once. With Jupiter being the planet of expansion, Julie might have multiple partners (especially because it’s in Gemini). If Julie isn’t the one with multiple partners, she might have a partner who has had many partners. Or she might have a partner who seems to have a lot of personality.

It’s likely Julie will get with someone who is funny, kind, and helps Julie out a lot. Her partner will give her a lot of benefits (being in Gemini, she will gain many connections from this union). The partner might be religious or philosophical. The partner might also be from a different culture or country background (possibly with some attachments to the USA, considering Venus is in the 4th). Perhaps the partner will be from a family of immigrants, but was raised in the USA. They might be of a different race though! By Julie’s time as an adult, this will just be starting to become a possibility.

The partner might be a teacher, guru, or mentor of some sort. They might inspire Julie. The person might be good and compassionate, which will motivate Julie to look at the world in a broad way, too.

If Julie were to get married, it’s likely she will plan a very fantastic wedding. It is likely to be joyful. The partner might be religious or philosophical, so there may be some deep meaning present in the wedding atmosphere, just the way Julie likes. Julie just has to be careful spending too much money on a wedding. And if she doesn’t have a stable relationship, she should be careful getting married too many times. It’s likely she’ll be stable mostly in her committed relationship though.

Julie will have super diplomatic skills. She will be good at negotiating. Really, she could have gifts working in the legal system or lobbying. If not, she will be good at defending herself, even making friends of her enemies. She will gain a lot through contracts and legal affairs. If she does ever get divorced, it’s likely she will come out on top. In fact, she and her partner might still be on good terms with no issues after it all.

Observe Jupiter’s sign and aspects.

 

Jupiter Square Saturn

Throughout life, Julie’s faith and optimism will be tested in life by other people and circumstances. A sense of responsibility may prevent Julie from fully expressing her creativity. It could be that her creativity becomes intertwined with her career, which actually puts pressure on Julie rather than allows inspiration to flow naturally.

Julie may have issues with her self-esteem. This may come from issues with her parents. Any criticism she may have received from parents or teachers will have impacted her negatively.

The plus side is these hard experiences will actually make Julie more successful in any career she chooses. Her career will involve her beliefs and morals in some way. She would like to have a positive and practical impact on society. Julie will work hard to make a difference in the world, which will earn her respect-but also criticism. Part of the problem is that when things go well, she might build a strong ego, may be extravagant, and have surges of hope and faith. But hurdles do come, and when they do, she’s going lack confidence, discipline herself, and give in to bouts of pessimism.

Julie will have to work hard and find practical ways to express her creativity and beliefs. She will always be striving to improve herself and she will expect a lot from herself. Her challenge will be to stick with her beliefs, stand her moral ground, and keep her hopes up despite negative feedback. There will be controversy and criticism surrounding Julie, but her hard work will eventually pay off with wealth and an abundance of many opportunities.

Observe Jupiter and Saturn’s signs, houses, and other aspects.

 

House 8 Cancer

With this position, it’s likely Julie will inherit her mother’s business (as well as her mother’s debts). She will definitely take on the family trade of selling art and may even inherit the apartment her mother lives in. She might receive all of her mother’s trinkets.

The 8th house does rule over sex, and ultimately that influences pregnancy. Julie might be shy when dealing with sexual matters, so it’s likely she’s not going to have children quickly. However, if she has a good marriage partner and feels like she’s secure and in love, she might have many children (that’s if she’s heterosexual). It’s likely she will not like sharing her sexuality with others, but may feel the need to defend her sexual preferences all the time.

The 8th house rules touchy subjects like death. As Julie’s parents age, she will definitely be the one caring for them. If any of them should pass away, she will be broken because she would have spent so much time caring for them. At the same time, the memories would make her stronger every day.

The 8th house rules the legacy we leave in this world. Julie is likely to leave a legacy among women. Whatever she does in life will impact all the women around her. She’s already doing that within the American Girl brand. She might also be known as being gentle and sympathetic. She should be careful of being known as someone who nagged, clung on to people and things, or as someone who was tempramental.

Observe ruling luminary Moon’s sign, house, and aspects to get a full picture.

 

House 9 Leo

It’s likely Julie will actively demonstrate her stance on her moral and ethical beliefs. She might be famous for them even.

Julie might have extravagant beliefs on how she should live her life. It’s likely she’ll want to live life to the fullest. Much in her chart shows she will have a colorful life.

The writer Amy wanted to know if Julie ever cultivates a religion. If Julie ever were to cultivate a religious beliefs system, it would have to be a religion that supports generosity and benevolence, but she might be arrogant and domineering pushing people to believe as she does.

In college, Julie might study drama or something performance related. She might definitely study art. It’s possible she will also study to be a leader of some sort.

Observe the luminary Sun’s sign, house, and aspects to get the full picture.

 

Uranus in Virgo

This is a generational planet and it affects all the people born within Julie’s time. The writer Amy called them Generation X: The Divorce Generation.

This planet represents one part of the generational influence though.

Uranus is the planet of sudden change mostly in ideas and attitudes. It seeks to break us away from old molds of thinking and forces us to find innovative ways to solve life’s unexpected difficulties.

Julie was born and growing up while the workforce, technology, and health was changing. When Julie was growing up, women were entering the workforce at rapid speeds along with other former disenfranchised people. Duties, responsibilities, and attitudes towards daily living was changing. People were making complete lifestyle changes. Technology was growing, expanding everyone’s mind, including Julie’s. When Julie was growing up, people were more aware of the environment and how it impacts health (as we read in her story).

As Julie ages, these changes won’t stop for her, but she will become an active participant in making these changes around her. As she gets older, there may be sudden changes to the workforce whether it’s the working culture or the availability of jobs. There may be a shift on what becomes a job as old jobs no longer exist and new jobs are invented.

Julie herself might seek to make changes on her own jobs (just like she made changes at school). She may want to improve the environment for women like herself. She may improve working conditions in some way. She may be the sign of change in her job. Possibly she may be the only woman in her field or something like that. She might create her own jobs.

It’s likely Julie will embrace the latest technology, and she might have some ideas of her own on how to make things more efficient around her (just like everyone else in her generation). She might be quite mechanical.

Julie might adapt new ways of taking care of her health, like a new diet and exercise routine. She might try being a vegetarian or vegan at some point in her life. She might make sudden changes to her own lifestyle so that she can become healthier. She has to be careful of popping a pill in her mouth everytime she feels sick. This generation will be more open to medications, but pills aren’t always the best way to heal serious cases.

On the other hand, Julie’s generation may try more natural ways of healing themselves with herbs, supplements, and such. They should still watch that they go to an expert for a regular check-up. Julie is likely to get into this herself, seeing as she’s such a natural person (6th house Taurus).

By Julie’s time, there will be more advanced ways to keep clean and tend to one’s hygiene than in other American Girls’ times. Julie may be more educated and knowledgeable about herself and her body.

This generation has been making changes around them. They have issued bans on smoking, encouraged Yoga and pilates and going to the gym, and focused on organic food. Julie may support these changes in some way.

The downside to this placement is that Julie may not be able to keep a steady job. She may feel she can’t retire from one form of work (the whole generation might be experiencing this). She might seem to hop from job to job. Possibly, she stays in one building or profession, but her duties and responsibilities always seem to change. This may push her to find innovative ways to gain the stability she desires from a job.

They might not get along with authority figures at school or at their place of employment because they don’t follow the rules. Julie already has shown to have that happening in her elementary school. It’s likely this will happen in high school and when she becomes an adult. Julie will not fall in line and let her job control her.

There are also changes to her responsibilities and duties in life in general. Women’s roles in the home, at work, and in society at large will be changing, and that will impact Julie. She may seek to change women’s roles in society. If anything, everyone’s attitudes about duties and responsibilities will change because the world will change their attitudes. Things will happen suddenly that force them to change up what they’ve been doing for generations.

Julie may also feel like she’s always experiencing sudden changes to her health. She may feel like she discovers new things about her body. The whole generation may experience this to a certain degree. This is partially why the generation eventually finds new ways to tackle their health.

Julie might have a career in business. Julie might hold corporate jobs, which would promise financial success. She could be a CEO in any field she desires to get into. She could have a career in politics or with the public in some fashion. She could be an engineer or teacher. She might study science and history, as well as health and the environment (especially in college, considering Uranus is in the 9th).

Alternative lifestyles might appeal to her. It’s likely she will be a saver and will try to save and reuse items in new ways rather than spend a whole lot of money on new and useless stuff.

Uranus in Virgo can come out in two ways. Along with her generation, Julie could seek to change society to become more “pure” in her eyes or she could change the ideas of what society think is pure and create a new meaning behind it. In either way, she’s going to be dealing with perfections and imperfections. If she wants society to be more perfect, she will be fighting a losing battle. But her efforts might be to get society as efficient, healthy, and clean as it can be, which wouldn’t be all bad. If she wants to change people’s ideas of perfection, she may have more success in the Age of Aquarius. If we once thought a person wearing tattoos was a sign of that person’s imperfection, Uranus in Virgos will make it more pure in our minds by providing an alternative way of thinking about it!

Observe Uranus’s house and aspects, as well as ruling planet Mercury’s sign, house and aspects.

 

Uranus in 9th house

This placement is why it’s hard to fathom Julie’s religious beliefs exactly. Really, as Julie grows older, she will seek out her own truth, breaking away from religious dogma she’s been told her whole life. It’s likely she won’t follow a religious path established by her parents or society as a whole. She might adapt a counter religion. She may become agnostic or atheist. She might have a new view of Christianity. Regardless, she will need to be free to find the truth for herself and won’t have anyone shove their religion down her throat. It’s likely she won’t attend the church of her grandparents and parents.

This is probably why she shows an interest in astrology. It’s something new. It’s likely she will try to gain more knowledge on it as she gets older. She might change her religious beliefs suddenly and constantly throughout her life.

She also won’t end her education with her teachers, especially in college. She will not always think the professors are right and will search for changes and flaws in the information she’s taught. She will not be easily brainwashed. She may not think college is the only way to get a higher education and may seek other forms of higher education or other ways of getting the knowledge she desires. Unfortunately, the downside is that she may never finish college fully or it may be delayed in favor of an alternative. Her chart shows she’s likely to attend University, but it doesn’t show she’s likely to finish. If she studies something dealing with technology or advancement, she might be more successful at school. As she gets older, the advancement of technology may make it easier for her to finish school. She might study online at her own pace and time.

If Julie ever were to become a teacher, she would have a unique and unconventional approach to teaching.

She might have her own innovative thoughts on philosophy and spirituality that she might publish one day. She might even have them published online!

Julie will definitely have a philosophy of the ultimate utopian and altruistic society. She is definitely going to be involved in social reforms. She will definitely be a philosophical preacher and teacher in the social movements she follows and organizes. She has the potential to be quite radical though. She doesn’t have too many bad aspects, so she might be able to make progress. But this doesn’t make her immune to thinking all old or conservative patterns should be done away with (especially if she doesn’t offer structured alternatives in place of what she wants to change).

Julie might likely get many unexpected opportunities to travel. Her aspects don’t seem too bad, so she probably won’t meet too many disasters in her traveling. Still, it’d be best for her to stay away from countries filled with mass movements and political unrest.

Julie may decide to travel suddenly, which could make adventures exciting but chaotic and dangerous. She should at least prepare a little for these voyages or she will cause herself unnecessary stress for herself (and others with her). But she’s not likely to turn down a trip if she’s offered one.

Uranus conjunct Pluto

There’s a single concentrated rebellious urge from this generation, and Julie may carry it with her. Because both are in Virgo, it may come out in quiet ways, but it will be there nonetheless. There will be some power struggles due to the power structures in place. These people will be aiming to get rid of those in power and establish a more liberating and progressive alternative.

This need to rebel for freedom could affect every part of her adult life, at work, in her daily life, in her family, and in her relationships. Julie will not allow anyone to control or dominate her. She will not like being spoken down to. This is the generation that’s building a collaborative work environment as opposed to a boss-servant structure that was once in place.

Observe Uranus and Pluto’s signs, houses, and other aspects to get the full picture.

 

Pluto in Virgo

Pluto is a planet of change like Uranus. However, Uranus is open, unexpected, and swift. Pluto is lying beneath the surface, only those who have been paying attention are aware of the changes, but the after effects last a lifetime. Pluto becomes more realized after tragedies and hardships more than anything.

Pluto is another generational planet, so it will affect Julie’s whole generation.

When Julie was growing up, there were drastic changes in the workplace. Some of these changes brought power struggles. Many movements pushing for equal rights in Julie’s youth brought tremendous opportunities to people of many backgrounds. This allowed people of many different backgrounds to enter into workplaces together. By the time Julie is an adult, this will be a norm. In fact, there will continue to be many different people of many more different backgrounds than when she was growing up.

Julie could use her power to influence her workplace. She could work in a position of power. She could use her power to make important changes in her workplace. Julie may find her workplace is changing, but she may also see the destruction of old work systems. Because more people are able to apply for jobs, the competition will be fiercer. New ideas from these communities of different people will change the working culture. People who once had a job may suddenly find themselves being “cut”. Throughout life, she may find new structures in the workforce that need to be torn down. Her life may be focused on these issues.

These rights movements didn’t just impact work. They impacted daily routines. People could go to the same stores, schools, neighborhoods, no matter their background. The common man was on par with the higher man. As Julie gets older, she will see a diverse range of people mingling with her in her daily life. She will receive services from many different kinds of people.

Her own daily routines will change, especially thanks to technology and the fact that the workplace will allow women like Julie more opportunities.

Machines were also being built and sending the hope to change the world while Julie was a child. Julie may have been surrounded by that thought of computers or robots taking care of daily tasks and far more efficiently than humans. Eventually, Julie will begin to see technology take over her world. Her generation of people will be the main ones seeking to make technology more powerful than it was before.

She will see how powerful technology is, how it can make things operate at a faster pace and with more precision. She will definitely have technology in her home and at work. She will probably have a hand in inventing the most powerful technology in the world, whether with computers, cell phones, or video game consoles.

At the same time, she may watch technology, even the ones she have invented, destroy people’s jobs (because it will do the jobs humans once did and be the main problem solver in society) and she will watch technology take away simple daily natural pleasures. This could both excite her and scare her. As she watches her kids grow, she may observe them getting addicted to technology.  While she may see its power, she may also feel people don’t get out and exercise or take the time to tend to the daily necessities. She may feel people miss the little things going on around them. She may see the unhealthy ways technology is impacting society.

Regardless of how technology impacts society, Julie may be able to discover her own power through technology and mechanics.

There may be tremendous breakthroughs in medicine and health. New vaccines and new pills to take. Birth control will not be as stigmatized by the time Julie is an adult, which could actually impact Julie. People will be able to live much longer than former generations. Julie’s generation will be able to see the importance of health, diet, and exercise and how it allows the body to live longer.

However, along with new medicine, there will be more diseases and accidents with medicine.

Julie might continue to use her influence to improve people’s health as well as the environment.

