I read the article linked above after Melissa Wardy posted a link to it on Pigtail Pals. Here’s what I find strange about the Monster High Dolls, Struts sexified horses, Baby Bratz, and so forth: Where has the creativity gone? It’s like all toy makers and marketers have sat down and decided that if they want to appeal to girls, then just slap some make-up and fancy clothes on it, and you’re golden.
Mattel, please listen up: LITTLE GIRLS ARE NOT ALL ABOUT MAKE-UP AND SHORT SKIRTS!!! Believe me, I live with three of them and have worked with hundreds. Little girls love to run, kick soccer balls, climb trees, read books, play in the mud, conduct science experiments, play instruments, and on and on, all things that you can’t and shouldn’t do in a pair of high heels. Little girls do not need or want everything in their life to be pink and sparkly. They may enjoy pink, sparkly, and princess sometimes. But why are those almost the only choices?
Shame on every creative person who has been involved in making these ridiculous, highly gender stereotyped, sexualized toys for little girls. You have creativity and money at your disposal, so get busy making some toys of which you can be proud. Get to work coming up with ideas to get and keep girls interested in math and science, in playing sports, and in having fun. We’re sick and tired of our girls only being encouraged to pose, dance, and walk the catwalk.
There are some products that are good out there. These include Pigtail Pals line of t-shirts and accessories, Mattel’s American Girl line is great but it’s too expensive to be accessible to a lot of little girls, Mindwares has a lot of great toys for both genders. Treasure Box Toys even has dolls for boys, because, yes, some boys enjoy playing with dolls just like some girls enjoy playing with building sets. The point is, there are non-sexualized toys out there, but you have to look for them. Here’s an amazing thought, staggering really: What if, you could find toys like these in the toy aisles of your local big box store? What if, instead of having to search the internet and have them shipped, people had non-sexualized toys readily accessible? Now, that’s a point to ponder. I hope it’s something that I’ll see in the future, but the way Mattel is going, I’m not so sure. If you have examples of non-gendered, non-sexualized toys and brands, I’d love for you to share them.