(NECN: Ally Donnelly) - Meet Clawdeen Wolf. She's a 15-year-old teen wolf -- a self-described fashionista with a confident, no-nonsense attitude. The new Mattel doll struts her stuff in thigh high boots, a skimpy skirt and belly shirt, but her quote "Freaky Flaw" -- is that she must rid herself of unwanted body hair. Outside the Marshall's in Newton, Massachusetts, Parent Kathy Olsen stammers, "That's, that's unbelievable."
Clawdeen is part of the Monster High collection and on the doll's back-of-the-box bio page she says "plucking and shaving is definitely a full time job, but that's a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous." -- Oh, and, did we mention? Mattel says she's being plucked up by kids mostly aged...5 to 7.
"A kid? Why?" questions one dad. "I think it's a pretty harsh message," says Georgia Curtis, an early intervention specialist, "And I think it speaks loudly.
Child psychologist Todd Gross thinks it's a message media and toy makers have been screaming louder and louder these days. He says, "What matters is what you look like on the outside, not on the inside. Your body should conform to this so, you better eat accordingly to look this way and we have all these eating disorders we deal with."
Over these past years many dolls and toys have gotten sexy makeovers, but the plucking and tweezing, some say, is just beyond the pale. "I think about the early precursor to doing Botox and plastic surgery later on, that your body is not okay," says Gross.
Mattel says Clawdeen lets girls identify with someone or something that's not perfect and that young girls know the embarrassment of hair in unwanted places.
We checked in with about a dozen stores....Toys r Us, Target, Walmart -- all sold out of Clawdeen, so despite any outrage, *somebody is buying them. Gross says, sadly, it's often parents buying into the "sex sells" mentality even for kids -- maybe trying to live up to a curvaceous ideal they never could when they were young. Olsen fumes, "I don't know how it's turned that way, but it needs to be stopped."