Pluto does rule sex, and while Pluto was in Virgo, Julie and her generation will begin to be educated on sexually transmitted diseases by the time they are young adults. They may be more aware of this and may seek to find cures or seek to curb it somehow in their own personal lives. This may cause women like Julie to be more particular or fussy about their sexual partners (which curbs unwanted pregnancies).

While Pluto can make you fear things, it can cause obsessions. It’s likely Julie will obsess over perfecting everything. She might obsess over details. She might seem obsessed with her work, her health, and technology (especially as it advances to become more efficient). She might seem obsessed with routine.

Julie might find power in careers that deal with technology, health, and science. Those will be the big-ticket careers when she’s an adult. Chances are people in those fields will be making most of the money, so Julie might jump into these fields or encourage many of her kids to get into those fields because she didn’t (though the big-ticket careers might start changing once her kids become adults).

Observe Pluto house and aspects, as well as ruling planet Mercury’s sign, house, and aspects.

 

Pluto in 9th house

Julie will definitely have the power to influence people with this position. We’ve seen it when she was a child. Imagine her influence when she becomes an adult!

Deeper sciences might fascinate Julie. She might be interested in studying somethin like molecular biology and nuclear physics in college. She might study trends and patterns, possibly the psychology of society and how people are thinking, as well as how that’s impacting the way the world works. She might publish psychology books one day. She could be a very deep and thought-provoking teacher. She may become obsessed with learning all the deep stuff.

This position also leans towards being radical about beliefs. Julie has to be careful of being dogmatic about her powerful beliefs. It’s likely her ideas will change the world, but shoving it down others’ throats could cause wars.

As Julie gets older, she may go on one life-changing journey to another location, possibly a foreign country. She might live in a foreign country for some time and it will have an impact on her. It’s likely Julie won’t have many opportunities to travel out of the country while she’s young (despite the fact her father is a pilot), but she may have a longing desire to do so. She may become obsessed with traveling as she gets older.

There is a strong likelihood Julie will be interested in politics and law. Julie will want to influence people of her ideas. Julie will fight for her ideas and she may be set on proving the world that she knows what she’s talking about. However, in these positions she will have to be careful of making it more about control than helping people.

If she translates this energy well, she might seek to transform society. She might study many deep philosophy books that give her the inspiration to change society.

 

House 10 Virgo

The 10th house is the house of careers, occupation, profession, and public reputations. It’s likely Julie will go into a field where she can use her mechanical abilities and eye for details. She might be quite good at perfecting the public image itself. No matter the job, she could be a good publicist or publicity agent. She might become a professional critic. She might learn and make use of her professional skills. It’s likely she may become an efficient typist, may learn to organize files, and she may use updated software in her profession.

She might be an efficiency expert. She might become a professional organizer. This could mean she might organize people’s lives for a living. She might be a secretary, home-improvement expert, or wedding planner. Regardless, she will be able to put her efficiency to use in whatever career she goes into.

She might develop a career dealing with medicine. There’s a leaning in her chart toward health. It’s likely she will do business with health-related fields. She might develop a career dealing with exercise, diet, or even cleaning the environment.

Julie may be well known publicly for doing everything perfectly. This might be because of her own cleverness. Julie may work hard to make anything she does come across effortless to others. She will want to provide the best and easiest services for people. She might desire to be seen as “perfect” in whatever career she chooses. She may not like anyone doubting her work.

She will not like being criticized at work and she won’t like anyone criticizing her career choices, whatever they may be. Her career choices may not be something she developed largely, and most people may think it’s more like a job than a career. She may turn her regular job into a career.

Julie may always be concerned about her work. Her work will influence her reputation. However, she should be careful that her work doesn’t negatively impact her health. She might be concerned about that. It’s likely she will want to be fit and healthy for work and won’t know how to sit down and be sick when she really is.

People in her career will know her routine quite well. Her career might require a lot of practice to master the skills, so she will be respected for getting as far as she did. She won’t get where she wants to go easily. It’s likely she will have to work hard, in very humbling positions, to get where she wants to go in her career. She might start at the very bottom in her chosen career.

Despite this, Julie has high expectations for herself. It’s important for her to choose the “right” career, which could be the right career for her or a career most people would acknowledge as a real career. She will develop all the skills she needs to become successful. She will be adaptable and do whatever she can do just to get her start with the company she wants to work for. This humble attitude and willingness to work hard will get her far. By becoming more efficient (and organized), she will be able to climb in her position and reputation in her career.

No matter how high Julie climbs up the ladder, it’s likely she’ll remain humble and never forget how hard she worked to get to the top. She will never think she got there by sheer luck and natural talent. She will remember how much she had to learn, and she will carry that with her if she ever gets into a position as an authority member.

10th house rules the other parent, usually the father. But it can also be the mother if she plays both roles. Julie might encourage her children to work hard and that nothing in life comes easy.

Observe Mercury’s sign, house, and aspects to get the full picture.

 

Moon in Libra

The Moon energy is the energy of the mother. It shows us about Julie’s own mother and the kind of mother she will be.

It’s likely Julie’s own mother wouldn’t have been single for long and may have developed a relationship with someone as Julie got older. Julie might have conflicting feelings about it. Generally, Julie will try to be a good kid, but she may feel unsure about a whole new family.

Julie will be a very “Libran” mother. She will be romantic, sensitive, and sweet. She will try to be positive and tender with her children. It’s likely Julie will try to make love and affection a natural part of her nurturing process. She will be the diplomatic and calm one in the family, trying to smooth over her kids’ arguments and negotiating with them. Hopefully, she doesn’t get into bribing them. It’s likely she will try to be fair.

Julie will inherit good manners from her mother and may seek to pass it on to her own children. She will teach her children to think about others before themselves.

The Moon also tells us how a woman will be as a wife. It’s likely Julie’s marriage will be a priority. She will be a very dedicated wife. But it’s likely if there are issues in Julie’s marriage, it will affect her children (just like her parents’ marriage affected her). However, most of the time she will love to be in love with her partner. She likely will believe commitment should be about love. Julie will want a partner that has a mental and intellectual connection with her.

She will compromise with her partner in many aspects, sometimes compromising her own wants, needs, and desires. She should be careful not to lose herself in her relationships.

It’s likely Julie will seek a partnership early in life. She won’t like living alone, for sure (we read about this in her first Volume). However, she may not necessarily need a romantic partner. She may consume her life with her business partners or friends. Slumber parties at her house are likely well into her young adult years.  She might throw a lot of parties within her home just so she won’t feel alone. In college, she will want the experience of having a roommate, possibly have an idealistic view of the experience. After college, she’s likely to roommate with someone else rather than live alone.

Despite Julie’s desire to keep everything in her life balanced, she may have insecurities which could affect her career and personal life (family, health, relationships, etc). She will have a problem in seeing the flaw in everything around her. Because she seeks balance, beauty, and harmony, she will notice when it isn’t there. Though she may have the intention of being diplomatic, she may get into debates or arguments with her partner and will seek to win. She will grill her partner and always seek to have the last word.

Julie will develop a few skills from this position. We already know she will have artistic abilities, which she may make a career out of. We also have seen that she could be an excellent negotiator. Julie will also be good at bringing people together for events or parties, which she will host. She’d make an excellent hostess. She might be good at planning events and she will have the artistic flair for decorating. Her only problem is she may delegate the actual “work” to her supporters. She’s better at planning than taking action.

Julie may also develop the skill of changing her personality to fit the people she’s around, which could work in her favor if she’s working with the public. This allows her to make anyone feel comfortable around her, though it may confuse others. Julie will be able to put on a poker face even when her emotions are see-sawing (as it often will). She can remain even-tempered despite her rocking feelings.

Libra is an air sign, and this position has shown a serious connection with the air. Julie might enjoy skydiving, parachuting, or riding in an airplane (considering her dad is a pilot). She might get into a profession that involves the air in some way.

Moon rules the home. It’s likely Julie will REALLY love luxury and comfort. Her Sun in Taurus will desire the physical comforts, while her Moon in Libra will like to have many things in the home for others to admire. She will have very artistic taste. It’s likely Julie will keep a beautiful home (even if it’s messy sometimes because of her hectic schedule). Julie will definitely bring her decorating skills to her home, which is doubly evident by her Venus in the 4th house. She may promote her art through her home.

Julie will love her family and home, even if others can’t see it.

The Moon rules over the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Julie will try not to let those things pressure her and may remain positive and cheerful throughout the ordeals. However, inside she may feel more ups and downs. She will probably be more indecisive when menstruating or pregnant. She will need a very peaceful and pleasant environment to feel at ease during her womanly days.

Observe the Moon’s house and aspects, as well as ruling planet Venus’s sign, house, and aspects.

“Everyday after school now, Julie came home to an empty house…Three whole days of school had passed, and Julie had settled into a routine. A boring, lonely routine.”The Big Break: A Julie Classic 1

 

Moon in 10th house

With this placement, Julie will likely have a pretty good public image, but her sensitivity will make her very concerned about her public image and concerned with how she’s perceived. It’s also likely that her fame and image will fluctuate and change like the phases of the Moon.

Throughout life, she will have to learn that others’ opinions of her don’t matter all the time.

This placement is for women. The Moon is in the 10th house, showing that Julie is likely to be in a position of authority in her career. She could be in a very “woman-defined” career and may gain some temporary fame. Even if she’s not famous, she’s likely to have some influence over the masses in some way.

As a mother, just like her own mother, Julie will be a strong person. It’s likely she will be away from home a lot due to her career, just like her own mother. Julie isn’t likely to be a stay-at-home mom. She may deal with the public in some way, and so she might have a reputation to uphold. Julie could put her family in a high position in life, which would put all eyes on her and her family. Her parenting may come under scrutiny if she makes the wrong move. This will not only impact Julie but it could impact her children if she lets it.

Julie’s father likely played a more nurturing role in Julie’s life (acting as both dad and mom after the divorce). However, it’s likely he will want a nurturing figure around for Julie. Still, he might be “married” to his career, even if he does end up actually dating or marrying another woman. It’s likely other women may have problems with his attachment to his job. He might be away from home a lot too.

Julie will be rather attached to her father, so if he remarries, she might take it hard.

This position is very positive for an audience, especially for politicians. This placement is good for artists, like everything else in Julie’s chart. She could also get into the performing arts.

Overall, though, Moon is a changeable luminary. It can bring changes to Julie’s career constantly. Thus, her income and success will fluctuate. Even if she were to be stable, her position or activities may change within that same career. Her profession will be highly dependent on current trends or other influences from the public or masses. Even Julie’s own efforts might not feel like enough. Or at times, things may seem to fall in her lap effortlessly. In her case, working hard won’t always mean success or failure. The odds will not depend on how hard she works. This could be frustrating at times because it may seem no matter how hard she works, she still can’t reach any success. At the same time, sometimes she may feel she got success out of the blue without even trying. It will all depend on how receptive her audience is to her.

This position (like others in Julie’s chart) indicates that she might inherit a family business.

Julie herself may start a family business, possibly a restaurant chain, and pass it on to her family. Food and cooking could become a profession of Julie’s.

An occupation connected with women is likely. She may work with a lot of women or work for women. Women may be key in getting her opportunities and helping her build her career and career path.

Julie may go into a nurturing career path like nursing, childcare, hotel management, stewardess, and generally anything that involves offering services or taking care of others.

Julie will be emotionally connected with her work. When she’s successful, she will feel greatly attached to them and may hold them as fond memories. But she may take failures personally and may get her feelings hurt. Julie would have to watch letting her emotions affect her public image. While she may generally be a natural in front of a camera, she may wear her feelings on her sleeve in public, causing people to catch her in her worst emotional state. She has to learn the balance of separating her feelings from her business. Nursing hurt feelings at work may interfere with her doing her job.

Another issue she might have is making business decisions based off of intuition rather than logic. This may be the cause of her changeable success.

If she’s a boss, she might only hire people based on the vibes they give her or based on how well she knows the person, which could make the business environment like family but also political. Just because someone is familiar doesn’t mean they will be an effective worker.

Observe Moon’s sign and aspects to get the full picture.

 

Loose: Moon Square Jupiter

Julie will be relatively outgoing and popular her whole life, in high school and after she graduates. She is likely to attract many people, which can draw many suitors. Potential love interests might feel intimidated because of all of the people she draws to her, which can make relationships difficult. In the first place, commitment is a challenge for her. She might not necessarily cheat, but she may have a hard time calling herself a girlfriend or getting married. She might act as the “Runaway Bride”.

Her ups and downs in mood as well as a lack of self-control can cause Julie to have rocky relationships, too.

Julie will have a high public profile, so when Julie has her hard times, gets embarrassed, or falls from grace, it will be a hard crash to the bottom. Everyone will know about it.

She will have to learn to curb her extravagant nature. Julie may appear glamorous and confident, but need some moderation. She will have no need to keep up a glamorous appearance other than to make herself happy.

Charity work is highly possible with this energy.

This energy can dampen all ambitious energies within this chart. It can cause irresponsibility. Julie could throw away all she’s worked for due to excessive behavior. She must tackle this energy to truly benefit from her hard work in the best way possible.

Observe Moon and Jupiter’s signs, houses, and other aspects to get a full picture.

 

House 11 Libra

The 11th house might reveal some of the clubs she might join in high school and college. These clubs may help her reach some of her goals in life.

Julie might involve herself in student council in high school or debate club. She might be involved with altruistic work. She might join a club for “beautiful” or fashionable people. She might join an art club. She might be associated with a group or clique that’s mannerable, poised, and tactful.

As Julie gets older, she might involve herself with political organizations, humanitarian organizations, fashion or beauty organizations, peace organizations, law organizations, or art organizations. Julie will want to join movements that promote equality and fairness. All of these organizations will align with some of her long-term goals.

As Libra rules relationships, Julie might marry or commit to a friend. If not, she might treat her best friend like a marriage partner (Ivy XD).

As Julie grows older, she will obviously be able to make new friends and acquaintances. Many of her acquaintances will be of a refined, pleasant, and artistic class. She might make friends with some lawyers (which could help her with any legal dispute she gets into in life). She might have some friends in the fashion and beauty industry, which could connect her with the latest trends.

Julie might have a side to her that’s drawn to the popular life (as we’ve seen over and over again in her chart). She may have somewhat of a desire to be apart of the in crowd. Actually, we saw this subtly in her story. She must be careful of phony or fake friends. Basically, friends who are only there for her superficially, but will leave her as soon as her social prestige drops. She should be careful not to hurt her real friends (Ivy, TJ, and Joy) in order to fit in.

At the same time, Julie may find her friends to be too passive to stand up for her and with her when she’s fighting for a cause she believes in.

As Julie grows older, she may have a more difficult time balancing her love life or marriage life with her friendships. As Julie grows older, she and her friends might all be on the same level as Julie. If not, Julie will still treat them like her equals. Even though Julie’s best friend is Ivy, it’s likely she won’t treat her better than TJ, Joy, and any other friends she meets on her life journey. At the same time, she will try to give each friend one on one attention, which can be taxing because she may have many friends.

There may be times when Julie is indifferent towards her friends, despite treating her friends equally. Generally, she may get to the point she doesn’t really care what her friends are doing with their lives. There may be a brief distance between them. Julie may have a moment when she appears stuck up or unconcerned with her old friends. Eventually, Julie will bounce back from this attitude.

It’s likely Julie, Ivy, and Joy may bond over fashion. They might be quite the fashionistas in high school and still fashionable as adults. It’s likely Ivy, Joy, or TJ will be a lawyer or in the beauty industry. Her friends may end up in high social positions themselves.

Observe ruling planet Venus’s sign, house, and aspects to get a fuller picture.

 

House 12 Scorpio

The 12 house deals with really deep, hidden, and unconscious matters.

As Julie gets older, she may deal with inmates, the severely sick, or those institutionalized. These experiences might transform her. She might become committed to healing and transforming the world. She will be heavily involved in charity work.

Julie may encounter some truly dangerous secret enemies.

Julie will have a secret and hidden magnetic and sexy energy. It’s likely others may see it, but she doesn’t. Or Julie might have a secret sex life no one knows about. These enemies might be attracted to this sexual energy within her. They may not do anything physically to her, but they may make crude jokes about her and those jokes might be of a sexual nature. They might seek to expose this sexual energy as a scandal. She may not know where they are coming from.

Julie might attract these secret enemies because of her extremist views. Julie will be quite radical in the way she approaches her beliefs.

Julie may suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related issues because of nightmares that deal with her dying or in danger. She might be paranoid.

As she grows older, she must master her paranoia and extremism so it doesn’t destroy her. She must also master her own sexual energies and take full control of who she sleeps around with. Fortunately, Julie has some strong committal energies. It’s likely she’ll only be sexy for her partner and no one else. Julie might hide her sexiness from the public in some way. It’s likely she will be more conservative or youthful in the way she dresses, hoping to hide her magnetism. People will still be able to see it and they may admire her for it. Hopefully, this doesn’t produce any secret feelings of jealousy from others.

Julie herself might hold secret feelings of jealousy and possessiveness. She should watch that she doesn’t unknowingly or passive-aggressively hurt her partner with these energies.

Julie might have a lot of secrets she hides from the public. Her career might involve hiding information or material. She might be more mysterious than others realize. Keeping her secrets hidden too well could lead to disaster. Owning her own weaknesses before anyone else does will keep her powerful.

Despite Julie’s past, she may have a difficult time opening up about it to everyone as she gets older. It still may affect her though.

 

Neptune in Scorpio

When Julie was growing up, people decided to escape the world, find harmony and bliss, and entertain themselves with music, sex, drugs, and risk-taking. Most of the pursuits of this Neptune is purely for self-gratification, so these people were disillusioned. Eventually, they saw how their addictions to drugs and sex led to overdoses and sexually transmitted diseases.

When Julie becomes a teenager in the 1980s and young adult in the 1990s, much of her generation will find escape and bliss through the edgy parts of society. They will attend underground parties, partake in sex uncontrollably, and indulge in drugs of all kinds. This generation will be more influenced to do so.

At the same time, sex and drugs may carry less taboo with this generation. It may be “purified” by this generation as natural and spiritual. On the other hand, there may be a total denial of physical and selfish gratification by some in the generation.

They will be the original “goth” generation, showing an interest in darkness and somber subjects and subcultures. They will be interested in spooky, paranormal, occult, and deep themes.

They should be careful of joining cults.

Perhaps the most obvious way you can see how this affects Julie and her generation is through their personal art. Anything they create will have a little edge to it. It doesn’t matter whether they’re inventing toys, music, movies, books, or paintings, it will show a sense of risk. They will always deal with the taboo and people may find their art to be taboo itself. It will feel X-rated to many people.

Julie herself may be drawn to that “bad girl” lifestyle at some time in her life, especially in her teens and early 20s. She should be careful not to pick up smoking and drinking, as that could harm her in the long run. She might still enjoy underground parties and she may get involved with counter-cultural groups. This may feel like a relief from her overall “perfect” image.

It’s likely Julie will dedicate herself to radical movements her whole life. She just may need to be careful that she doesn’t lose herself in these groups and that they don’t make her do things she might regret. They might be so extreme, they may feel like cults. Julie may be tricked into doing dangerous things for these groups. She should watch the sorority groups she joins in college.

Julie might be interested in the paranormal or occult. It’s likely she will study more about astrology and may believe in ghosts. She might just enjoy scary movies on the weekend.

As she becomes an adult, she will not hesitate to question the deeper meanings of the universe.

Observe Neptune’s house and aspects, as well as ruling planets Mars and Pluto’s signs, houses, and aspects.

 

Neptune in 12th house

This position could make Julie a great psychologist, whether she decides this as a career or not. Julie will become a compassionate person and listening ear to a lot of people. However, Julie might be so in tune with the sufferings in the world, she may withdraw from the world itself.

This placement shows that Julie may be a part of an institution, whether she’s working in one or apart of it. This work may cause some feelings of guilt at times. Julie may discover in life that she can’t help everyone, even when she wants to. She might blame herself for this. Julie must learn to separate herself from others’ woes or their woes will become hers.

Julie will definitely work with art. It’s super stressed in her chart. Her creativity is her asset. She can pick up on the latest trends and waves. She may find inspiration through her dreams. She might have an unconscious ability of hypnotizing people with her artwork.

Julie should be careful of addiction to substances of all kinds. It’s highly likely in her chart. Julie will also tire herself out because she will constantly be helping people and serving others. She must learn to put up her barriers and say “No!”

Julie wants to heal people and establish peace in the world. These are great goals, she just has to learn to recharge her own batteries sometimes.

If you want to learn more about natal charts, click me.

Websites that inspired this article:

The Astro Codex

Always Astrology

AstroFix

My Astrology Charts

Skyscript

Astrology King

Astroberry

Did you enjoy the article? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I hope to do some of the other American Girls one day, though there might end up being too many to keep up with in the future. Still, I would like to cover as many as I can. Thanks for reading!

Who should I do next?

Kingdom Hearts III Trailer @ TGS + Big Hero 6 Trailer!

21 Sep

If you think I forgot to post these trailers…You’re absolutely right. 😛

I’m just ready for the game already!

But you all can enjoy a few teasers today!

Quote

KPOP: 27 Things New or Casual Fans May Not Know About the ‘Crazy Popular’ Kpop Industry

18 Sep

via KPOP: 27 Things New or Casual Fans May Not Know About the ‘Crazy Popular’ Kpop Industry

New section added!

Bratz are Back Again! A 2018 Bratz Collectors’ Exclusive Review: Look One

8 Sep

Greetings GenNext readers!

I’m sure every Bratz fan knows by now that the 2018 Exclusive Collector Bratz dolls’ photos have been revealed on Twitter and Instagram. I planned on doing a review after we’ve seen everything from the collector line (because I get the feeling there’s going to be more leaks over the next couple of days). But I received a request to give my perspective on the new dolls, and some of ya’ll may want to know what I think thus far.

A lot of people have especially asked my opinion on the reactions from the veteran or OG fans versus the general doll community, as it seems they feel differently about the new dolls. There’s been a mixed reaction. Many of the old-time fans have been very critical of the new dolls, while the general doll community feels the dolls are better than what we’ve been seeing on toy shelves. Then, there are people who are fans of Hayden Williams’s illustrations who really wanted to see dolls from him.

So let me break down how I feel about each Bratz girl and then give my opinion of the overall line and the community situation. If you don’t like reading, watch my video below! Skip to the Bottom

Let’s talk about Sasha first.

Sasha

When I first saw Sasha’s full look on the artwork, I personally loved it, but I wondered or worried how the general fashion doll public would see it. The look is avant-garde for sure, and most people wouldn’t wear what Sasha’s wearing on a day-to-day basis. I wondered how the artwork would translate on the doll.

So far, it looks okay to me. I love outrageous fashion, as I’ve mentioned before in other videos and articles, and Sasha delivers it without being too gaudy. I don’t like the fit of the outfit, but it’s okay. I can deal with it.

Does she live up to her fashion passion? Yes! Far more than she did in 2015. Sasha is supposed to be into fashion that’s inspired from the streets-a little bit of old school and a little bit of new hip-hop. This outfit Sasha is sporting reflects a lot of what current hip-hop, Black pop, and R&B artists are sporting. I can see artists like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj wearing something like this. The jacket seems to be inspired from something Ariana Grande has worn.

Granted, it looks more like a stage outfit than something the average person would wear on a daily basis, but it’s fun. And Sasha isn’t your average character, so it suits her.

Sasha has also been characterized as “always being on the hunt for a new look”, so she’s into clothing that’s experimental and avant-garde. This outfit delivers that. She also likes it “flashy and classy”. Not sure if this is super classy, but it’s definitely flashy (without all of the colors).

Of course, it’s important for us to remember that we’re just looking at ONE outfit and a few accessories. Hayden mentioned on Twitter that there will be mix-and-match fun, so I actually look forward to whatever other surprises Hayden and MGA have with this comeback.

Okay, so let me break down Sasha’s look piece by piece.

Head

I’ve never been a fan of snapbacks advertised forward. I hated it in the artwork. I like the pulled-back look, even if people think it looks thuggish. But I like the snapback itself. It gives the entire look an urban flair that I love. It has real fabric and pleather. I love that accessory. I hope it goes with other outfits in the line. Sasha seems to have a bit of a sporty look with the snapback and jacket. I don’t know about how I like it on her head though…Or even with this outfit….

Sasha’s hair looks nice with the tiny braids. Of course, I was hoping for natural hair, cornrows, or micro-braids, but this will do. Long loose hair allows the hair to get styled in different ways. And, as an African American, I know people of other races get frustrated with our hair. Imagine being us trying to find different ways to style it everyday! I hear people complaining about the coarseness of American Girl’s Addy doll (different doll brand but still…), so I know some people just can’t get it. Still, I would’ve liked Sasha to sport some styles that are really popular in the Black community. Maybe I should be specific…Black American community…Honestly, Hayden Williams is from the U.K., so maybe the styles Black people sport there are a little different. I don’t know. Anyway…

I feel like we lost the elaborate Bratz hairstyles somewhere in 2005. It’s not bad, I just think the hairstyle set the whole outfit off. I know most people like the long silky hair because it allows people to style the hair the way they want to, but I would like some dolls to sport hair bobs, braids, etc. That’s just me. The hairstyles also give the girls individuality and add value to the photos.

Sasha’s face looks ways better than she did in 2015. Some Bratz fans don’t like that she looks straight ahead rather than giving the sassy “side-eye” Bratz are known to have from 2001 to 2009 screenings. Even 2010 dolls got the “side-eyes”.

I personally…do not care this time around because she looks sassier than the last dolls that stared straight ahead. Maybe some people will say I’m not a real fan. Honestly, I’m open to new screenings, new things period, as long as it looks sassy and not cute. I do agree she looks like the 2015 Bratz more, which I didn’t like, but I like that all the dolls do not have the same glances. I think that individualizes them.

Of course, like all the other fans, I was hoping for older screenings, too, particularly 2001 screenings. I can’t understand for the life of me why MGA won’t use them. But these are Hayden exclusives, so it’s fitting that the screenings feel like Hayden.

I do understand that the artwork may have mislead some fans. Sasha was looking to the side, so I understand that was what was expected. You’d be surprised how those little details in the art impact or influence fans.

I think the makeup is okay. It’s subtle. I was hoping for more of a smokey eye though because the artwork made it seem it would be darker on the eyelids. Still, I think it’s alright. I’m glad Hayden went with a brownish color for her lips.

I LOVE the earrings. The silvers are a nice combo. Simple yet sassy.

Overall, I think her face is okay. She’s pretty. Her eyes are staring right into me though.

Body

I love the top and jacket. The detail of the jacket is really good. Could it have been fluffier? Yes, but it’s still a cool item to have as a collector. I’ve never had a doll with this kind of jacket. I hope there’s a faux zipper on it.

I think Ariana Grande wore a similar jacket style in different colors.

I love Sasha’s top. It was the thing that made me really like the outfit. It’s dangerous. I like the fishnetting feel of it. I wish I could see the sleeves because I liked it in the artwork but I’m not sure how it translates on the doll.

I personally love the shorts-garter-pant-denim combination. It’s unique for any doll line. I was hoping the shorts would be pulled higher, basically giving it a high-waistline look as it appeared in the art. But I still think it’s okay. It looks like a gimmick though.

I wonder if the bottom of the pants can be detached. That would be cool. That would allow more mixing and matching, which would be fun. I love the denim fabric so much. I can’t wait to touch it.

I like the choker. That sets the whole look off if you ask me. I love the design.

The bag has that real fabric that I love. I love the accessories to tell you the truth.

Feet

I think the shoes are my least favorite thing about this look. I’m not a fan of the camouflage for this outfit. I was also hoping the heel would have a sharper curve and would be higher. They aren’t ugly, I just don’t like them for this look. They have a “granny heel”. They might go with another outfit of Sasha’s.

Overall, the doll is a lot better than what we got in 2015, and I feel Sasha’s is both stylish and identifiable. But I feel the execution could’ve been polished better. I actually feel this about all of the dolls. I already like them, but I think I would’ve been blown away if they had been executed differently.

What do I mean by that?

Well, a fan named @WhatCollectorsWant on instagram did some edits to make the dolls look closer to their art. I think he nailed them.

https://www.instagram.com/whatcollectorswant/

whatcollectorswant Sasha

On the left-hand side is MGA’s version The right-hand side is @WhatCollectorsWant

Notice how those slight alterations make a world of a difference. I loved these edits so much, they made me more critical. At the same time, after viewing the edits it made me want the dolls more than I did! Sasha was definitely one of the dolls that had to grow on me.

In the edit, we see the smokey eye and darker lips that were in the art. Her face seems even edgier and sassier with the darker makeup. Yes, I still prefer a “side-eye” for her. The shorts have been lifted higher and curved at the bottom, giving the doll some sass. MGA’s version looks like it’s hanging off her. The shoes are curved at the bottom making the heel higher. This edit made me like the shoes (which I wasn’t feeling too much before).

The jacket is puffier, which makes it feel much more urban and less like it’s a school windbreaker that lost its stuffing.

Yasmin

Yasmin is naturally considered the most gorgeous doll to most people, so she could easily sell on her looks alone. However, I was most disappointed with the execution of her look. When I first saw the art, she was actually one of my favorites. But the execution wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped. She’s still a good doll. When I say disappointed, I’m not thinking on 2015 terms. I just can see it being done differently.

Does Yasmin live up to her fashion passion? Absolutely! So that’s not a problem of mine. In fact, it’s why I initially loved this look so much. Yasmin loves Bohemian styles in earth tone colors, with exotic prints and textures. She combines many different styles together into one look. She is also a little retro or “antique” in her approach.

This outfit has that Mary-Kate Olsen “homeless trash” bohemian look. I don’t know if any of you all are familiar with the Olsen twins, but one of the twins are known for that look. It’s “bohemian-bourgeois”. I really like that about Yasmin’s outfit. There’s some hint of retro in there as well.

Overall I like the concept, but I wish it could’ve been executed differently, particularly with one aspect of the look.

