As if we needed further proof of young girls being primed to be “girly” by toy companies, in a recent post, blogger “The Alpha Parent” compiled a massive list of some especially troubling girls’ toys. Some of us are aware that this consumer conditioning commences typically around the age of three. However, these toys are significant for their marketing to young children. Emphasis on young. As the Alpha Parent states eloquently, “Yup, make way for makeup… for babies.”
Under the guise of creating “play” toys, these companies have manufactured plush makeup bags and frilly purses in order to, “exploit a baby’s natural curiosity with texture, color and sound.” From the moment they’re born, children are thrust into the world of pink, shopping, and beauty. These toys serve as constant reminders of what our society deems to be beautiful and how our girls can live up to those unrealistic standards. Essentially, they are the training wheels for female consumerism.
Every toy set seems to contain some combination of money, combs, lipstick, phones, and mirrors. The primary problem of parents purchasing these toys and young girls playing with them is that it enforces the idea that girls love to talk and spend money. When girls are told they’re trivial and nothing but a credit card, they will invariably begin to believe it. And we wonder why girls today are so appearance oriented and still have profoundly low self-esteem.
Why is it permissible to indoctrinate girls with fleeting societal conceptions of beauty while at the same time producing toys for boys ranging from toolboxes to briefcases? From birth, men are encouraged to define their interests and various paths to success. For women, success is characterized by a well composed outfit and a large credit line. These toys may seem insignificant, but the mentality they reflect speaks to a deeper societal problem.
Here are some highlights: