Saturday, December 31, 2011

When it comes to girls' toys, it's not 'pink vs blue'. It's 'pink vs normal'.

The problem isn't just that 'boys stuff is always blue and girls' stuff is always pink'.  Because, as anyone who has walked through a toy store knows, that's not actually the case.  When you go to buy Legos or board games or the like, you generally have two choices.  You have the regular version of a given toy with whatever colors the creators decided to use and then you have the 'pink version' of that same toy.  This is actually far more troubling than merely offering a 'boy-friendly' version and a 'girl-friendly' version of these otherwise mainstream toys.  And, slight digression, this only happens with stereotypically 'boy friendly' products.  You don't see blue-tinted variations on make-up kits or doll sets, which in turn hurts younger boys who might want to play with dolls (that's a whole different essay).  You have the 'normal' version vs. the 'girl version'.  What this obviously tells girls (and parents, natch) is that it is 'not normal' for them to want to play with Legos, doctor kits, tool-sets, or seemingly mainstream board games.  No, that's not how 'it's always been' done.  And while that may currently be 'normal', it sure as hell isn't right.

Scott Mendelson     

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