Head

The hat is my favorite part of the look to be honest. To me, it looks better than the artwork. I like that detail in the middle. I’m not sure, but is there lacing in the middle? I think it’s dope. I would wear it. I was hoping the buckle would be more to the left like it was in the art, but I don’t care about it that much. The hat is still awesome. I love flamboyant hats like this.

This is kind of a throwback to the Rock Angelz days, and honestly really a throwback to the 2K era when these newsboys caps were popular. Yasmin is into the retro thing, so it’s fitting.

I notice that everytime Bratz is promoted with hats, the fans hate it. Many fans didn’t like the Rock Angelz hats. I was mad when my dolls didn’t come with it. I hope these dolls still come with the hats. I know it’s hard for some fans to like hats because of the Bratz dolls’ balloon heads. But that makes me love them even more!

Yasmin’s hair is silky, long, and strong, as usual. It’s fluffy and full and seems to be of good quality.

The face has that side-glance everyone loves. It does make her sassy. I think this is why everyone loves the actual doll so much. But as for me…I think the makeup is too light. A lot of fans actually like the “pink lips”. I preferred the darker nude pink I thought she would sport. Darker lips would give Yasmin more edge, drama, and would go with her autumn-earth-tone nature. I was also hoping for a smokier eye.

The new face is sweeter and softer, so I know it resonates with fans who see Yasmin as a “princess”, and their idea of a princess is someone who is feminine and sensitive. And she is all of that, but it just doesn’t give me the vibe I thought it would.

I LOVE the earrings. It looks so amazing against her outfit and hair.

Body

The choker looks really good. Once again, the jewelry is really cool. I love that aspect.

The top looks like it has lace detailing on the torso, as was specified. I like this top  even though it wasn’t what I expected. I was waiting for more of a sweetheart shape to her neckline. I would like to see the top without the jacket to see if the other aspects are there.

I really like the jacket. It’s definitely that “trash boho” look. I like the detail and it looks like it will feel real. I like the lace on the sleeves. Some fans have said they don’t like it. I love that lace detailing. It reminds me of Prince. I would’ve liked there to be more brown in the jacket to make the skirt pop. But I’m not mad. Boho isn’t meant to really match.

Some people also said they hate the skirt. I like it. I like the suede style of it. My only complaint with it is I expected it to have a high-waist style (just like Sasha’s shorts). I expected it to be tucked tighter or pinned in around the waist like in the art. I still like it well-enough though. It doesn’t “wow” me, but it’s decent.

The bag is really cool. I love the texture and pattern. It looks like a computer bag, but that’s really fun to have in doll form.

Feet

The boots…Ya’ll I think Bratz’s foot game this comeback is a little weak to be honest. And it’s not really the style in all of the cases, it’s the execution.

With Yasmin, it’s a little of every problem for me. First off, they gave her the Dynamite Nevra treatment.

Basically, instead of making a whole boot, they took two parts and put them together to make it looks like a knee-length boot. Nevra got away with it because at least the bottom color matched the top color.

I know there’s an issue with Bratz and knee-high boots because of the snap-off feet. But I think it could still be executed differently. I think the fabric from the bottom could’ve been placed over the root of the foot and stretched higher. They wouldn’t have to make two parts to do that. Maybe it’s just not difficult in my mind?

I think the top half of the boot should at least look like the same fabric as the lower half…

Some fans thought it was going to be socks or short stockings and heels. I thought the boots were going to be of the same material as the hat. I would’ve liked it to be of a darker leather material. It seemed shiny somehow in the art. I wasn’t expecting velvet, but the velvet could’ve worked with a different execution.

Overall, I think Yasmin’s look is still very stylish, but the boots really throw the look off for me. I hope there are some other shoes in the set. I guess I can always take the top half off, but then I still feel like there’s something missing…The velvet magenta is completely out of place.

I liked What Collectors Want’s take on Yasmin. Still not a fan of the velvet magenta, but I liked his execution and wonder why they didn’t go for it at MGA. At least the velvet magenta sets off the trash boho look.

whatcollectorswant Yasmin

On the left-hand side is MGA’s version The right-hand side is @WhatCollectorsWant

The eyes are smokier in his version. The lips have that darker nude color. It gives her so much edge in comparison to the pink lips. The top has the sweetheart design I was expecting. The skirt is tucked in higher. Most importantly, the boot looks like it belongs together with itself. The bottom half is cut just right so it looks like at least most of the shoe is complete. I also like the lace detailing at the top of the boot, too.

 

Cloe

Overall, Cloe’s look is one of the most public-friendly of the Pack. I like the leather details in her look.

Does her look live up to Cloe’s fashion passion? Probably not as much as some of the others in my opinion. It definitely reflects her sweet and tough personality though. Cloe’s fashion passion includes animal prints and sparkly or shimmery fabrics. She loves anything dramatic. I don’t think this outfit is particularly dramatic. But it is in Cloe’s favorite color blue. Her boots are also in a “snakeskin” design, which says “animal print” to me.

Head

I love the leather hat. I love leather hats. I loved the star detail in the art and was hoping that would be included, but it doesn’t need that gimmick.

I love Cloe’s face the most. Oh my goodness! She looks gorgeous to me. I love the puckered red lips and smokey eyes. Definitely has that Bratitude.

I can’t really see her earrings clear enough. I hope she still has the pearls.

Her hair looks nice, fluffy, and full. Overall, her head is my favorite. It gives me a Ooh La La type of tease. The eyes aren’t quite as seductive, but it’s still near to that level.

Body

I find it interesting that they traded Cloe’s beaded necklace for the new one. I really like the new one, but I hope she still comes with the pearls. I think it gave her look a sweet touch.

The top of the outfit is not my favorite to be honest. I don’t like the collared thing, and pulled up…it looks worse to me. I hope it can be pulled down a little more to give it a true-blue off-shoulder look though. I love the detailed corset in the middle.

I think the skirt is nice and I like the little chain on it, but I was expecting shorts. When I saw the dolls’ group photo, I decided I like the skirt a lot. Still, I thought shorts would be really unique. It would feel like a one-piece jumper, which we haven’t seen with Bratz.

To me, it looked like it was meant to be shorts, but someone said Hayden intended it to be a skirt, so… I’m wondering what that shadow in the middle of the artwork’s skirt is because it makes it look like shorts.

I was expecting the bag to be much smaller. I thought it would be more like a clutch. But I like the big bag. The chain on the strap is just very cute. It’s better than the basic strap in the artwork. Wouldn’t it be cool if we got both purses? That would make this the ultimate mix-and-match line.

Feet

I’m okay with the snakeskin look. I feel it fits with this edgy look and I think it highlights Cloe’s interest in animal-print. However, I was expecting more of a plaid pattern. Someone told me on instagram it was always supposed to be snakeskin…I don’t see it. Honestly, I preferred the plaid one simply because I feel the heel should’ve been higher and actually thicker like in the art.

Though I like Cloe’s look, What Collectors Want also showed some edits that I feel are more true to the art and make Cloe’s look better in my opinion. I think the edits basically nailed it.

Cloe has the star on her hat. Her collar is shaved down to give her a true off-shoulder look. I like the unique shorts. The plaid boots make the outfit pop. I like the higher heel.

Jade

When I first saw Jade’s teaser artwork with just the pants, I had very low expectations. It turns out Jade is my favorite by far! The irony! Jade has always been one of my favorites. I love her style. Some Bratz fans have said they’ve seen a look like this on her before and that it’s nothing new, but that’s why I like it. It feels like Jade.

Does it live up to her fashion passion? DUH! Jade is always on the cutting edge of cool! Jade is into anything quirky and extreme. She can be a little sporty, too. She is inspired from the feline persuasion and has a “sizzlin’ flair”. This outfit just screams Jade from head to toe.

Head 

I love, love, LOVE the beret hat. It is so unique in the doll world. I like the look and it seems like it will feel good to the touch. It’s very artsy.

Her face is the closest to how I envisioned her. Still would like smokey eyes, but I like the lips well enough. Her lips could have been a tad bit darker.

The earrings are cute.

She’s back with the bangs. But are the bangs a little asymmetrical or is that the hat making it look that way? In any case, it’s Jade’s signature look done in a very stylish way. I like.

She’s giving me chills with that side-eye. I’m for it.

Body

I know we aren’t seeing too many accessories, but the other girls were shown with their necklaces. I hope Jade still comes with her choker because that will set this look truly on fire.

I like the top so, so, so much. I have to express myself in threes. So, so, so! Even though the tassels or tighteners or whatever weren’t in the original artwork, it should’ve been! I haven’t felt an outcome was better than the artwork in a long time.

Okay, there is one thing I don’t love. I can’t say for certain yet, but I hope the tighteners on the top aren’t print-ons and are real. Still, it looks good. I love the netted arm pieces.

Okay Jade! Over here looking like a snack!

The pants even look better than I thought they would. I actually like the fire print. This is actually what I expected of Sasha back in the 2002 Funk N’ Glow era. I didn’t expect fire, just actual print. I wasn’t disappointed in Funk N’ Glow, it just wasn’t what I expected.

 Bratz_Funk-N-Glow_Sasha_Doll

But back to Jade…

Jade’s purse is like a flame in Jade’s hand. So amazing! Of course, I liked the darker purse, too. Ugh! If only I could have both!

Feet

Okay, I felt all of the Bratz girls’ feet game were weak this time around. Jade’s is probably the best. Her shoes really go with her look. I still feel like it is weak in comparison to the chunkier look in the art. The shoes in the art really felt like BRATZ. It also gave Jade her signature cutting edge flair. Jade isn’t just any stylish diva, ya know? She’s got to be different. She’s got to be the Queen of Hot Topic, ya know? But the shoes aren’t the least bit ugly. They just feel conforming, so it’s less impressive than the chunkier heel. It seems they dumped some shoes on her from their back closet.

Overall, I feel Jade still has the strongest look of the girls. I can’t wait to get her and see whatever else she comes with. What Collectors Want did an edit of hers as well and again it was AMAZING! However, I can say both versions are really good. I prefer Hayden’s tighteners hanging down.

But I think What Collectors Want nailed the hugging of the jeans. The lips have a slight darker tint, making it super sassy. The hat isn’t as wide, which makes it look even more stylish instead of like a pankcake. The choker definitely sets the look off. But I think the accessories will still be included.

Those smokey eyes though! I just really like that in the edit.

 

Cameron

I’m really bitter-sweet about Cameron. First off, when I saw his complete look, I wasn’t all over him. It’s not the design. That’s the sweet part. I think it’s amazing for a boy doll! But the bitter part is it doesn’t feel like Cameron.

The boys never really had fashion passions like the girls, but Cameron always struck me as a casual and masculine guy, not full of flounce or flash. The jacket is super flashy for Cameron. What he’s wearing is something I would expect of pimp-daddy slick “The Fox” Dylan, not casual cool and hot “The Blaze” Cameron.

That’s another thing that I’m salty about. There’s no Dylan, our boy of color. I can’t get too excited about Cameron returning if it’s not both core boys returning. Having Cameron without Dylan is like releasing Bratz with just Cloe and Yasmin (which creates a Closmin problem). I hate that white boy Cameron with the blonde hair and blue eyes gets all the attention.

But I like him well enough to think he’s worth a purchase. He kind of looks like a Kpop star, only he’s white. I think he looks okay if I wasn’t thinking of Cameron. The hair is also…a no. The jacket is meh. I will also say this: MGA betta not forget Dylan again. I’m forgiving to a certain extent, but that extent isn’t limitless.

Head

I’m surprised Cameron didn’t come with some sort of hat. Maybe he will with the actual collection.

I don’t hate his hair as much as I thought I would. I like the platinum look. But I was expecting more of a curl on the side. Really, just not a fan overall of his hair.

I’m loving his face more than I expected. The eyebrows look far more like it matches a blonde. The artwork’s eyebrows were really dark. But the eyes are spaced out for sure.

I’m glad they kept his earring detail. Finally, the boys are getting more jewelry.

Body

I have one question about Cameron’s necklace: Did they switch his chain for Cloe’s pearls? Move over Cloe! Cameron is the new “Angel”? That’s what it looks like. I think that’s BOLD and everything, but I really liked the chain necklace. I’m hoping Cameron still comes with the chain necklace. It felt more like Cameron.

Cameron has been seen in plaid tops before. That seems to be his staple. What I like about this top is that it brings out his eyes. I would like to see it without the jacket though.

The jacket is flashy for Cameron, but still very detailed and has great quality. I like the furs. I think the jacket can work for any character, so it’s a gender-neutral product. I can see myself having fun with it. The jacket itself is a lot lighter than I thought it was going to be, but it doesn’t take away from it for me.

I like the jeans and the little chain on the side. It’s ok.

Feet

I think the shoes do. The shoes do their job.

What Collectors Want did an edit of Cameron, and honestly I like it better.

what collectors want cameron

On the left-hand side is MGA’s version The right-hand side is @WhatCollectorsWant

The hair has that unique curly thing going on. He has a darker jacket, which makes it look edgier. He has more of a dimpled chin and stronger cheekbones in the What Collectors Want version, which is similar to the style of the art. His buttons aren’t as huge and clownish. It looks more natural.

Cameron is just getting tanked by the Bratz community overall. There are some people who like him and what he represents, but he just looks gaudy and like a different Bratz boy.

Overall Review

Overall, I got some things I wanted from this comeback. I wanted dolls wearing real materials with high-quality hair (It looks high quality, but we shall see). I wanted the dolls to be more individual than they’ve been since 2005. I especially felt the dolls lost their individuality with lines like Bratz Passion for Fashion Diamondz and Fashion Pixiez. I wanted the sassy Bratz look back and I wanted an edgier look. I got it.

Of course, I didn’t get everything I wanted. I really wanted 2001 screenings. I wanted more elaborate hairstyles, especially Sasha in African American hairstyles, and I was hoping the looks would be executed differently. But overall, I’m okay with them and will be buying the dolls to get a closer look.

To be honest, I’m simple to please and a sucker when it comes to buying things I’ve always loved (I even went out and supported some dolls from the 2015 era). Give me some personal vision, style, edge, and sass, and I’m sold. I don’t even care about screenings (as long as it looks sassier than 2015) or articulation. I like the outfits well enough and I think there’s more coming. Truly, I can’t give a complete review until I see everything. So far, I’m okay with them. But they didn’t blow me away like I thought they would. Though I feared whether Bratz could deliver from the jump…Read my article on that.

If I wasn’t a big fan of Bratz and hadn’t really seen better, these dolls would be some of the best dolls ever. But because I’ve been such a huge fan of the dolls and I’ve seen their entire collection and evolution, I am critical.

Are they worth the price? I don’t know. I have to see them up close. So far, I think they would work at 20.00 or 30.00 USD. 50 to 70 USD is asking for a lot. They look good, but not THAT remarkable.

Head Game: B

Body: B

Feet Game-D

OG Bratz Fans V.S. The General Doll Community On the 2018 Bratz

Now, let’s talk about the community situation. I received a request from someone to do my review on the 2018 Bratz dolls because it seems old-time fans and the general doll community disagree about the results of the new dolls. It seems veteran fans (O.G. fans like myself) have critiques and criticisms, while the general doll community feels these are the best dolls coming out in today’s struggling toy industry, considering fashion dolls are becoming covered up and watered down. The general doll community feels these new Bratz dolls look better than what’s out on toy shelves.

