Baffled by sexist toys / glamourous kitchens
I visited Toys 'R' Us' website and found out that what we talked about in class about dolls being gender oriented is completely correct. Maybe shoppers looking for something specific wouldn't notice, but after analyzing many different types of toys, I realized it's all over the place!! On the topic of marketing, I think they really try by appealing to what is popular "now" and they rely heavily on their paragraph telling what the toys does, comes with and basically why it should appeal to the young child. I believe that is where the true marketing lies.
ACTION TOYS: While scoping through several actions figures, I noticed that all the male-gendered action figures were very muscular, with huge thighs, arms, pectoral muscles and usually a six pack of abs. All the Women-gendered figures were very thin, toned (but not too muscular) and had giant breasts. They came in blonde hair, red hair and black hair. I did not see one that was any other race but Caucasian. Some of the painted on clothes were very sexist because they pointed out certain sexual body parts. For example, one figure called the Marvel Legends "Wasp" was all black and has yellow on her breasts and then going down her middle and stopped at her vagina. I was curious about the age and realized it was for a 4 year old. Interesting.
PRETEND PLAY/DRESSUP: There was a lot more items for girls to pretend play with than boys. I noticed certain categories as jewelery, makeup/nails/hair, gardening, housekeeping, money/banking and tools. Under such catgeories I noticed that when I clicked on "just girls" It would take away things like a BBQ set, sushi set, and tool belt. Obviously girls do not want to cook outside, make some sushi or like to fix anything!! This is what they are telling young girls and they are telling young boys that girls are the ones that need to clean and cook inside. All you find is lavender and pink aprons that come with hot pads, and oven mitts. You'll see vacuums and brooms... and wonderful kitchen sets. Kitchen sets really got me. This is where class comes into mind. None of the kitchen sets pictured were of one that a middle-class average family would own. They came with little extras that cost alot in real life.
The one that stuck out in my head was the "Grand Walk-in Kitchen." This kitchen came complete wtih arches, btwo breakfast bars, detailed woodwork, hardwood floors, granite look alike counter tops, stainless steel refrigerators... as you can see... it was for the avg. child millionaire. And it showed a little white girl serving her two black friends at the breakfast bar.. she was waving her hand over her kitchen..
One other toy that stuck out to me was called "My first purse" and it read "Just like mom's purse! in every little girls favorite colors pink and purple. Comes with wallet, debit card, lipstick, mirror, cell phone and keys." great for roleplay. THis showed me that obviously girls only shop and care about what they look like and talk on the phone. Definitely stereotyping the avg. girl.
I am running out of time but i wanted to talk about barbies. i noticed only a few african american barbies and they were always titled with something that had to do with their heritage. "festival of worlds barbie." and I also noticed that Barbie must always have to be white because if she is colored, than they change her name!!! What?!