I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world….

I was not a Barbie girl (big surprise?) I had one left over from my sister, who I don’t think was a Barbie girl, either. But I had my very own Skipper, the little sister of Barbie. She had a flat chest; this, I remember.

I suppose because Barbie was so curvy, Skipper was so much more relateable to me as a gawky kid.

I have written several posts on toys. You can read them here, here, here and here.

Contemporary toys fascinate me, especially the ones that have a history. Have you noticed that toys have changed rather drastically? We seemed tougher as kids of the 1970s. This was my Slinky:

And this is the new Slinky:

Notice a difference? The new Slinky is made of plastic. Plastic! Ours was the original, made of metal—cut your fingers when you popped open the last ring. We also had this wonderful outdoor horror, the metal slide:

Do you know what this did to the back of your legs on a sunny day? I think I still carry the skin scars from my childhood. And now, children have this pleasure:

Not only is today’s playground apparatus non-heat inducing but now it comes in bright colors! I am most surprised by the differences in relation to gender. The Easy Bake Oven, for example, looked like this when I was a kid:

And is now produced as this:

In a generation of young foodies due to Top Chef, and an entire cable network geared toward food, I wonder why Hasbro has gendered this product so strongly, limiting cross-gender possibilities. They aren’t the only ones. Here is my Big Wheel from when I was a kid:

And now, we can purchase this for the stylin’ contemporary girl:

I can tell you this: I was a total tomboy when I was a kid. This Big Wheel would have never seen my butt in its seat. Sadly, I destroyed my original Big Wheel jumping ramps in the woods with Chris K, my childhood partner-in-crime. Even the game Cootie (remember?!) has taken a huge turn. This was my cootie, once built:

And this is the new and improved Cootie:

um…wtf?

But no toy has made me turn my head as quickly as Barbie. Get this: here was my Barbie camper:

And here is today’s:

And my Barbie case:

And today:

This side-by-side comparison offers a fantastic comparison of the Barbie penthouse. If you notice, the contemporary penthouse has a hot tub. A hot tub? Really?

But I think this rattles me more than anything:

I’ll say it again: um…wtf?

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25 thoughts on “I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world….

  1. Ashley Yang says:

    I’ve pretty much said all I have to say about the 90s to 00s barbie on your FB page…as for the other toys, the metal slinkies definitely slink better, but I’m a fan of the plastic slides. Ever wax one of those suckers down with waxed paper? You could shoot halfway across the yard? Plus, less risk of third degree burns. And rust. Rust scared me as a kid for some reason. Precursor to the OCD.

    One thing I definitely notice about the Barbie stuff from ‘way back when as opposed to today is that today’s stuff has more STUFF. Everything is tangible. Movable. Okay so yeah it’s a little more fun to play with toys that are more than holographs on a wall, but what happened to kids using their imaginations? Or substituting in other toys? My sister and I could go for HOURS playing “Littlest Pet Shop” as kids and I’d say only about 25-50% of the crap we called “pet shop” was actually stamped with the logo. The rest of it was Happy Meal toys, shaped erasers we designated as “food”, marbles, blocks…and then every so often my mom would go through and throw half of it away and we’d start over again from scratch, collecting new materials. It was easily half of the fun. But now everything comes in the package! (Or can be purchased for the additional low, low fee of $19.99 no shipping and handling required) There’s no creativity required.

  2. Esther Altomare says:

    Growing up I was not exactly a Barbie girl. Which may come as a surprise because looking at me today, I’m not exactly a tomboy; however, when I was younger every action I completed was done in an attempt to gain my older brothers approval. I asked for Barbies for the sole reason to take of their heads with my brother and his friends. While my girlfriends were busy dressing up their dolls I was simultaneously demolishing them. I eventually grew out of this phase when my brother became too cool to even pretend to want to play with me but at this point I had moved onto American Girl dolls, which is an entirely other topic.

    Even though I didn’t really play with Babies this last image of the blog really struck a cord with me. I just don’t understand, do the makers of these dolls not understand the tremendous implications that go hand in hand with this obviously distorted figure? Such a small population of the world has a body that even almost resembles that of a doll and for these images to be the ones that little girls emulate is absolutely heartbreaking not to mention entirely unrealistic.

    I have never really considered the roles of toys in little childrens lives until now, or rather what these toys can come to represent when it comes to gender stereotypes. Toys are such a fundamental part of ones childhood it is easy to see how these toys can come to deepen gender and even racial stereotypes.

  3. Maggie Bernay says:

    Growing up my mother never allowed my sisters and I to go toy shopping with her. She did not want us to see that there were gender-related toys. She didn’t want us seeing that boys were supposed to play with trucks and girls were supposed to play with dolls. My mom wanted to make sure we had every option. I never realized that I didn’t go to a toy store when I was young until my mom pointed this out to me this year. I never felt like I was missing out; it was just the way it was growing up.

    Even though my mother did this, I still played with barbie dolls during my childhood because I actually wanted to not because I thought that is what it meant to be a girl. This blog reminds me of the reason my mother did not take us to toy stores. The barbie dream house is just as unrealistic as the body of the barbie. These toys make young girls create unrealistic images of who they should and what their lives should look like leaving them with false hopes when they enter their teen and adult years. Even though The Barbie Game is still one of my favorite board games, it is important that women teach young girls that barbie is not real but rather just a fun toy to play with.

  4. Stephanie Haddad says:

    These images generated so many childhood memories for me. I grew up with a little sister only two years younger, so as most can imagine, we played the typical Barbie and Ken dream house life. We owned the pink Barbie truck and all. We even got our hands on the “Aquarium” album with our favorite “Barbie Girl” song.
    Pretty inappropriate if you ask me… “I’m a Barbie girl in the Barbie world life in plastic, it’s fantastic you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere…”
    And to be honest, that’s exactly what my sister and I did. We went to great lengths to change the Barbie’s clothing and hair style (and I mean it when I say that- we cut that plastic doll’s hair off). We’d beg for more and more until we even owned the collection of the Spice Girls Barbie dolls. It was so ridiculous how obsessive we became.
    Having a 7 year old little brother makes me reminisce so much. He of course has an entirely different toy collection ranging from monster truck toy cars to legos. It’s hard to not see how gender biased this society has become. I really wish I wasn’t so infatuated by dolls because I think it’s important for children to be able to expand their imaginations beyond the typical toy arrangement they think they should be playing with based on their gender.

  5. Chryssy Abdool says:

    Its amazing to see how toys changed over the years! Kids now a days don’t need much of their imagination anymore because most of the imagination are physically given to them. I love how the Barbie from the 90’s was all big in the top area and had no shape at all. But the Barbie’s now a days have boobs bigger than me, and they are much more sexier and curvier than our average women. Lets not talk about the wardrobe! Barbie is expanding with so many different life like abilities from clothing, to heels, to purses, to hair styles, to jewelry, to pets, to exercising machines, to even traveling the world. I’m surprise they don’t have Barbie adoption a child.

    Also back to the Barbie Mobile Houses, I remember when I was a child I used to have one of the Barbie Dream Houses, and it had everything that any real life person would have. Even the Barbie mini van which was compacted with many different things to do. I remember always having so much fun playing by my self, because I had so much to do with Barbie. Now a days Barbie is so up to date with the latest fashion and electronics. Barbie even has a ipod is some of her toys. It’s just amazing how creative toys can grow over the years. I always wonder how Barbie will turn out for my grandchildren. Hmm maybe she will be automatically programed to move on her own.

  6. Ali Schreiber says:

    When I was younger my friend Caitlin had every possible collection of every toy ever made. She had pokemon cards, beanie babies, muffy vanderbears, and one extensive collection of every barbie doll imaginable. We used to play with the Barbies and their dream house, and everything else that goes along with her. I never took note of her body image when I was younger, but then again I also didn’t live in a society where body images were crucial and critiqued under daily basis. My parents would put parental blocks on certain T.V. stations such as MTV, E, VH1, etc. All of these stations which have taken off over the past few years and I find myself watching almost on daily basis.

    When I saw the picture of the different generations of Barbies that was posted in this blog, I was flabbergasted. However, as I grow older, the more I am exposed to the media and activity around me. I believe that if you were to take both generations of the Barbies and give them to a young girl to play with who has not had much exposure to the media, she would not realize the body image difference. I think that if you were to give the two Barbies to a girl who has been exposed to the media and negative attitudes toward body images, she would be more likely to notice the difference in the body images and this would most likely lead her to believe the skinnier one is better. The new image of Barbie can be damaging to a young girl if they are well informed.

