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The Parallels of Ever After High™ and the Imagined Dystopian Vaporwave Alternate Reality

Aug 09, 2015


please look at #00FF99 while you listen to "I just can't remember"

The Mattel line of dolls known as “Ever After High” is a companion line to Mattel’s “Monster High.” Both similar in the fact that the lines attempt to romanticize the high school experience to young tweens through rose-tinted lenses of fairy tales and monsters, respectively. But who are the real fairy tales? Who are the real monsters?

Mattel created a line of toys that manages to tap into the many popular characteristics of vaporwave. While we here at The Waiting Room are not exactly sure whether or not this tie-in is intentional or not, it does lead to some interesting parallels. One of these is mainly the way in which Mattel attempts to romanticize the concept of high school to its main consumers, and in doing so, romanticize a timeline in which free will is rejected, theology is diminished to the realm of fairy tales, and pushing the normalcy of consumerism.

“Ever After High™” exists in a world known as Fairy Tale World. The boarding school in question houses the sons and daughters of famous fairy tale characters throughout pop culture, from the son of Alice of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to the daughter of Sleeping Beauty. Much like the Socs and Greasers in S.E. Hinton’s novel, “The Outsiders,” “Ever After High™”has a caste system involving the fairy tale characters who choose to align themselves with their parent’s destinies -- the Royals -- and those who choose to rebel against the destiny thrust upon them -- the aptly named Rebels. This main conflict reflects the cyberpunk characteristic of lack of free will in a society fighting for its right to think for itself. Vaporwave works through Mattel, creating a society where the fight for free will is more commonplace and accepted, a run-of-the-mill, hum-drum daily struggle.

Ignoring the fact that the Royals’ cause -- the rejection of free will -- is distinctly classist at its core, Mattel turning its consumerist tween buyers into romantics towards the corporate agenda is the least of our worries.

post-theology commericalism

The main concern The Waiting Room has with the EAH™dolls is the character of C.A. Cupid, who is the adopted daughter of Eros, the Greek god of love. The fact that C.A. exists in a world clearly labeled as full of fairy tales leads The Waiting Room to believe that Mattel has started to push a distinctly atheist agenda upon the tweens of 2015. “But, mom, Gods aren’t real! They said so in Ever After High™!” Theology is a topic in cyberpunk generally put to the wayside, but that might be because there is no need for a god when corporations control your every interest.

Vaporwave is deeply embedded in the cyberpunk mythos. Could it be that Mattel is beginning the slow ascension of the normalization of extreme consumerist culture that comes standard in every cyberpunk story? Purchase your Ever After High™ dolls now, boys and girls, as you may have to barter your way to a Beretta M9 to defend yourself from the Chrome Tiger Gang on the streets of Chiba City. Fairy tales can only take you so far on the streets.

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