I’ve read Cinderella Ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein, a book that immerses us into the girly-princesses culture, and reveals the dark side this pink wave which is sweeping on young girls. My first conclusion when I closed this book was: fighting against this girly culture is a lost cause, not worth even trying… via GIPHY
No, you cannot fight against Marketing strategies, against Disney, Mattel and others, against the cult of beauty, against self-promotion and self-staging on social media, against over-sexualized (too) young girls… because you are a parent and that you just cannot win against global entertainment companies targeting children, nor against social media.
Many parents complain about sexism in toys and clothes aimed at little girls. It is also quite common to see parents encouraging their daughter to play with toys traditionally associated with boys (for different reasons: feminism, tired of pink, big brother’s toys …). Conversely, letting a boy play with dolls, girl’s clothes or wear pink is much less easily accepted in our society.
After the Lego for girls, which we mentioned in a previous blog post, I share with you another podcast about girls’ toys: this one deals with the success of Monster High, these Barbies with a gothic style. I’ve really discovered those dolls recently when my daughter (almost 6 years old) saw one of them at school and asked if she could have one for her birthday.
Lego Friends, Legos for girls, a good idea caught up by cliches.
You probably know Lego Friends, the very girly line of Lego which is now a hit with the girls. Before the launch of Lego Friends, 90% of Lego consumers were boys.
“No, girls aren’t doomed to be dummies when it comes to parking their cars or visualizing molecular structures”
So, yes, successful story… but more importantly good initiative because it is crucial for girls to play with construction toys. They help them develop their spatial skills, that is to say the brain’s ability to move in space, to perceive objects and organize them into a coherent visual scene, to mentally imagine a physically absent object…
A short personal story: we are at friends’ place, we thought it would be raining all day and we would stay inside so I let my daughter, 3 year-old at this point, wear her nice ballet shoes. Finally, it stops raining, we let the children go out and play in the garden and I ask my daughter to take her shoes off and wear boots belonging to her friend (a boy)…. And then the crisis starts up: “NOOOO I don’t want these boots!!!” And why? “BUT I AM NOT A BOY!”
Tantrum? Yes, but there’s more than that. Let’s take a tour inside her brain…
Looking for a gift for a kid? Here is a great video to avoid offering sexists cliches with it.
Magasins U (forth largest French retailer) have been the first in 2012 in France to issue a Christmas catalog without labeling toys for either ‘boys’ or ‘girls. In 2015, for Christmas, they continued on the same trend with this brilliant video.
Christmas is already far behind us, but there is no season to stop stereotyping children, it also works for birthday gifts and no reason gifts, all year round!
Great initiative in an industry where we would like to see more companies taking action against gender stereotyped toys!