Stop brushing Molly’s hair, girls: there’s a new series in town. Valerie Tripp, who first released the American Girl series in 1986, is finally releasing a counterpart called American Boys — well, Boys Camp, actually. Like the American Girl series, Boys Camp will featuring a book apiece for each male character. But that’s where the similarities between the new series and long-standing doll empire end. Unlike American Girl, which focused on girls from different cultures and periods of history, Boys Camp is set in modern times and centers on a group of bunkmates at summer camp dealing with more true-to-life issues. One boy struggles with feeling shy and out of place, and another wonders if he should continue to play a sport he has played his entire life (Is that an issue?). It’s a nice idea, but I have a feeling the demographic won’t pick up — though I can definitely see these ending up as “brothers” for the American Girl gang. Better rethink that no-doll plan. [TIME] Keep reading »
Recently, I wrote a blog post about teaching our girls to be feminists. But I also think boys should be taught what it is to be a feminist. A couple of years ago, I recall a conversation I had with my 13-year-old nephew who is quite intelligent and a bit beyond his years. He was saying that he and his friends had had a discussion about who had it easier, men or women. They decided that women did for various reasons. A huge conversation ensued, as you can imagine, with my nephew, his mother, his grandmother and grandfather, and me. I think decidedly, by the end of the talk, we might have changed his mind! But it was a great moment to have an intelligent discussion about gender and what it means to be male or female in today’s world.
There seems to be a lot more research being done lately about boys and gender stereotyping. Undoubtedly, we need boys who will grow up understanding and appreciating what it means to be female in our society as well as the world-at-large because they will benefit from that awareness and so will everyone else. There are plenty of adult men out there who support women’s rights and work equally as hard to continue to make sure that girls and minorities are at the forefront of the discourse about equal rights. The question is, are we raising boys who are sensitive to inequity, critical thinkers, and culturally aware? Keep reading »
UPDATE: The Frisky has received an email from JCPenney’s corporate communications department regarding this tee shirt. You can view the email after the jump.
“I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.”
That’s the writing on a T-shirt being sold in JCPenney‘s girls department and on the store’s website, where an insult-to-injury caption reads, “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that’s just as cute and sassy as she is.” The buyer who approved this offensive shirt for girl customers should be fired. The fact it even made it onto the racks is proof that the bimbo-ification of girl culture is alive and well. A parent could find plenty of ways to celebrate that her girl is pretty (if the parent believes this is really something important to emphasize) without imparting the idea that pretty girls can’t or shouldn’t be smart. I have three bright, funny nieces who are 7, 5 and 5 and I never want them to believe the message on this shirt is true. I wholeheartedly encourage Frisky readers to sign the petition against this demeaning T-shirt — and get your little daughters/sisters to sign it, too! [Change.org] Keep reading »
We’ve all seen Kim Kardashian’s softcore porn
for Skechers’ Shape Ups, the sneakers which claim to tone your ass (despite the health and fitness community calling BS
on that one). Whatever, that’s what Kim Kardashian does in every commercial
. But Skechers is also
selling Shape Ups butt-toning sneakers for your little girl! Keep reading »
Oh, Abercrombie and Fitch. We never took the preppy clothing company as the arbiter of good taste and class, but we think they’ve perhaps gone way over the line by producing a collection of girls’ bathing suit tops–aimed at ages 8 to 14–with padded bras included. Just what, pray tell, does a little kid need with a padded bra, A&F? Who thought this was a good idea? Your company already gets accused–over and over again–of oversexualizing young teens and children, and this certainly isn’t helping to improve your already-sullied reputation. Keep reading »
A little girl may have only stopped nursing a few years ago herself, but that’s no reason she can’t play mama to a Breast Milk Baby, right? The $89 doll by Berjuan Toys shows girls — and yes, this doll is by default for girls — how to nurture their babies by breastfeeding from their, um, breasts. To nurse their dolls, little girls put on a “magic top” with a flower stickers over the breasts, pull their baby’s mouth up to the flowers, and watch as the doll starts to “suckle and swallow.” The press release trills:
“The Breast Milk Baby lets young girls express their love and affection in the most natural way possible, just like mommy. The Breast Milk Baby represents a revolution in design by teaching children the nurturing skills they’ll need to raise their own healthy babies.”
Keep reading »