I’m kind of caught in the middle.

First off, on the one hand, as a veteran fan, I understand old-timers’ frustrations with the 2018 dolls.

I believe that the longer you’ve been with a franchise, the closer you feel to it, the pickier you’ll be, even when you’re being handed something the average person loves. When you’ve seen everything Bratz has offered, it’s harder to feel satisfied with these dolls, especially when you’ve seen better executions and don’t like change. Our expectations are much higher for sure.

It’s frustrating when you’ve been asking for the same things for almost 10 years and you’re not getting it. Bratz fans have been asking for older screenings since the Bratz dolls’ 2010 relaunch. We’ve been asking for them to pay attention to details, to stick to the artwork a little more, among other things. The fabric is of decent quality and it is rather stylish, but the execution wasn’t as expected, which takes away from it.

This is Bratz’s first comeback since 2015 and was said to be for the fans. Hayden Williams, who has been a fan since 2001, was expected to bring other fans everything they’ve been asking for, especially with those faces. Fans also wanted articulated bodies because so many dolls have them. It’s almost expected. I’ve personally always hated articulated bodies with Bratz, but I know that most of the other fans wanted them because it makes the dolls more photogenic. Basically, the OG fans were looking for a designer to balance fan expectations with their own visions. They were looking for a designer that took in fan feedback.

The other problem is the rumored price, which is a problem for a lot of people, but especially OG fans. The dolls are said to be so expensive and that makes people more critical. They not only expect to get their money’s worth but they have to weed out the dolls they really don’t want in favor of the one they do so they can at least have one doll. I personally understand why they gave it the price they did. Because of inflation and the fact that the materials used for these dolls cost more than they did 10 years ago, I get the price, even if I don’t think these dolls are worth it. But others don’t get it. They also don’t understand why it couldn’t have been executed closer to the artwork.

Veteran fans believe it was Hayden’s idea to not only market these dolls on Amazon but set the price so high. I believe one fan said Hayden asked fans where they feel the dolls should be sold.

The price may not be unusual for fans who usually spend hundreds of dollars on their collections, but for a first 2018 comeback line and for regular playline fans, the pricing is too high. This is especially the case with OG fans who really don’t like these dolls as much as older dolls, and want to spend this kind of money on rarer dolls they actually like.

Some OG fans don’t necessarily have an issue with the style but the execution. With that, I have to agree to an extent, particularly with the Bratz shoes this time around. It could’ve been done in a more polished fashion. In fact, many aspects of the dolls could’ve been executed differently.

Fans don’t like that the clothes deviate from the artwork. I’m frustrated about that, too.

But that’s been frustrating me since 2002’s Funk N’ Glow. As I mentioned before, I was hoping Sasha would have yellow print on her jeans in that line because that’s how it looked in the artwork. It always reminded me of some Pepe jeans I had back in the day. I don’t know if any of you all remember Pepe. I was a little disappointed the doll wasn’t like the artwork. So again, every detail hasn’t been executed flawlessly in the past either. Yet, some fans act like the dolls coming out of the old eras were superior. They were beautiful, but not flawless.

Then again, I would say that was one thing we were hoping would be fixed in 2018.

Here’s where I agree with the general public though. These dolls are some of the best to come out in a long time. You can’t find dolls of even this quality anymore. You can’t find dolls sporting designer styles, even if the designs aren’t to everyone’s liking. You can’t find the same individuality anymore. These dolls are still good dolls and I see tremendous play value in them. Unfortunately, it should’ve been a playline, but there’s still some play value no matter what label is there.

These dolls aren’t childish. They have style, vision, and substance. They’re like Project Runway dolls-they have the designers’ stamp on them. They’re fan-made dolls. I haven’t liked many of the Project Runway dolls and outfits that have come out with American Girl, Myscene, or Barbie and never felt they were worth the price. But that’s designer dolls for you.

Just to have that is exciting for me. I think the dolls have character, so I’m excited to see whatever else they come with.

Now, can I spill some tea for you? I have a feeling where the source of all of this Hayden hate is coming from. This is just my theory. I feel like Wendy Williams or LovelyTi right now. I feel like saying, “Honey!”

Apparently, a while back, Hayden Williams had been sharing either his designs or screenings with some fans in an online Bratz fan community. I believe he was apart of the community. A lot of old-time fans as well as MGA’s “worker” fans frequent this community.

Now, this community allows people to be a little shady, okay? So, while Hayden was showing his latest creations, one fan told him something along the lines of this, “You should just scrap the whole thing, to be honest”. Hayden clapped back with a “Jessica Price” statement. If you don’t know about her, she worked on the Guild Wars video game series. When a fan commented their disagreeance towards her (though the fan wasn’t as disrespectful as the Bratz fan), she tweeted “Allow me-a person who doesn’t work with you-to explain to you how to do your job”. Hayden didn’t say that exact thing, but he was saying something similar.

The fan and Hayden had an exchange back and forth afterwards. By the end of it all, the fan community was basically divided. There were many fans that supported this “rude” fans’ comments. A lot of fans agreed that Hayden’s dolls were not meeting their standards and they felt that Hayden was too arrogant to listen now that he was working for MGA. Some fans felt his response wasn’t professional. They felt he didn’t listen enough to fan criticism either.

But there were also some fans in the community who supported Hayden, felt the fan brought their concerns to Hayden in a rude way, and they felt this fan jumped to conclusions before even seeing the dolls.

I wasn’t there personally. As I’ve said on many occasions, I haven’t been an active part of a Bratz community since they had that Yahoo Group. I found out the tea from Askfms. I just recently joined the Bratz Collectors! community on facebook, and they seem more polite and friendly. Some of these other groups…All I can say is be careful out there. They can drain the fun.

Because I hadn’t been really paying attention to the Bratz fan community that Hayden was in, I jumped in many conversations, trying to be neutral and see the good in the Hayden dolls. But it seemed the nicer I tried to be towards Hayden and his dolls, the more aggressive people became. They weren’t having it. In my last article, I talked about how shady some of the people were in the fan community.

Now, I understand why they were being shady towards me. I was being too neutral or giving Hayden too much credit in their eyes. I was giving too many “excuses” or not allowing fans to express their criticism, which they felt had been the situation since the Hayden dolls were announced.

This is the point I want you guys to understand. A lot of the people criticizing Bratz aren’t necessarily against the dolls themselves but the designer. I know two people who said they wouldn’t buy this line because Hayden left a sour taste in their mouths. I was very shocked.

Basically, they let their interaction paint their bias against the dolls. Even if they did like the dolls, they wouldn’t want to admit it. Even if they did like the dolls, they don’t want to support someone they feel doesn’t listen to them. Some of them are out to try and flop these dolls. Some of them are going on social media websites and picking everything apart just so Hayden will realize that fans impact the success of the doll brand. I’m sure that one fan Hayden got into it with doesn’t want to buy these dolls.

Me? I don’t have beef with Hayden. Hayden responded to one article of mine to correct something and thanked me for complimenting his artwork because I’ve always loved his illustrations. I even like his recent Rugrats design. I appreciate Hayden’s efforts to try and get these dolls back to their glory. It’s not easy trying to please so many different people.

However, I think all workers at MGA have to understand when people are asked to spend so much money, they will expect to get their money’s worth. When you say something is for the fans, fans expect you to listen to them. This goes with anyone who works with the brand or any brand really.

On the other hand, I can say I understand why Hayden snapped the way he did, if he did at all. I’ve felt that some people in this particular fan community react in very shady ways. They have made subtle rude statements. It’s not so much what they say, but the way they say things, you know?

If they had said some things in more of a respectful tone, maybe Hayden would be reconsidering his ideas or trying to curb the designs to fit fans’ expectations. But with so much hostility, he probably got stubborn and went through with his vision.

At the same time, everything public figures do impact the business. Public figures are always going to encounter rude people, but you sometimes have to redirect the rudeness or take it and turn it into a positive.

I’m learning that, too. I have to be very careful how I treat or react to people, even rude people, because it can hurt my business. I’m still learning this. There’s an art to it that can be hard to figure out.

Hopefully Hayden can eventually make peace with fans and hopefully fans can be more understanding of Hayden. I hope the beef is squashed so people can go back to having fun within the community.

The dolls aren’t bad. They actually look like a lot of fun to me, but if we let petty squabbles blind us to the fun of doll collecting, if we get so caught up in the individual trees we miss the forest, we will miss the joys of doll collecting.

Some people might feel that these fans take a bunch of dolls way too seriously. I agree with that to a certain extent. However, I believe for a lot of “fans”, they have built a career in the doll industry and many fans are working with the Bratz dolls specifically. Once something becomes your profession or your passion, you start to take it seriously. I think the issue is when someone’s professionalism is challenged, so is their pride and livelihood. That makes a world of a difference. When you have such a passion for dolls it becomes your career, these dolls become more than just playthings. I think that’s what’s been going on in theBratz doll community.

The general doll community just collects dolls as a hobby and wouldn’t want to take dolls seriously.

Then, on the other hand, we have to consider there are fans of Hayden who will like anything he throws out there and may be against any little criticism thrown his way. I personally love his illustrations, but I felt the execution of these dolls could’ve been better. Fans of Hayden might feel these dolls are their taste or they might even think Hayden had no hand in the execution and don’t want people blaming him. Hayden said on Twitter that MGA gave him full control, so…

Many Hayden fans are/were not originally Bratz fans, especially not serious collectors. Again, in the average person’s mind, these dolls are very stylish and different. That’s actually a good thing when considering the success of this doll franchise. We might get some new fans. However, the OG fans of Bratz might feel left out of this comeback.

I think the overall consensus is that most fans feel these dolls are for Hayden fans not long-time Bratz fans. Hayden himself is a fan, but did he know about all of the complaints the inside Bratz community have been having over the years? Did he understand fans’ desires for 2018? Did he realize what fans expected? These are key things to know before jumping into designing or marketing Bratz to fans.

I do think Hayden got the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m happy a male of color received this opportunity. I just hope the details are polished by the time of release and I hope they come with other interesting pieces.

Well, that’s my spin on the 2018 Bratz Collector dolls SO FAR! Second outfits still haven’t been revealed. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the 2018 Bratz comeback! Who’s your favorite? What do you think about the community drama? Let me know!

 

The Truth or Not the Truth? Conversation with Insider: What Really Happened to Bratz in 2015? What’s Influencing Bratz in 2018?

2 Sep

Greetings GenNext readers!

So much drama in the Bratz universe!

I recently got into an interesting discussion with a Bratz fan who has insider knowledge on Bratz. I’m not going to disclose this person for the sake of their privacy. However, I do just want to mention that they stated that they have connections with MGA and that they’ve worked closely with the CEO and others in the company.

This discussion began quietly in a fan community. I hadn’t yet made it known that I was the blogger SoraGenNext before this point. Throughout the discussion, I added my two cents. Big mistake. The group that supports this fan “insider” in this community soared in to come for me and everything I was saying. XD I was like “WOOOW”. I’m pretty irrelevant in my opinion. I’m just a poor black African American woman with few connections. I don’t know nothing, I’m just a messenger. To come so strong, it must not have been the first time they’ve heard some of the information coming from my blog. That actually made me shocked because I realized, for the first time, that people actually read the information that comes out of my blog. I didn’t know how to take this. It made me realize that I have a certain responsibility to make sure that whatever comes out of here isn’t just a venting area but a place where I need to actually refine and express more clarity. I still want this place to open up conversation, but I also realize that the conversations made here have been traveling. That’s not a bad thing! However, that makes me more determined to step up my game.

This “insider” (that’s what we’ll call them) has been hearing many different rumors and ideas regarding the Bratz dolls’ sudden shift in aesthetic in 2015 and have heard similar things regarding the 2018 reboot, especially when it comes to the decision for MGA to make the new Bratz into a collectors’ line and sell the dolls online. The rumors and ideas they were saying they heard seemed to mirror exactly what’s been coming out of my blog. Apparently, everything I said annoyed this person and their friends because they feel they “know the truth”. Basically, this group immediately said “My information isn’t accurate and factual, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that I need to stop spreading lies.”

Overall, basically, my information and the knowledge I’ve gathered here challenges the insider’s knowledge and information, and that annoys the insider and the insider’s followers. I think the insider knows a lot about what has been going on and this person has educated me on some things going on with the Bratz brand, which I appreciate. But there are some truths I stand by based on my own research and experiences. I know I’m going to get all kinds of backlash for it because I’m a little person in the Bratz community. It’s not easy to stand up to a big dog, especially when I respect the person, too.

And the fans are savage.

I used to be a part of the BratzWorld.co.uk community back in 2001, but the community was far more friendly, fun, and open to discussion when it was just a Yahoo group. The moderator was a user named Snowflakebebe. I haven’t been a part of a Bratz fan group since that group got quiet (thanks to more advanced social media platforms).

The fan groups out now are far quicker to insult or throw shade on new ideas. They are not open enough to have discussions. If your opinion differs, you are just “stupid”.

Furthermore, in order for your ideas to be taken seriously or for it to be considered, you have to have worked with a related company. People are not allowed to give their own enlightened observations. I feel you can’t always go by people who work within an industry to know the business, especially because some of them have the goal of supporting that business. Can they really be objective all the time?

Consumers also drive an industry, so their thoughts and opinions on what’s going on outside of the business matters, too. The general viewpoint of the industry molds and shapes the industry, too. Hear someone else’s side of the story…

The insider has been relatively cordial and respectful (even if they did give a heart to a very shady comment towards me), but their followers really don’t play nice. So, as a warning to anyone who wants to share their view out there in the fan community, weigh in on who you approach and talk to.

Anyway…I’m not really here to talk about Bratz fan communities. That’s a subject for another day.

This article will be me clearing the air, addressing the conversation I had with this insider in my own home (my platform), and really trying to weed out the truth among all the conversations I’ve had.

If you don’t like to read, click me for the video.

So, remember we had been discussing about the 2015 Bratz reboot? Remember how I spoke about how the events that happened with Bratz in 2015 might impact Bratz in 2018? Remember how we’ve been talking about retailers and how they shape the industry? Remember how I’d mentioned that maybe MGA couldn’t use the old facial design? If you haven’t watched my video or read my article on this topic, you can review them below.

Bratz 2015: What Happened to the Bratz?

Bratz 2018: Can the Bratz Deliver This Time?

Well, most of that information I’ve gathered stemmed from a discussion with Carter Bryant. He basically made me more aware about the power of the retail industry at large and he didn’t correct or deny anything that I’ve said. Everything else I’ve spoken about not only came from other readers (who made me aware that feminists and moms play a large factor in shaping retail) but also from observations of Toy Fairs in recent years and advertisements that align with certain modern social agendas. It’s not that difficult to come to the assessment that feminists and moms have been having influence over the doll industry and seeking to shape it. Mostly, I’ve presented this information as persuasive arguments based on what I’ve been reading across the internet and toy industry communities I’m connected with (which I collect other dolls besides Barbie and Bratz).

