So let’s just get one thing clear: I am never, never, ever, ever, ever, no matter how much I love you and your daughter, going to buy her a pink vacuum cleaner. Ever. Or a pink ironing board, or a pink mop and bucket set.
A pink computer? Sure. A pink sword? Yes. A pink and purple bow- and not a bow for her hair- a bow like the new Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow Blaster that shoots arrows up to 85 feet? Absolutely.
I know all about the stereotypical pinkwashing of girl toys, but it’s the pink domestic cleaning toys that bother me the most. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but they do. Maybe it was too many Women’s Studies classes back in college. Look, I totally get that children learn through play, and by “playing” with “cleaning” toys they learn important practical life skills. I understand, I do. But sorry. Someone else will have to buy her those toys. From me, she’s getting the Rebelle Bow so she can imagine herself as the heroine, the one taking “control of the mission with the top-notch performance of a master spy.”
The other night I caught chef Gordon Ramsey doing the late night talk show rounds for his show, MasterChef Junior. MasterChef Junior is a cooking competition reality show that features children (between the ages of 8-13) as contestants. In the era of the celebrity chef, little boys need chef heroes. They also need toys that encourage their curiosities. Yet “cooking” toys are constantly marketed to girls and of course, very often, pink. Hasbro has answered the call with it’s 50th Anniversary Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven. The black and silver design is sleek and stylish. The packaging even features a boy “baking” with his sister.
Kids want to play. Let their imaginations take them where they want to go. Let the astronaut fly to the moon and make moon pies in his Easy Bake Oven. Let the Master Spy take on villain agents, defeating them at every turn with the accuracy of the arrows she shot with her Bow Blaster. Let their dreams just go! What other toys have you seen re-marketed to the opposite gender by just changing the color? What are your thoughts on the marketing of girl toys vs boy toys? Would you buy your daughter a play weapon? Or your son a play oven?Nerf Rebelle Agent Bow ($29.99) and Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven ($54.99) at toy retailers nationwide, including Amazon.com and HasbroToyShop.com
Theda Sinozich says
I would totally buy my sons that easy bake oven. I know my 7 and 3 year old would love it. My 11 year old might even play it with us while pretending he’s being forced lol. I bought my 3 year old Bain a kid size broom and dust pan last year for Christmas. He was always running off with mine or wanting to take it when I was using it, so I got him his own. All of my boys have went through phases where they played with dolls and other “girl toys”. But they also seemed more naturally drawn to “boy toys” most of the time. They also seemed to naturally play with the toys differently than I would see girls play with them. Like they would zoom the baby stroller around like a race car or the broom becomes a sword.