Published on The Daily Femme – Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010
Contributed by Annamarya
Growing up, I was never really interested in the glitter and glam of “girl” toys (or, at least, what corporations thought girls would like in the ’80s). Granted, my older sister and I had a crap load of Barbies we played with but, personally, I was more interested in my He-Man, Transformers & WWF action figures (I had a sweet Hulk Hogan pillow that went with me nearly everywhere). I guess you can say I and other women who enjoyed the same type of “boy-sanctioned” toys defied gender-based product expectations as children but that would just be playing into the gender-normative stereotypes placed on our society. We just liked what we liked and we’re no less or no more of a woman because of that.
But that relative logic still seems to elude toy makers today. Just take a look at some of our picks below from the September 2 Huffington Post’s photo slide of The 14 WORST Toys for Girls. Apparently, little girls need to be prepped for a life of cleaning, baby making and staying pretty (BARF).
1. Girl Tech “Stylin’ Studio”
If you can’t make it out, the tagline for Girl Tech’s “Stylin’ Studio” is “The Ultimate Makeover.” If that isn’t bad enough, here is the product description from the Girl Tech website itself: “Hey girls, are you tired of the same old look? You need Girl Tech® Stylin’ Studio™ Welcome to a virtual world of makeup, accessories, and fashion…Take your picture, and then have fun with a digital makeover that includes different hairstyles, accessories, and apparel. Hook into your PC to print your makeover with different backgrounds and templates, and to email your makeovers to your friends. Get ready to discover a new you!” “Stylin’ Studio” is clearly sending a negative message to young girls – that instead of loving yourself inside and out for who you are and what you look like, you can just fix whatever you don’t like. I’ll say this: there’s nothing wrong with moderately changing your look when you’re younger if it’s something you want to do for you. I know when I hit junior high, I changed up my look to something I was more comfortable with. But I also had low self-esteem, and if I had the “Stylin’ Studio” during that time, it wouldn’t have been used to see what I would look with a different hair color for the fun of it – it would’ve been used to see how much better I would be if I wasn’t me. Is that something we want to teach young impressionable girls? I think not.
2. Girls Only “My Cleaning Trolley
I’m just dumbfound that this even exists. While there is nothing wrong with working in the janitorial profession, we shouldn’t be creating toys that prepare girls for a life of cleaning after other people’s messes. It sends the wrong message: That, because you’re a female, cleaning is all you’re good for. But maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe there are girls out there who actually like to clean around the house for no other reason than they just like to and not because someone is telling them that’s what they should be doing.
3. Pole Dance Doll
I’ll have to say this: I find nothing wrong with stripping. If a woman decides that that’s the career she wants for no other reason than she likes it, than who am I to judge? But a pole dancing doll for young girls? I think that issue goes without saying.
4. Lil’ Monkey
Let’s just file this under “Racist.”
5. “Future Hooters Girl” T-Shirt
Because that’s what everyone young girl should aspire to.
6. Pregnant Barbie
The last thing young girls should be worrying about is pregnancy.