If you read all these news and blog articles, observe what’s been coming out of fan-favorite lines recently, and looking at the SOURCE as to why these companies tried to meet the ever-vocal feminist and mommy groups, you could easily realize that THIS ISN’T news.

According to the Female Factor, statistics show that “Women drive an estimated 70-80% of consumer spending with their purchasing power and influence…”

According to npd.com, Moms Rule Retail. Their article on this issue states: “Most retailers would no doubt like to have both generations of mothers visit their establishments and Websites. When you sell what moms buy, you want to sell to everyone’s mom. No retailer markets itself out to be just for Gen X moms or only for Gen Y moms…Yet the two generations have distinct preferences about where they shop. Retailers that overindex for one group tend to underindex for the other…”

These lines show that retailers want to pander to moms.

Even the advice on this business website gave this suggestion: “Millennial moms are 58 percent more likely than older moms to value visibility in advertising, and they are 32 percent more likely than older moms to place importance on what they hear about a retailer in the news. So if you head up advertising or PR on the retailer side, it would serve you well to target the younger mom demographic in your campaigns.”

Read my article on Bratz vs Feminists: Over Sexualized or Empowering? It sheds more light on how moms think and shape media.

So to reiterate my conversation with Bryant:

Right here, he said if he were “at the helm”, he would be “fairly powerless to give this brand much of a new kick”. He said he would’ve “tried to move the brand into 2015 and beyond…However, retailers control the biz and these days do not take risks with a lot of re-branding. In my opinion, the Bratz can’t go big, so they might as well go home.”

Ya’ll reading carefully, right? We’re talking 2015 here. It’s not just me coming up with this stuff. Okay. Let’s continue.

He literally said these words: “Retailers control the shots and the direction of what hits their shelves. Even when consumers speak out to the manufacturers about what they would love to have, ultimately the retailers (buyers) will dictate every last detail that ends up on their aisles unless the mftsrs are uber powerful and can have some heavy handed influence on toy buyers.”

Because of these statements, I suggested that MGA sell the Bratz dolls retailers won’t take online, basically as exclusives. I was kind of freaked out when I heard Bratz was being sold on Amazon as an exclusive this year. It got me thinking, “Did they listen to my idea?” My idea was to have a Bratz store online where Bratz-exclusive products are sold. In fact, I listed a few things I thought would help improve the brand on my article Bratz Dolls Say Goodbye to the Toy Industry.

I did understand that a retail’s support helps a brand though, so I assumed they would partner with some retail stores outside of the online market. I didn’t think the first line ever would appear exclusively on Amazon. If retailers have the power to shape the Bratz as Carter implied they did, then I felt selling on Amazon was a good move. I don’t know. I might have influenced that decision. Or maybe they were thinking of doing this all along. But it was kind of a coincidence that the dolls were sold exclusively online two years after my other article… If MGA did consider my idea, why did they? Why did they also think it was a good idea or think on the same line of thinking?

Back on topic, I gave this suggestion because of Bryant’s assertion that market buyers control the industry, whether we like it or not.

Carter Bryant seemed to know a lot about the issues. Working in the doll industry for 20+ years, I’m sure he has had his share of experiences. Though the incident with the Fashion Pixiez happened in a different era and many veteran fans consider it a once-in-lifetime thing, he used the Fashion Pixiez as an example to express overall how retail controls the business A LOT MORE than just with that one incident.  It seems he was saying that even if he were “at the helm” he would be powerless “because retailers control the biz.”

Overall, this conversation was focused on 2015 Bratz and how retail continues to control the business outside of the Fashion Pixiez incident. This is what led me to analyze how market, toy, and/or business buyers influenced the direction of Bratz in 2015, and how they have been influencing the toy industry in general. And there’s no mistake, no matter what anyone says. If you study the market and retail industries, they do influence the toy industry largely. Women, who are mothers and feminists as well, many of them being supportive of the agenda to “de-sexualize and make-under” dolls, also influence the toy industry.

However, apparently, according to this “insider”, none of the above is actually the truth when it comes to the decisions made with the 2015 Bratz. Also. according to the “insider”, the decision to sell Bratz 2018 as a collectors’ exclusive and to sell the Bratz online has little to do with MGA avoiding the need to pitch to family-friendly retailers either.

Here’s the tea…a new voice has spoken up about the 2015 Bratz. This “insider” has not only worked for the Bratz or befriended people on the team, they are fans themselves.

Basically, this person says that retailers have little control over what comes out of Bratz, and that basically all of the ideas coming out of the company were just hits and misses by the CEO and the teams he’s hired. The insider believes the issue is “internal paranoia and their unfounded fear of making waves with toy marketers”. Fascinating…

The “insider” has basically said that the rumors spread out there about retail controlling the industry and soccer moms and feminists having control are not “factual”. The only one who has put that out there is ME. So basically, I felt that this was a disagreement about the information I presented. At first I believed this was an attack on my credibility as a writer and informist. However, I began to look at this situation as a chance to get the truth of the matter…If what I’ve been saying hasn’t been the truth all along, what is it? I decided to ask as many questions I could think of to get to the bottom of things.

As a blog journalist (and actually that was supposed to be my major in college, but later about that), I am inquisitive. I want to know every last detail and morsel about this whole Bratz situation. I’m not going to disregard the former information I’ve gathered, and as I go through this you’ll learn why, but all information brings the picture full circle.

It seems those who once worked with MGA disagree with “who” controls the direction of Bratz, and that’s what’s most interesting about the Bratz business. Really, that’s been Bratz’s whole issue: Who Owns them? Who Controls Them? Chaos surrounds this brand!

 

The insider I spoke with has more recent connections with the brand while Carter Bryant has been working in the toy industry for 20+ years. It’s difficult to know who has more knowledge about the issues and who doesn’t.

Speaking with this insider, they do seem to know a lot about the goings ons in many ways. However I do have a lot of questions about some of the statements made…Overall, after the end of the discussion, I was left with more questions than anwers!

So, let me get to it. Let me bring out this person’s points. I will break it all down and help you all digest it while I digest it.

Why New Facial Screenings, MGA?

Why a Collector Label and Amazon Exclusive with Bratz 2018?

Do retailers have any control over what comes out of MGA, like Carter Bryant said?

Companies Overestimate the Impact of soccer moms and “feminists”

Is Carter Bryant Right About the Industry or Wrong?

Vocal Minority

The Real Problem with Bratz in 2015

Isaac Larian Unaware of 2015 Bratz?

Why New Facial Screenings, MGA?

In our first discussion, there had been some heavy criticisms about the new Bratz facial screenings (I will elaborate more on it in my Bratz 2018 review coming up later). What are facial screenings? The Bratz face design, in a nutshell.

MGA has recently announced the new face screenings on Facebook and Twitter.

Yasmin Bratz 2018 doll

In this discussion, I’d mentioned that maybe MGA “couldn’t or doesn’t want to” use the original 2001 screening for some reason. I put it out there that maybe the court cases have affected what MGA is allowed to use or it has affected what they want to use. Maybe they want to deviate from Bryant’s design as much as possible just to avoid any future issues. Perhaps they even want these new dolls to feel more like “Hayden’s”. This isn’t based on any particular evidence of anything, just a theory based on me putting myself in MGA’s shoes. If I had gone through drama because of older Bratz dolls, I’d be desperate to walk away from the drama as much as I possibly can without throwing away my million-to-billion-dollar brand. This means I would keep the parts of Bratz that make them passable to fans, while trying to change the portions of the brand that cause controversy. Or if I couldn’t use the old artwork, I would want to separate the brand from its past as much as possible.

The people in this camp weren’t having it. They did not like what I said and felt I was misinformed. The insider’s group told me (and I’m assuming they got this info from the insider) that MGA owns everything regarding the Bratz now, that the court cases have no influence on Bratz anymore, and that MGA won the court case (which from my understanding, I thought it was just “settled” but okay…) and has the rights to the original 2001 doll screenings. So basically, I’m stupid. I’m stupid for even thinking maybe there was some logical reason why a company has constantly ignored fans’ desire to have 2001 screenings return. Okay, I can take an L. But now I want answers. Why is MGA avoiding giving fans 2001 screenings when that has been one of the most-desired, most asked-for request? We never asked for new screenings. So why do we keep getting them?

The funny thing is…I mentioned this same theory in my 2015 review article. I mentioned that maybe MGA couldn’t use the old drawings or face screenings. In the same article I mentioned it, Carter Bryant said my article was “well-researched and accurate”. He didn’t deny or correct anything that I said.

This is exactly what I said:

Perhaps MGA had to deviate away from the original designs due to the court cases. MGA had to remove all 1st Wave Bratz from shelves and they are no longer allowed to utilize the original look for the Bratz. This could be why there is a change in the eyes (clearly going from being glossy-eyed to being doe-eyed). That loss in the court case really changed the Bratz. MGA may be trying their hardest to make Bratz as similar to how they used to be as possible without stirring another court case battle. From my understanding, they have to be careful using the format given to them by Carter Bryant. It really is a shame because those details make a world of a difference. Still, the only thing they may not be allowed to use are the eyes and original facial structures. This shouldn’t affect their fashion sense. Perhaps we will see more fashion lines like the Study Abroad line in the future.

Bryant didn’t have a problem addressing anything else. Why wasn’t this addressed? I mean, it was just a theory, based on how I’ve seen other companies behave. Still, he didn’t seem to think this needed to be corrected. Maybe he also believed MGA didn’t want to use his design or couldn’t…I don’t know…

Moving on, let me address some other comments made by the “insider”.

So I made some theories as to why I thought MGA may have decided to go with an exclusive collectors’ line first at this time. I had the assumption that MGA didn’t really necessarily make the collectors’ edition dolls to please long-time fans, but to get away with making the dolls edgy (This is me, assuming retailers control the game and how things go).  Yes, I know every company always wants to please fans, but they could’ve aimed to please fans with regular playlines. They didn’t have to have that aim through a collectors’ line. So, I thought that they just couldn’t, for some reason, please fans and market buyers at the same time. I felt that there was more to it than just trying to please fans. The insider said:

The core goal for this [Bratz 2018 reboot, I’m assuming] was always genuinely to please the fans and make it up to us. That’s why Isaac made it a point to bring Paula in and to tell us about that detail. As I have said before in other threads, the issue with dolls today is NOT because of retailers or “soccer moms” or whatever else many people think, almost all of it stems from internal paranoia and a general fear of making waves on the part of toy marketers. I can say this with full certainty having worked on MGA’s marketing team, and having heard personally from Isaac himself how he works with retailer feedback. Paula’s advantage was that she doesn’t have that paranoia, and was even responsible for pushing the envelope the MOST with Bratz. She has maintained that she would never work on Bratz again unless she could be certain that they would remain true to their original vision all the way to launch, because she has seen this exact scenario play out time and time again and she doesn’t want to be left with the blame when it inevitably goes south. That’s why she left the team early on in 2010 era, 2015 era, and surely 2018 era.

I found out about this worker named Paula from the book You Don’t Own Me. I think I mentioned I would talk about this book to someone who commented to me on one of my videos. Basically, this book gives the background of the whole court case fiasco and what went down between Bratz and Barbie. On Amazon, they have a hard-copy, internet version, and audio version. It’s an interesting read.

While the insider is relatively respected by those that surround them, and they’ve said a lot that makes sense above, here’s the line that baffles me: “As I have said before in other threads, the issue with dolls today is NOT because of retailers or “soccer moms” or whatever else many people think, almost all of it stems from internal paranoia and a general fear of making waves on the part of toy marketers.”

The insider says that the issues don’t come from retailers, soccer moms, and “whatever else”. But then the insider says it stems from “internal paranoia and general fear of making waves with toy marketers”.

So my next question is this: Where does the “internal paranoia” come from then? Why are companies today paranoid? What are they paranoid about? You can’t be paranoid about something if nothing was brought to your attention to begin with to make you paranoid. You can’t be paranoid without pressure. Sure, Paula was brave enough to face the storm. But why don’t other companies want to take the risk? What are they afraid of it there’s more advantage to taking risks than not?

Okay, in real time, obviously, feminists and soccer moms aren’t directly boycotting and protesting and sending nasty letters to some of these companies everyday. Most of them pay little attention to what’s going on in the toy world. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t WORKING in high industry positions that put pressure on the industry as a whole. This doesn’t mean that soccer moms and feminists aren’t influencing the current toy culture at large (and really culture in general). So, if it isn’t them, then who is creating the paranoia within these companies?

Throughout this conversation, I never really got an answer to these questions. I really would like to know.

I also want to anaylyze the “toy marketers'” bit of the conversation.  A “toy marketer” is someone who aims to maximise profits (basically receive the most money) through developing sales strategies (basically by making plans) that match customer requirements (basically all of our expectations) and by promoting products, services or ideas regarding the toy of interest.

Apparently, “toy marketers” have the most influence on companies today. If companies are afraid to make waves with these people, these people must be the ones calling the shots.

So that leaves me with another question. If these toy marketers influenced companies, what are toy marketers’ aim? What do toy marketers today want from companies, to the point companies are shifting their focus so they won’t “make waves” with them?

If this is the case at MGA, what are toy marketers themselves demanding? Especially to the point companies fear making waves with them? Why are toy marketers charging to change the image of all of these brands?

It’s pretty obvious that dolls are aiming to be far more wholesome and far more inclusive nowadays. Is that a result of internal paranoia and the avoidance of making waves with “toy marketers”?

If so, are all of these toy marketers working with soccer moms and feminists? XD Because all of the dolls out nowadays seem set to create these kinds of “empowering and wholesome” images pushed for by mom and some (not all) feminist communities nowadays. And we’re talking even outside of the fashion doll industry.

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Why a “Collector” Label and “Amazon Exclusive” with the 2018 relaunch?

Let’s look at the next point in the conversation. The insider said,

“We can’t say for sure how Bratz would have launched before Hayden entered the equation, but the Collector label was only ever mentioned after, and having literally witnessed these email conversations, the vibe is that they saw Hayden as a “big name” they were collaborating with, and that is the reason they decided to go for a “collectors edition” release. Otherwise, I firmly believe Paula would have delivered us some solid playline dolls to be sold at whatever retailers they could finesse – and believe me Isaac is VERY good at finessing them (Bratz were also hugely popular and relevant as this would have been happening, only making them an easier sell). MGA is a playline company, they aren’t cut out for true collector dolls, as we are all seeing right now. They’re aware of this fact and wouldn’t have seen a need to limit their reach like that otherwise. Again, I say this with certainty because “Bratz Collector” is even a concept I worked on while I was there ?? They just really believed that Hayden’s name alone would bring in a lot of sales and would constitute a collector label.”

It’s no small news that fans asked and asked for Hayden Williams to be the designer for the Bratz’s next relaunch. But why it was released as a collectors’ exclusive, and was the first comeback line, despite the fact Hayden is relatively new to the doll design industry, was perplexing.

