More and more I am seeing rows of pink in toy shops. Especially the big ones like ToysRus. Other rows with exciting toys that have boys all over the packaging. Similar exciting toys have been added with girls on the packaging but these toys have been changed in to pink and purple versions……. because girls can’t have the blue or red version. I mean they wouldn’t want one that colour would they?
Well you know what…….. When i was growing up, we didn’t care what colour a toy was. Everything was bold and bright. Primary colours. Dolls buggies were mini versions of the real thing. Mini orange and brown striped Maclarans like mum and dad had! My dolls pram was navy corduroy and my sisters was burgundy. This is what I found in ToyRus today…….
Dolls with pink packaging, buggies in pink and lilac, not a single item of clothing for a boy doll. No jeans, babygrows or tops that are not pink. Baths and high chairs… no they are pink too. My advice to buy gender neutral for your children’s dolls….. go to Build a Bear!! The clothes they sell are cool and all the children in my setting use the build a bear clothing on my dolls.
Lego have really lost respect in my view the past few years. They used to be the role for gender neutral toys and to be fair I see no need for them to have sold out and introduce their “Lego friends” brand. This is pastel colours and the sets pretty much show girls shopping and drinking tea in cafes. Sometimes they are running a boutique or a puppy parlor! Is this all our girls can aspire too?
They already have a brand that appeals to both genders with strong roles for each. Their “city” range shows both genders as firefighters, law enforcement, vets and so on. As does their “Easy to build” range.
Their Elves range is a great introduction to fantasy without the extreme pink packaging and the use of male and female Elves means it is appealing to all.
Mega Blox are one of the worst……. Instead of one product for all…. we must add pink and then brand it to girls. Why?
Vtech though…. they have to be the worst offenders in this. Pushing gender stereo type from birth. WHY do they feel the need to brand the same toy in two colours? Blue and pink. Conditioning starting from birth…. This is where it starts. Our children’s open minds start to be programmed to pink and blue. Girls and boys toys.
As I reached the “PINK ZONE” in ToysRus I actually saw a dad and his two boys walking towards me. The dad stopped at the sight of pink and turned around. Saying to his boys “This is all the girls toys,There’s nothing for you up there”……. and off they went……. A whole section of toys and experiences denied these boys because the shop became very pink!
The facts are clear. Children need a wide range of toys and experiences to develop in a well rounded way. They are bright beings and quite capable of deciding for themselves what they enjoy and what toys interest them. Marketing and packaging is now influencing our children and guiding them to what the manufacturers consider socially acceptable. This creates generations of children and inevitably adults who have be pre conditioned to like pink because they are girls. like cars and guns because they are boys. Why and how have we let this happen. It has been creeping up on us for years but the divide is so great now that it has become more obvious…… but can we change it back? Has it gone too far to reverse?
In my childcare setting children have full access to all toys no matter what. Colour is considered when I buy them and I try and keep things primary or neutral coloured. Sadly once the children leave me and start school I start to hear gender stereotyping showing it’s very unwelcome face.
“That’s a boys toy” or “That’s a girl colour”. I was actually asked why one of the toddlers in my care, a little girl, had a Thomas the tank engine lunch box. Girls don’t have lunch boxes like that.