Friday, January 20, 2012

A young child sums up the problem with how toys are marketed

This is genius!

I'm really proud of Riley for "getting it" - shopping over the holidays it was very clear how there were "boy" aisles of toys and "girl" aisles of toys... and we can do better. We have to do better.

For my kid.

For Riley.

For all of us!


ps - My thanks to the GSA students who shared this with me!


ChristasBooks said...

Love this video! This little girl is a total rockstar :)

Michelle Cusolito said...

I love that she's so incensed.

I'm right there with ya, Riley.

pamlovesbooks said...

kids aren't as clueless as the marketers think they are. YAY for both of you!

Hardygirl said...

I saw this on Facebook and I LOVE IT. So wise.


GatheringBooks said...

There you go! What a lovely lovely video (will share this as well in my FB page).

When my ten year old daughter was four, her preschool teacher talked to me (I was the school psychologist in her school) and 'informed' me that my daughter claimed during playtime that she was the prince rather than the princess in a game that they were playing - which seemed to bother the teacher a little bit.

I then asked her the next morning as we were lazily stretching out on the bed about this particular incident and I gently asked her whether she thinks she's a lovely girl or a beautiful boy - she didn't reply for a long time, burrowed under the covers - then she removed her blanket with a flourish and claimed with full abandon "I'm a butterfly!"

I knew we had done something right for her to be more enlightened than the adults around her. For years, we've always always bought her both the train set and the doll house, the lego stuff with cars and the princess castles - she grew up thinking that toys are generic and non-gender-specific and for 'children' to play with. However, not everyone thinks this way, and there's a great deal of gender exclusivity/segregation unwittingly practiced in schools, so she struggles with that a little bit. Now that she's ten, she's joyfully a part of the basketball team and the choir too. :) I'm sure she'd love Riley.

I'm truly glad to discover your blog - I attended the NAGC conference last November in New Orleans - and I chanced upon this session done by Professor Bob Seney where he talked about The Stonewall Award - are you familiar with that one?

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Thanks all,
and Myra, yes, I've heard of the Stonewall award... I believe they're awarding it next week for best GLBTQ youth book published in 2011.
And I love that story about your child sharing that they are a "butterfly" - awesome!

Christy Rush-Levine said...

This is a voice to which the CEOs and politicians need listen. Thank you for sharing.

Kelly Robinson said...

Sounds like the parents are doing their jobs. Kids often buy into what the marketers are pushing because the parents do too.

Mindy said...

Agree! I had the worst time shopping for xmas/birthday gifts for my preschool age daughter this year. We ended up getting her Legos. Legos are for everyone. :)

Nastasha said...

As soon as I saw this I thought of something that happened at work today that really bothered me.

I work in a grocery store, and we have all of our Valentine's Day stuff out now. A boy around 8 came through my checkout line with his mom. He tried to sneak a pink stuffed monkey onto the conveyer belt, but his mom saw it and said, "You can't have that!"

At first I thought, "another naughty kid trying to get stuff out of Mom," then the mom said, "God find a blue one and you can have it." He wanted the pink one, and she kept saying no. Then he picked up a colored pad of paper at the checkout, and it was pink.

"Why do you keep picking pink stuff! You're a boy! Boys like blue!" And he said, "but I like pink better, it's pretty." She was so upset by this, and I felt very awkward witnessing it all. The boy looked so sad, too. I wished I could buy him the stuffed monkey myself.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

thanks all for your responses - Natasha, that's such a hard (and real) story to hear. I know what you mean about wanting to buy the pink bear for him - but the mom probably wouldn't have let him keep it. I hope when that boy is a young adult and living on his own, he'll buy the pink bear for himself.

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

This is great! As a kid I played with toy cars and tractors as well as baby dolls and "girl" toys. Not to mention tinker toys, lincoln logs and legos. Kids want to play, that's all there it to it. Why does marketing have to be so either/or?

Beth Stilborn said...

This is great! Love that she says "The girls are tricked to think they just can buy princesses." Yes! (I played with dolls and trucks when I was a kid.) said...

Omg...she is an intuitive smart little rock star!!!

Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing this! So inspiring and insightful. I will be blogging this and linking back to you! :0)

Jen Robinson said...

That little girl rocks. Thanks for sharing this. We deliberately bought our daughter the blue Toy Story chair instead of the pink princess chair (she wasn't with us, and didn't have a say). I'm ok with her having princess stuff when/if she wants it, but I want her, like Riley, to see that she has a choice.

I do ache for that little boy that Natasha was talking about, who wanted the pink monkey.