I have many people in my life mating with their spouses and subsequently producing children which means I am in Babies ‘R’ Us more than my fair share. And sometimes whilst walking through the aisles of cute baby clothes my uterus smugly points out I had better “get on it” and make a person small enough to wear these clothes soon because “time is a-tickin’” (my smug uterus sometimes has a folksy way about her). Most of the time I’m on board with my smug uterus while picking through the plethora of tutus, leopard print onesies and baby overalls. But then I see clothing like this and feel as if I can justly tell my smug uterus to “shut it”.
I’m not sure if I’m okay with my future girl in something like this. It’s stupid at best and insulting to the whole female gender at worst. “Born to Shop”? Really? What does that even mean? Like this small (girl) person was put on this earth solely to shop? Is it that this tiny (girl) human was placed into existence to keep commerce afloat? Doubtful. And why are the soccer outfit and cop uniform (a commendable profession) boy clothes, instead of something equally insulting like “Born to lazily play video games” (Is that equally insulting)?
By now I’m sure you’ve rolled your eyes at this screen several times and thought “Okay judgey, I think you’ve gone too far. Get a hobby and chill out about the whole gender clothes thingy. If you don’t like it don’t buy it.” Fair point. Maybe I am going to far. I thought the same thing of the “critics” of the new gender specific Lego people.
I have no problem with gender specific clothes or toys when it doesn’t seem like they are trying to send an unfair message. And with the Lego figures I don’t think that they are sending an unfair message about girls and boys. Girls and boys are going to inherently like different things, so they should have different toys. That being said who cares if girls like monster trucks and He-Man figures (does he still exist?) and boys play with Easy-Bake ovens and Bratz dolls? So these are Legos that little girls might like because they are being represented as little girls. Sounds good. And they (at least in the picture) seem to have a dog grooming shop. So they are small business owners. Even better.
And even I think that it’s a stretch to say that because their arms and legs don’t move this is a representation of how we see women.
But what about the girl toys that aren’t so kind to girls (or boys). Of course I can’t write about gendered toys not being realistic representations for kids without mentioning the Queen of ill proportions, Barbie. And then I saw this.
Poor Barbie. Always being picked on and scrutinized for her body. But I have to admit, and I hate myself for it, when I looked at the “realistic” Barbie, I thought she looked bloated. But that’s because she was placed right near “regular” Barbie. And I guess therein lies the problem. I don’t know if there are studies showing the ill effects Barbie type dolls have on children, I’m too lazy to look it up, but it seems like it starts early with dolls, then moves into television shows, movies and magazines and so on and so on and there is no chance for kids to admire “normal” body types and feel good about not being seven foot tall with a 22 inch waist and 34 inch bust. (Yikes).
Perhaps I am going over board. I guess unless I “chill out”, as I imagined you, the reader, said to me earlier, I will have to dress my children in pillowcases and make them play with sacks of flour. I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world. It seems to work fine for the Amish.
(Luckily, the Amish are an easy target because they shant ever read this blog. Phew)