My big question is this: Though we know Hayden has a following, did MGA really think Hayden was big enough to disregard a worker who’d been with the team for over 10 years? If Paula was able to deliver the solid playlines as expected, why have MGA disregarded her for the last couple of years? Why was she disregarded in 2015 or why wasn’t her expertise considered in 2015? What is it about Paula that MGA has lost faith in? Why won’t they trust her 100%? Why have they put more faith in marketers and fan designers and less faith in Paula? If anything, this could’ve been a straight collaborative effort between Paula and Hayden Williams.

I have no doubt that a “collectors'” label was placed because of Hayden’s involvement. But is it truly the ONLY reason they wanted to utilize the collectors’ label? They could’ve had Hayden design a playline without a collectors’ label. Hayden still could’ve promoted it on Instagram WITHOUT a collectors’ label. They’ve had collectors’ edition dolls before. They wouldn’t need Hayden to label it the way they did.

I’m sure Isaac Larian is good at pitching the Bratz to any retailer he wants to. He’s an expert CEO who has helped in building a brand like this from a privately-owned company. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take hard work and a good strategy to do so. I’m sure selling online took less time and less go-throughs. Who wouldn’t want to find the easy way out? But if there were no other factors, and they literally just thought having a fan name would drive sales, so be it.

Or…as I theorize, did they feel they would be able to do more with the line by calling it a “collectors’ edition” because “retailers hold the power” as Carter Bryant expressed? Did they feel they wouldn’t even be able to make the brand as “edgy” without calling it a collectors’ edition, as is the case with Barbie Collectors’ dolls?

According to the book You Don’t Own Me, that’s the sheer purpose of that Barbie “collectors'” label. Barbie Collector dolls were designed to give old-time Barbie fans dolls they wouldn’t normally be able to find on toy shelves. Basically, it’s so they can create edgy Barbies without receiving the backlash. They don’t express it that way, of course. They market it like “It’s for the old-time fans”. But even the business experts in the book “You Don’t Own Me” know that it’s just so Mattel can get away with creating more mature-looking Barbies and Barbies designed after PG-13 or Rated-R content. They call the playline team the child-directed team while they call the “Collector dolls” team the adult-directed team. Was MGA in the same mindset when planning this collectors’ doll line?

I still have a hard time believing “soccer moms and feminists” have absolutely no impact on dolls like the Bratz. All business experts believe that moms run retail and that influences business.

Even according to the book You Don’t Own Me, they expressed that companies like Mattel play it “safe” to avoid backlash with regular playline dolls directed to children. Where would any backlash come from? The only backlash that’s ever come at Barbie has been from moms and feminists who dislike the sexualization of dolls. They separate the detailed, quality, and edgier dolls for their collector lines from the dolls on shelves for this purpose. This motivation would sound reasonable even for a company like MGA. And yet, the insider says that the only reason they placed a collectors’ label is because Hayden is involved.

In my theory, I assumed a “collectors” label was placed because MGA wanted more freedom with the brand, especially considering Bryant mentioned that retailers run the industry. But if that’s not the case, why play around with a collectible label at all? Why was it even considered? Why would they assume it would make far more money than regular playlines?

I also find it interesting MGA and this insider feel the company isn’t cut out for collectors’ lines. I mean, I’m sure they don’t have the team they once had, but they do have a format.

In 2003, MGA released the Big Bratz Collectors’ Edition dolls.

MiggleMuggle photos

MiggleMuggle photos

MiggleMuggle photos

The Bratz 2018 dolls aren’t the first collectors’ dolls MGA has had. Just bouncing off of that, they could’ve used the same formula with their newer dolls. I’m not sure I agree that MGA isn’t cut out for collectors’ dolls. With the right team, they could pull it off. They just need, as I’ve said time and time again, someone who understands the brand and its fans. They need someone who has an eye for the details, too. They don’t just need one person, they need a strong team overall.

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Do retailers have any control over what comes out of MGA, as Carter Bryant said?

The third thing the insider shared was:

“I think we can put the Fashion Pixiez debacle to rest honestly. That’s not only very old news that does not reflect today’s market, but was also not the norm even then – which is why that line specifically gets so much attention for it. Retailers typically don’t pay much attention to the finer details like individual outfits. They want the general theme and the play pattern. MGA was also in a very weird position during the time those dolls were in development. Isaac had taken on a lot of marketing people from Mattel who were in his ear and were responsible for the huge changes in direction we saw with the brand (the cookie cutter invasion, the endless “for you!” Iines, Closmin, etc.) and I believe they are who led him to start putting so much stock in retailers’ suggestions (For an example of this, pretty much every “Closmin” collection originally had the core four, but Sasha, Jade or both were often cut only because retailers didn’t see a need for them. Previously, they would have gone ahead with them anyways.)”

If it was “just old news”, why did Bryant see the need to bring it up in a conversation regarding 2015 Bratz? If it was “just old news”, and doesn’t apply to even the current market, why did Carter say even NOW he would be “powerless to give this brand a push because retailers run the industry”. And if it wasn’t the norm for retailers to dictate every detail back in the day, why did Bryant express this at this point, as if this wasn’t only a Fashion Pixiez issue? In order to say “Consumers can ask for a product, but ultimately it’s the retail (buyers) that dictate what goes on shelves”, he must really believe that they run things. To go so far as to say even HE, even at the HELM of things (which means at the HEAD of things) would be powerless to give the brand a new kick…Fashion Pixiez was merely an example. Bryant made it seem like retailers control what goes on shelves in totality and how that controls the outcome of the dolls…

Further, the bit about the Closmin aspect stands out to me. The Closmins have been an issue since 2004…We first saw this with the Limited Edition Collectible dolls in 2003 and Wild Life Safari. Heck, look at all of 2005.

  • Birthday Bash – Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, Phoebe
  • Campfire – Cloe, Yasmin, Dana, Phoebe, Felicia
  • Dynamite – Cloe, Meygan, Nevra
  • Fabulous Las Vegas – Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, Tiana
  • Hollywood Style – Cloe, Yasmin, Dana, Phoebe, Katia
  • I-Candy – Cloe, Yasmin, Phoebe
  • Live In Concert – Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Sasha, Dana, Nevra
  • Midnight Dance – Yasmin, Meygan, Fianna
  • Ooh La La Paris – Cloe, Dana, Kumi
  • Play Sportz – Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, Meygan, Fianna, Roxxi, Cameron
  • Rock Angelz – Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Sasha, Roxxi (Playset Exclusive), Eitan (2-Pack with Yasmin Exclusive)
  • Step Out! – Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Sasha, Meygan
  • Treasures – Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Sasha, Roxxi
  • Triiiplets (3-Pack) – Valentina, Oriana, and Siernna
  • Twiins (2-Pack) – Tess and Nona, Valentina and Oriana
  • Wild Wild West – Cloe, Yasmin, Meygan (with horse), Fianna, Kiana
  • World Destination #2 Pretty N’ Punk – Cloe, Jade, Yasmin, Meygan, Cameron, Dylan, Eitan
  • Boyz Rock It! – Cameron, Eitan, Koby
  • Boyz Step Off! – Cameron, Dylan, Eitan, Koby
  • Holiday (Limited Edition) – Katia
  • Rock Angelz Fan-Club (Limited Edition) – Meygan

So having a Mattel team in Larian’s ear wouldn’t have really created that Closmin disaster by the time of the Bratz Fashion Pixiez release. If anything, the lines that came before that point built up the Closmin factor long before it took over. If you don’t have Jade and Sasha in a number of popular lines, eventually people get used to supplementing them with the other dolls.

However, it’s not surprising that more and more Mattel marketers decided to connect with MGA and influence the direction.

The final point that made me have more questions than answers was this:  “For an example of this, pretty much every “Closmin” collection originally had the core four, but Sasha, Jade or both were often cut only because retailers didn’t see a need for them.”

This is what confused me. From the beginning, the insider was saying “retailers” don’t often make drastic changes to the Bratz. But omitting Sasha and Jade from lines is a drastic change. Retailers must have some power if they can tell MGA to cut two core characters out of the equation.

To me, as an African American woman, omitting two dolls of color because they aren’t “needed” is a dire thing! This actually supports the fact retailers control the “biz”. What else would retailers ask to be curbed because they feel it’s not “necessary”?

After I received this response, I presented all of these concerns to them. They did respond back.

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Companies Overestimate the Impact of Soccer moms and “feminists”

This was the first response I received:

“They greatly overestimate the impact of said soccer moms and what you think are “feminists”(The rise of actual feminism is exactly why the general public is finally in support of a brand like Bratz and why it would succeed today tho). For a long time, the general belief in the toy industry was that children had the buying power, and what they called the “nagging factor” or something along those lines. That ultimately, parents will buy what their children ask for – even if the parents don’t necessarily approve of the product – as long as the child is insistent enough. This is partially why Bratz were able to succeed despite all the public scrutiny they faced at their peak. For whatever reason, within the past three or four years, this is no longer what they believe. The emphasis now is placed on targeting the “millennial mom” before anybody else. That’s why Bratz 2015 launched with their mom-targeted brand spot, and also why simply going to Barbie.com no longer takes you to Barbie’s website, but instead one for parents. Again, I say all of this having been on the marketing team, attending research presentations on exactly this topic, etc. The ordered list of target audiences for Bratz 2015 was literally “1. Moms, 2. Children, 3. Alumni (What they call us Bratz fans)”. You might think that because this is their mindset, it must be correct because that’s what they’re doing, but the hugely failing fashion doll category tells another story. It is my understanding that they think parents care a lot more about toys than they actually do. I don’t think most moms would go out of their way to purchase toys that their children have not shown any interest in, just because it appeals to them. The “nagging factor” is something that will never go away though, so they should really just put the focus back on the children.”

I agree that companies greatly overestimate the power of soccer moms and feminists…This insider is definitely right about that. But that overestimation itself still shows that feminists and soccer moms have a role in creating that “overestimation”. You can’t overestimate something if it isn’t brought to you in a way that causes you to overestimate it. Obviously, the ideas that fit with some of these feminists and the moms’ agenda are influencing our culture.

When talking about feminists, we KNOW, come on, that there are two types: those who advocate for women to have the right to wear whatever they want and those that believe dolls shouldn’t encourage girls to objectify themselves. This debate is part of the Feminist Sex Wars. There aren’t just feminists who believe women should be free to wear whatever they want. With the rise of feminism, both parties are largely vocal.

There are plenty of feminists, even the ones somewhat supportive of Bratz, that believe the Bratz are a bad influence on girls and sexualize underage girls (considering the Bratz are meant to be teenagers). Do I constantly have to show receipts? Check out the links below.

https://www.good.is/slideshows/artist-gives-bratz-doll-feminist-makeover

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bratz-dolls-reimagined-as-extraordinary-women_us_561bda58e4b0082030a33dcf

https://splinternews.com/the-bratz-doll-relaunch-is-hilariously-underwhelming-1793849574

https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/girls-playing-with-frilly-dolls-makes-my-feminist-blood-turn-cold-20150226-13pgbp.html

http://humanistmom.com/why-i-hate-bratz-and-monster-high-dolls/

The Trouble with “Natural Beauty”

I’ve always agreed that generally parents will buy whatever kids want. I’ve always stated that ultimately a parent won’t buy what a kid doesn’t like, even if they don’t personally like the kid’s choice. I said this in my Tree Change video.

It would make no sense to buy a toy for a kid just to have that toy become a part of the closet. That original thinking was definitely why fashion dolls succeeded so well in the past.

But we’re not living during the 2K era anymore. Back then, the “nagging factor” had more power because people didn’t have the same platform to voice their concerns. With social media, people are able to influence the public of so-called “dangerous ideas”. People take more of a stand when it comes to issues. People have more power to shape companies.

I want to address this statement from the insider: “For whatever reason, within the past three or four years, this is no longer what they believe.”

Okay, this is the page I’m on. I know companies no longer believe that parents will buy their kids anything as long as they insist on it…If they still believed in that, they wouldn’t be making any changes to their dolls for any reason. But then let’s think. Why don’t they believe it anymore? If it isn’t because of feminist and soccer moms’ influence, what’s influencing their beliefs on the matter? If you say social media, who are the main ones vocal about the dolls’ influence on children ON social media? Is it that they no longer believe in it or is it that that particular thinking on matters is now scorned upon by the general public, particularly the public that’s observing dolls, and companies want to avoid public and social media backlash?

The key here is “forever whatever reason”. This is the missing link here. What’s that reason?

Requests by people used to be more private in the 2K era. With social media, moms’ requests are far more vocal and carry far more weight than they used to. If this isn’t a reason in their shifts in belief, what is?

This part also gets my wheels turning:

That’s why Bratz 2015 launched with their mom-targeted brand spot, and also why simply going to Barbie.com no longer takes you to Barbie’s website, but instead one for parents. Again, I say all of this having been on the marketing team, attending research presentations on exactly this topic, etc. The ordered list of target audiences for Bratz 2015 was literally “1. Moms, 2. Children, 3. Alumni (What they call us Bratz fans)”. You might think that because this is their mindset, it must be correct because that’s what they’re doing, but the hugely failing fashion doll category tells another story. It is my understanding that they think parents care a lot more about toys than they actually do.

…Now, I don’t understand how the beginning went from “it has nothing to do with soccer moms” to “the emphasis now is placed on targeting the “millenial mom””.

While, there are many more open-minded moms today, there are plenty of Millennial moms that are also soccer moms and can’t stand the Bratz. Obviously, Bratz 2015 was mom-targeted. No one ever said it was the “correct mindset” or effective. I think most doll fans feel that the mindset is flawed. However, these “ideas” about what pleases moms comes from somewhere. Furthermore, there must be a reason why all of these companies are even concerned about what moms think.

In my theory, I think companies are not necessarily trying to neglect the kids, but they feel the kids won’t show interest in toys anymore regardless. I think psychology experts and marketers are making them think about their responsibility towards children and how their toys are influencing them. I think they have shifted focus on maintaining a clean reputation. They just want to stay stable and receive praise for being family-friendly. They hope to appeal to fans and kids in the process, but they seem to also want mom approval.

If the target for 2015 Bratz was moms, why is it hard to believe moms have influence on dolls like the Bratz today?

The insider stated: “It is my understanding that they think parents care a lot more about toys than they actually do.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. And I also believe companies care more about what parents want than what children want. I mentioned this in my Tree Change review.

Still, going back to the beginning, this supports the fact that feminists and soccer moms have had an influence on the Bratz…whether internally through a marketing team or externally through retail and social media…There’s no denying that these people have influenced companies to believe parents care more about toys than they do…There’s no denying there’s an overall culture shift. So I wonder, if it isn’t soccer moms influencing companies to believe parents “care more about toys than they actually do”, who is influencing these companies?

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Was Carter Bryant Right About the Industry or Wrong?

Later, I addressed Carter’s “Retailers control the industry” remarks and asked the insider’s opinion on them. The insider stated this:

“Carter, as a designer, would be powerless because it’s never even something the designers are even in the room for. The designers and creative side are actually usually the last to know much of anything once their job is done. Any discussion with retailers is between them and Isaac. I’ve literally been in line review and seen these things go down.”

So apparently, designers are never in the room when things go down. But then I question how Carter Bryant would know that retailers control anything if he isn’t in the room with them?

