A Boy's View of "Girl" Toys

A Boy's View of "Girl" Toys

In my book I stress the importance of talking to children about the gender messages in the media they see, and I practise what I preach.

Every year at this time I look at the toy catalogues that enter our house and I talk to my older son about them. (I haven’t yet started this practice with my younger son, but I will soon.)

I asked my son to look at the toys on the pages marked “Girls” in the most recent Toys R Us catalogue. I’m sharing his 9-year-old perspective because I found it interesting.

About Monster High (designated a “hot toy” by Toys R Us) and Bratz dolls, he said they are “pure creepiness.” He noted their “bulging eyes,” “humungous eyelashes,” “pale skin,” and “hair almost as long as” their bodies. He thought they were wearing too much make-up and said they “look like the living dead,” which, I suppose is the point for the Monster High dolls although I cannot really see much difference between the denizens of Monster High and Bratz. I asked about the way they were standing and he said they “look like cheerleaders.”

Bratz doll from Bratz.com
Monster High Doll from Mattel.com

He also said that their clothes were “weird” and that he had “never seen someone wear clothes like that.”

Journey Girl doll from ToysRUs.ca

He contrasted the Monster High and Bratz dolls to the Journey Girls line (a Toys R Us creation), shown here. He said they were better because they look “more real.”

Unlike most girls, my son has not been subjected to the onslaught of marketing messages from Mattel and Bratz, delivered via television, websites, and toy catalogues.

I wonder if girls had been granted the same separation from the marketing messages that surround these dolls as boys, would they still love them, or would they too find them creepy and weird?

 

Related Posts

Gendered Frustration and Worry for My Boy

Gender is a funny concept. Boys do these things, and girls do these things, right? HAHAHAHA. Sure, boys and girls are different, but it makes me INSANE when toys and activities and dress is brought into boys and girls stuff. A Facebook friend posted a picture of her little boy, who is in Pre-K, wearing a dress, high heels, and a tiara. Multiple comments remarked, jokingly, that she need to call and make him an appointment with a psych.   Read more >

OMG! I'm Going to Be a Grandmother and I Hate Gender Marketing

When I hijacked TW and told her we were going to Toys R Us for inspiration for my blog post about all of the baby gear parents have nowadays, she heckled. Inspiration at the toy store? Impossible. We'd just be frustrated and grouchy! Which is generally true, but I was prepared for all of the things that generally bug me about toy stores.   Read more >

Kids' Swimwear: Boys Aren't Made to Look Sexy, So Why Are Girls?

"Here's what I want you focused on: Sexy adult swimwear (totally okay) being made into miniature versions for children as young as four (totally not okay)." These words appeared in a post by my friend Melissa Wardy written in response to a story about Gwyneth Paltrow endorsing designer Melissa Odabash's bikinis for little girls. As Melissa (Wardy) emphasizes in the piece, there is nothing wrong with age-appropriate two-piece bathing suits for girls, but shrinking a suit designed for an adult female body and placing it on a little girl is wrong.   Read more >

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.