It’s common knowledge that toys are marketed to boys and girls in hugely different–and often troubling–ways. Media literacy advocate and video artist Jonathan McIntosh has come up with a super effective way to illustrate those differences. It’s called the Gendered Advertising Remixer, and the concept is simple: on one side of the screen is a selection of ads targeting boys, on the other side are ads targeting girls. You drag one ad to the audio box, one to the video box, click “Mashup,” and you’ll watch a sweet, maternal ad for a baby doll accompanied by the explosions and violent rhetoric of a GI Joe commercial (or swap the audio and video for equally confusing results). Some of the remixes are funny, but all of them bring up major questions about our culture’s definitions of gender, how early they are instilled in us, and how harmful they can be. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Remix some ads for yourself! [Gendered Advertising Remixer]
Rebecca Hains, best be known these days as the woman who got busted by the TSA for trying to take a red velvet cupcake through airport security, is, in her real life a media studies professor at Salem State University and author of Growing Up With Girl Power; Girlhood on Screen and in Every Day Life. She is also mother to a little boy who loves “My Little Pony,” a show, Rebecca says on her blog, that, like the beloved Powerpuff Girls, appeals equally to both sexes, defying the notion that boys/men won’t watch stories about girls/women.
I have to admit I’m not a “My Little Pony” aficianado — my daughter was never into them and I recalled the old show as being inane, and largely about selling toys (the fact that the ponies were revived for the Hub, a TV station owned by Hasbro, and are skinnier and “prettier” in their new incarnation only reinforced those impressions). Creator Lauren Faust writes on the Ms. Magazine blog that she was not initially a fan, either:
[Shows based on girls’ toys] did not reflect the way I played … I assigned my ponies and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls distinctive personalities and sent them on epic adventures to save the world. On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying – which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Keep reading »
Show me a little girl who doesn’t want a Cabbage Patch Kid doll in the likeness of Al Roker and I’ll show you a liar. All small children are just dying to snuggle up with the “Today” show weatherman!
They aren’t? No? Well, let’s hope some deep-pocketed adults do, because someone needs to find the Al doll a happy home. Al and his Celebrity Cabbage Patch Kids pals are being auctioned off for CPKauctionforcharity.com to raise money for foster care and adoption organizations.
Let’s take a closer look at the totally random assortment of celebs who now have the unique distinction of Xavier Roberts’ name scrawled across their butt. [Yahoo Shine]
A Lego Wonder Woman figurine is on the way, now that DC Comics has given Lego access to their characters! Thirteen new Lego people based on DC superheroes are on the way, including Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, the Joker, Wolverine and Captain America. The Wonder Woman above is not an official mockup — she’s only a custom figurine, the blog DC Women Kicking Ass reports. You can see a teeny tiny photo of the official Wonder Woman Lego, as well as Catwoman and Poison Ivy and all their pals, on the blog Comic Bricks. Who’s with me for a trip to Toys R Us? Keep reading »
This week’s eBay finds feature dresses from Mary-Kate and Ashley, colorful ceramic pieces, and even a little Rodarte action. Check out our fabulous finds after the jump! 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 »
Toy companies have made it easy for Child Protect Services: just park at Toys ‘R Us near the slutty wolfwoman doll and snag whomever’s hand in the beartrap of poor decisions. Much like Barbie, Mattel‘s Monster High doll, Clawdeen Wolf, sports a lush head of hair, a fur-lined jacket, and the shortest of miniskirts. But it’s Clawdeen’s grooming habits that are questionable for little tykes. “My hair is worthy of a shampoo commercial, and that’s just what grows on my legs. Plucking and shaving is definitely a full-time job but that’s a small price to pay for being scarily fabulous!” trills the copy on Clawdeen’s box, which also mentions her pasttimes include “waxing, plucking and shaving.” Did I mention Clawdeen Wolf is for ages six and up? Just make sure to wipe the Nair off the pacifier before you pop in back in baby’s mouth, mommy.
[Mattel] Keep reading »