Furthermore, Bryant never said he would be powerless to control what retailers want, but he said he would be powerless to give this brand a new kick because retailers control the industry. It sounds like he feels his ideas would be shut down in this day and age. He even mentioned that “it’s a new generation” and that “Bratz had its day”.

“And, Carter has decades of experience in the industry, and came from Mattel, where things might be different. He was also a little bit above the average designer for Bratz, as more of a creative director/consultant. But either way, I never said he wouldn’t be aware of it, just that he would have no say in it. Obviously the designers are made aware of changes (These are products that are literally sold in stores, after all) – they just find out after the decisions have been made. And once again, it probably was dire in the case of the Pixiez, which is why that is the famous case and there is literally no other example anybody can name of this happening.”

Here, the insider does admit that Carter was a bit above the average designer. So does that mean he might be valid in saying retailers control the business?

I find it interesting that the insider says there’s literally no other dire examples of retailers drastically altering or changing the Bratz besides Fashion Pixiez. The insider mentioned in an earlier comment that retailers didn’t think Jade and Sasha were “needed”, so they were cut. That’s another dire case as far as I’m concerned.

So, now the public knows there were two incidences. What this says to me is that just because there are no famous incidents doesn’t mean it didn’t frequently happen behind-the-scenes. I don’t know how long this insider has worked with MGA or how many review rooms they’ve been in. I’m only going by statements. But who’s to say there were no other cases? How many meetings has this person been in to make that assessment?

It also tells me that apparently different people have different ideas of what’s a “dire” change or alteration. Isaac Larian may have been rather good at getting as much as he could to retailers, but if retailers can even decide which core Bratz girls make it on shelves and which don’t, doesn’t that mean they kind of do control what goes on? I mean, let’s look at 2007-2009. There were too many lines where Jade and Sasha were omitted. That’s not a light change as far as I’m concerned.

I find it interesting that not only did Carter say “I would be powerless to give this brand much of a new kick”…but he also said it’s because “retailers control the biz”. How would he know this? How would he know that “consumers can ask for what they want from manufacturers, but ultimately its retailers who decide every last detail” if this didn’t happen in more than one case? No one forms drastic conclusions like that from one incident.

So I wonder…Do retailers have the power or do they not? The insider made it seem like it’s not a big deal, but Carter Bryant made it seem like it shapes what happens with the doll brand. I guess it depends on your role in the company and how you have perceived things.

The insider later mentioned:

“If I were in Carter’s position, with the experience he had on Bratz where retailers did have a lot more control at one point, and I had been brought in at the beginning of development, then heard and seen nothing until things hit shelves, and they are the way they were, I would immediately think the retailers were at fault too.”

So, basically, the “insider” is saying Carter was expressing from his point of view because he never saw what was happening. Basically, it sounds like the insider is saying Bryant doesn’t really know what he’s talking about in other words. Maybe he’s been away from the doll industry too long to know what’s going on (though Carter did share with me some newer toys he worked on, so he probably hasn’t been that far removed from the toy industry). Or maybe they just have two different views on what’s wrong with the industry.

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Vocal Minority

The insider stated here:

“Yes the vocal minority are who are often given the power in the social media era, unfortunately. One of MGA’s marketing people actually talked about that with me and noted that Mattel only keeps Barbie Collector, which apparently doesn’t make much money, going because the fans are capable of creating such a frenzy online. That is also why this comeback was meant to appeal to us fans before anyone else.”

At this point in the conversation, I believe we are on the same page.

But I also want to add that I feel anti-fans also have a voice in shaping business. People don’t often understand that. They think only fans influence brands. Anti-fans can be the rise and fall of a brand too. These anti-fans can influence people if they present a solid reason for their dislike and make people question their own ethics and morals. Many soccer moms and the feminists against the sexualization of fashion dolls have done this to the fashion doll industry. They have made people question themselves. They have made people re-evaluate the message dolls are sending to girls.

When I mentioned how soccer moms and feminists sought to change Barbie in the 1990s which contributed to her shift towards “careers”, Carter Bryant didn’t deny what I said. In fact, he felt it was accurate. Obviously, there must be some connection between what moms, feminists, and the current toy industry culture.

In the article TOY FAIR 2018: ARE YOU READY TO JOIN THE DOLL FIGHT CLUB, the writer, Stephanie Finnegan, stated,

Toy Fair 2018 was rife with dolls that reflect, to try to mirror, what today’s girls are all about. The clothing was more streamlined and reflective of the real world, not that many flouncy dresses and acres of petticoats. The girl dolls were dressed to tackle outdoor sports, with Title IX helping them to attain those soccer or football goals that once only belonged to their male schoolmates. At Toy Fair, so many of the dolls were garbed as athletes or, at least, athletic young women. Their creators also supply home turf for them, so it’s not just a dream house that the dolls can retreat to. It’s also a camper, a stable, a locker room/sauna, and a wide variety of outdoor possibilities. The dolls of 2018 have places to go and mountains to literally climb…

That’s a major takeaway from Toy Fair. While girls have been encouraged since the mid-1970s to participate more in sports—shown that a career in athletics can be theirs, not just their brothers—they have not been enticed to play with dolls. If anything, a doll has often been associated with “toxic femininity.” (You know that has to exist in some people’s minds; it’s the antonym yet similar rallying cry of “toxic masculinity.”) While young girls have been tempted and propelled into becoming more jock-ish and more competitive, dolls have been pretty much ignored, except for at Halloween where they pop up as evil doers and villains…

At this year’s Toy Fair, I think the game plan—to borrow a sport’s term—is to make dolls reflect what girls are being pushed to pursue. Just as a girl may never grow up to be a runway model, a movie star, or head cheerleader, she could fantasize about it via her Sindy, her Gene, or her Barbie. The doll was wish fulfillment. The same holds true for these new dolls that seem to have all the answers for outdoor fun and games. They are able to ride horses, catch trophy-size fish, careen in racecars, and score series-winning points. The new dolls are able to pin an opponent in a wrestling ring, not worry about getting “pinned” by a fraternity sweetheart or receiving a ring from a smitten suitor. These are dolls that could do an episode of cable-TV’s “Naked and Afraid” without batting an eyelash. They’d never show fear, and they’d never have to worry about their anatomy being blurred out.

One just has to look at popular music videos to understand where this kind of mindset is coming from and how it is subtly influencing culture:

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The Real Problem with Bratz in 2015

The insider next made this statement regarding why Bratz turned out the way they did in 2015.

“MGA brought in a whole hoard of new people and fancy million-dollar (Not exaggerating sadly) marketing deals. All of these people were heavily against Bratz and what they were, with their brand director at the time literally saying on the day she was hired, “I never thought I would work on Bratz. I have always hated them”, which is how things turned into what they did.”

This is where the insider believes that the reason 2015 Bratz were so awful was because they got people who disliked Bratz on board. And this is juicy news to me. I know a lot about Bratz. I knew the people working on the Bratz didn’t know about the brand. But to say “I always hated them”? Come on. Wow. That’s something I didn’t know.

But again, even with this new brand director they hired in 2015…Did anyone ever ask her on the sly why she said she always hated them? Looking at 2015 Bratz, it was obvious she was supporting the feminist/soccer mom agenda. Come on, you can’t tell me she wasn’t influenced by that agenda! She took her opportunity to direct Bratz into a feminist/soccer mom brand.

So if we have someone within the brand influencing the direction of Bratz according to the soccer mom agenda, how can anyone deny that soccer moms had anything to do with it? One of them was working in-brand! I’m sure there are more of them lurking within the industry, trying to change up the fashion doll industry so that there are different influences for girls.

It doesn’t sound like she didn’t like the body aesthetic, especially because she enlarged the head and feet even more. Looking at her direction, it seems she wanted to make these dolls more wholesome…That in itself shows how much influence soccer moms and feminists have on marketing teams and directors entering the fashion doll industry. That shows even how they are influencing the culture. They aren’t just on social media ranting anymore. They are working through the industry, getting jobs in these areas, so that girls can have different role models to play with.

And we don’t just see this with Bratz. Look at Barbie. It’s difficult for me to understand how anyone can deny feminists’ and moms’ influences on her. With the large number of body-positive dolls, individualized dolls of color, and covered up Barbie dolls, it’s clear who is in control. Look at how Disney Princess is changing with Hasbro. Moana is considered “body-positive” in comparison to her skinny princess peers. Disney’s newest dolls are far more covered up than they once were. They look sweeter, too. Trust me, I’m not saying it’s all bad. But whether it’s bad or good, the influence is there. It’s not about whether it’s good or not.

To say that soccer moms have nothing to do with the 2015 direction of Bratz is to say moms don’t run retail…And everything in the business disagrees.

Finally, I asked the insider why MGA hired a team that didn’t care for the brand and why they allowed it to change. I want to share this point that was made by this insider because I think it makes total sense.

“It wasn’t MGA’s/Isaac’s conscious decision to switch gears, and if you asked Isaac at any point then what their mission was, he would still say it was to bring back the brand’s core “DNA” as they called it. Things just unraveled into the exact opposite of that as the new people took control. They didn’t hire them BECAUSE they were anti-Bratz or even knowing that that was the case, they just hired literally anybody who was willing to take the job. The brand at that point was not seen as a desirable one to work on, they took whoever they could get. It was not ever retailers who introduced the idea of targeting moms or going super kiddy, it was the hugely expensive marketing firm they hired (They later ended up ending their contract MUCH earlier once they realized they weren’t fit to do any doll line) and the Bratz-hating brand director who took them in that direction because they thought it would work better and because she favored that aesthetic personally. She literally cut their side glances only because she doesn’t like dolls to look to the side, to give an example of her “thought process” for Bratz.”

Of everything, this is the one new thing I learned. So, from the insider’s perspective, retailers didn’t have anything to do with the Bratz 2015 change. Of course, Carter Bryant was sure that retailers have an overall effect on the direction companies take.

I question what MGA saw in this new marketing team. How did this market director sell herself? I’m sure there was a screening process before these people were hired.

I know neither person (the insider or Bryant) personally. Neither person is working for MGA at the moment either. As far as I’m concerned, they’re both just talking to other inside connections themselves or elaborating on their own personal experiences with the brand. Still, they both have far more experience than I do with the brand. I have experience with business and the toy industry as a whole for sure. I’ve been a fan in the toy industry since the 1990s. But I can’t tell any of them about the Bratz brand.

I think the insider’s view makes sense here though. Obviously, it was the new marketing team that went for the kiddy theme. And it makes sense that MGA hired them because they had no one else.

But this comment makes me further stand by my belief that soccer moms have gotten control of the toy industry. The brand-director herself was obviously on that same “soccer mom” bandwagon when she decided to market Bratz 2015 to MOMS. She was one of these people controlling the outcome of Bratz. So AGAIN, MOMS continue to control the industry, even by latching on to vulnerable companies to do so, even in the form of marketers. What’s American Girl’s excuse? What’s Barbie’s excuse? What’s the deal with Betty Spaghetty?

As I said in response:

Has this director ever slipped and specified why they disliked Bratz to begin with? If they honestly disliked Bratz because they just didn’t like the design aesthetic of Bratz (the big bubble heads, skinny bodies, and big feet), that’s one thing. Though it couldn’t be possible because they highlighted those qualities. But if they didn’t like the original Bratz because they felt “Bratz were a bad influence on girls”, that doesn’t negate the fact that feminists and soccer moms control the industry, and that in fact supports that theory. A marketing team like this points to the fact that feminists and soccer moms have influence over the Bratz and other dolls. These types of marketing teams are able to prey on vulnerable companies like MGA and shape the industry to meet these “minor vocal” groups. It seems the marketing team hated the Bratz because of what they stood for. Am I wrong? If the company has directors, marketers, and designers who support the “soccer mom and splinternews type of feminists” even WORKING with doll lines like Bratz nowadays, doesn’t that show that they have some influence over how these dolls turn out?

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Isaac Larian Unaware of 2015 Bratz?

Last, the insider stated:

Isaac himself actually wasn’t even aware of MANY things going on behind the scenes on Bratz during that time, many things they literally lied to him about or did behind his back. I think people tend to have too much faith in MGA as a company to make smart decisions and plan effectively, or even just to do what makes sense. Everything that comes out of them is an accident or a coincidence, and even at the brand’s peak that was the case. Nobody was on the same page in 2015. Of course it doesn’t make sense, and that’s why it failed miserably after that summer. If there was an actual solid reason for any of it, it would have worked and they’d still be going to this day with that direction. The way things panned out for Monster High, and Barbie’s ever-declining sales, paint a similar picture.

I personally feel that there was nothing that passed Larian’s eyes. Most CEOs know what’s coming out of their companies before it does. In observing businesses, I have yet to hear of any company CEOs just letting things hit shelves without their approval, scan, and input. I doubt people just lied the 2015 dolls to shelves…Hmm…Yeah, I don’t really believe it. Though Larian may have said this was the case, I don’t think it was.

But I’ve heard that most of the things created in MGA, even at its height, was a result of coincidences and accidents from the book You Don’t Own Me. Really, most business successes are the result of coincidence. The book Good to Great by Jim Collins really highlights that about business. That’s another good read for anyone interested.

Now, the insider says there wasn’t “any solid reason for any of it”. But I wonder if that’s the case. I wonder if there really was a reason that’s not being disclosed. What was Larian’s true reason for allowing the brand’s image to change so drastically over the last couple of years?

I agree that people expect MGA to make excellent decisions, but I also think that people are quick to blame MGA when things go wrong and not understand why things spiral out of control to begin with on a business level. I think people put too much faith in MGA’s ability to bring the old Bratz look back. Is there a possibility they can’t? Everytime that’s brought to the table, it seems some people want to believe MGA just “miss the mark with good intentions”. Everytime I bring that to the table, people are looking at me like I have two heads. I believe in looking at all possibilities. When people start telling me to shut up, that’s when I peer even closer.

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So to end this discussion, I just want to ask: What is the Truth Behind the sudden change in the 2015 dolls and their current transition into the 2018 dolls? Is it, as Carter stated, an issue with retail? Or is it as the insider stated “company paranoias, disorganization, horrible directors, and desperation” that caused the downfall of the Bratz?

Who runs the toy industry today? Toy marketers? Market buyers? Or soccer moms and feminists?

We have the one worker, Bryant, who has worked for both Mattel in the 1990s, Bratz in the 2K era, and the Bridge Direct around 2013 to 2014, saying retailers control the business. This is a man with 20+ years of experience. But he’s no longer working in the toy industry and isn’t working for Bratz anymore. So does that mean his outlook is outdated?

We have the “insider” who has been a long-time fan of Bratz, worked for Bratz with the marketing team for a couple of years, but no longer works for MGA. This insider has made many friends within the company and apparently still has worked in some capacity with the current dolls. So, the insider has seen how the MODERN day industry is shaping dolls.

As an inquisitive blogger, ya’ll, I aim to find out the truth! I will probably be investigating more about this topic as the year progresses, and hopefully gain some more insight. I’m determined to dig deeper into this.

A video of this will be posted soon!

In my next article and video, I will be reviewing the 2018 Bratz dolls.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this discussion! Why do you think the Bratz and all dolls in the industry have been changing their image lately? You’re welcome to share!

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