THE Monster High doll range, with ghoulish characters designed to look like the offspring of monsters like Dracula and Frankenstein, isn’t exactly what most people would imagine kids would want to own.
But in just three years since its launch, Monster High became the world’s number two doll brand, right behind its antithesis – Barbie.
With a message that encourages children to accept that they are “perfectly imperfect”, much like its characters, Monster High has struck a chord with the new generation.
And that’s why the brand has been actively involved in anti-bullying campaigns in the United States, something which they have now brought to Malaysia.
“Monster High advocates an embracing of your flaws and imperfections, and to be proud of who you are – which is why we are against bullying because bullies make you feel you are not good enough,” said Mattel Southeast Asia brand manager (girls) Kelly Yip.
Yip was speaking during the launch of the Monster High & Limkokwing Against Bullying competition, where students from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) will be challenged to design the most creative and impactful anti-bullying song, video, poster/photograph or T-shirt design.
“In the United States, Monster High has supported the KIND Campaign and WeStopHate to promote positive messages of kindness and self-acceptance. We are excited for the opportunity to share this message in Malaysia as well,” added Yip.
Judging the competition will be Yip, R.AGE editor Ian Yee, LUCT associate vice president for talent & creative development Datuk Tiffanee Marie Lim, Miss Universe Malaysia 2010 Nadine Ann Thomas and StART Society vocal coach Grace Sng.
During the launch of the competition at LUCT’s Cyberjaya campus, Yee spoke about the importance of breaking the vicious cycle of bullying while introducing the R.AGE Against Bullying campaign and its online bullying “heat map” (RAGEAgainstBullying.com).
“R.AGE ran a mini survey earlier this year, and we found that the majority of bullying victims don’t tell anyone what happened. They suffer in silence, some end up becoming bullies themselves, and the vicious cycle continues – all the way to adulthood and the workplace,” said Yee.
R.AGE hopes to break the cycle by getting Malaysians to populate a specially-developed map on the campaign website. Victims of bullying – past and present – can drop a pin on the map showing where they were bullied.
“We hope this will accomplish two things. One, we want the whole country to know that it is a serious problem that happens in their cities, in their towns and in their schools. Two, we want the victims to know that they are not alone, and they do not have to suffer alone,” he said.
Lim added: “Limkokwing University has always tried to emphasis how important it is to have a happy and healthy environment on campus. It is only natural for us to partner with Mattel in co-organising this campaign to help young people in schools.
“This is a perfect example of how creativity can add value to our lives, and make an impact in the industry and Malaysia society.”
During a Q&A session with the students, Nadine shared her personal experience with bullying, having been a victim throughout most of her childhood.
“I was bullied just because I was different,” said Nadine, who is of mixed parentage.
“I wrote an article about it once and it got so much response from girls out there, I just felt like I had to do something more.”