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Pink Is For Girls And Blue Is For Boys

2738 words - 11 pages

In connection with this discussion about Barbie creating unrealistic standards for girls and fostering controversial feministic stereotypes, a woman named Blondie Bennett is currently making headlines across the world for famously stating that she would like to be treated like a “plastic sex doll” and will undergo hypnotherapy to become “brainless” like Barbie (Kirkova, 2014). Bennett is an obsessive Barbie fan who has invested thousands of dollars on plastic surgeries to create a more plastic-like image for her body so that she can look more like the doll. In her interviews, she actually prides herself on being forgetful and ditsy. She recalls Barbie as her first play toy as a young girl. Dressed in pink from head-to-toe, Bennett says: “when I was a teenager… I wanted to mirror my life like Barbie… she just lived an exciting life” (Kirkova, 2014). She also went on to say: “Barbie has the best life – all she does is shop and make her self look pretty – she doesn’t worry about anything” (Kirkova, 2014). Bennett has male friends who pay for her rent and surgeries in exchange for sexual favors. Clearly, Bennett uses her sexuality to gain advantages and is completely reliant on men financially. She even changes her tone of voice to sound like that of a young girl. Of course this is one of the more rarer cases, but it truly shows how impactful a simple toy can be on a child’s development. Further, it exemplifies why the design of toys and the underlying themes they possess, should be carefully studied and understood.
Many toys come packaged and advertised with a variety of different cultural and gender-based stereotypes attached to them. This is worrisome because stereotypes hinder growth. Teaching children that they have to be a certain way and like certain things is like putting them in a box with no headroom to grow into creative, diversified, unique individuals. Cultural stereotypes impede children from reaching their full potential. It restricts them by setting unreasonable standards about what is socially acceptable for girls and boys. If we indeed live in a progressive, modern world where men and women are equals, how do archaic gender stereotypes continue to live on? We must assume that toys have some role in carrying on these ideas of the past because those are the objects that help children learn about themselves, who they should grow up to be like and how they should view others.
In hopes of creating a toy that isn’t meant to teach a girl to sweep a floor, a company called GoldieBlox has put in a considerable effort to develop a board game with strong construction and engineering themes. When the company first started to fundraise for the Princess Machine, they gained huge support from the public and nearly doubled their Kickstarter goal (Griner, 2012). The game combines an element of reading with engineering themes, similar to Lego. The online ad for the game caused quite a buzz online with commenters on YouTube who posted praises to the...

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