  7. Katie York says:

    I am definitely guilty of having an easy bake oven growing up. That thing was so great. You could just make cookies and brownies whenever you wanted. Even though you had no patience when you were little it wasn’t a problem because everything took like 3 minutes to cook. What’s interesting is that every single food item you could make was in powder form. That makes me question if it actually tasted good or just exciting to make. Those little bags of powder were so overpriced too which my parents weren’t too happy about.

    I loved the comparison between the two Barbies over time. I thought it was interesting because you would think that the makers of Barbie would get more open minded as time went on but they seem to have just done the opposite. I thought by this day in age they would have all different types of Barbies so it would relate to a bigger audience. Different ethnicities, different sizes, different styles; I feel like all these things would not only portray a better message to children but also just be better for the business in general. If there are more types of Barbies they can expand their business. I don’t get why it’s still a completely superficial market. When will they learn?!

  8. Brittany Betts says:

    Growing up with two older half sisters it was almost impossible to not be surrounded by barbies. When I was young, I wanted to be “cool” like my sisters and have as many barbies as they did. Once they outgrew them, I was left with all mine plus all theirs. You’d think I would be the happiest little girl alive, but that wasn’t the case. Since my sisters were through with the barbie phase, that left me only one other sibling…my little brother. As you probably can guess, little brother plus barbies didn’t turn out too well. Unfortunately, there weren’t girls my age in my neighborhood and because I went to a catholic school my friends lived all over the place. That left me to either play with my barbies alone, or join my brother outside playing with bugs. I tried the barbie plan but got far too lonely and decided to give the bugs a try. Needless to say, I rarely revisited my barbies, except for the occasional slumber party or play date and spent most of my time playing outside with my brother. And as a real shocker to the media, I turned out just as girly as my friends who grew up playing with their barbies.

    It’s crazy how the media tries to make everyone believe that it’s only right for girls to play with their barbies and boys to play with their matchbox cars. I think a kid should be able to play with any toy they want without being criticized for using a “girl” or “boy” toy. Like the easy bake oven pictures above, the oven used to be blue, but is now pink. Why? There are plenty of boys who want to be chefs when they grow up (my brother did, for example) so why make it seem “girly” to bake a brownie?

  9. carlagaynor2 says:

    I was never really a Barbie girl either. I did however, have three American Girl dolls– Molly, Samantha, and Kirsten. I got Samantha from my grandmother for Christmas when I was five. I had no clue what an American Girl doll was, but it was definitely my favorite toy. It didn’t matter if she wore American Girl clothes. I dressed her in any outfit that would fit her 18″ frame. My friends and I would play with them for hours and use anything that might be around the house for accessories.

    I packed my American Girl dolls away in the attic a few years ago, and haven’t thought about them much since. They were just brought up again over Christmas break. The little girls I babysit are four and seven, and Rachel, the older one’s eighth birthday is coming up February 15th. Rachel has never played with dolls, but she has asked for an American Girl doll for her birthday, which her mother and I were quite surprised about. We always imagined the younger sister, Eva, would be the one to ask for one. We were looking on the website the other day and the amount of accessories available for these dolls is ridiculous. They have ski gear, gymnastics gear, and even they’re own spa set (with is on the top of Rachel’s list, her birthday party being spa themed). I couldn’t believe it. I certainly didn’t remember half this stuff in the catalogue ten years ago.

    • jm0392 says:

      It’s crazy looking at how much toys have changed within such a short period of time. When you brought up your love for American Girl Dolls as a child, it reminded me of my past toy obsession. Bitty Baby dolls! The same company as American Girl Dolls makes these dolls. Although I was a fan of the American Girl Dolls, my older sister had all of the best dolls, so I had to show her up with a better toy. This past Christmas we were looking through old family videos, and I had a chance to see myself opening my first Bitty Baby doll. Oh boy, was I happy haha. By the time I was ten I had three different dolls, two with blonde hair and one with brown. They each had their own crib, suitcase, and outfits. Oh my gosh, the outfits! There were such a huge variety of choices when it came to dressing the dolls. And each outfit came with specific toys that followed a particular theme. My favorite was definitely the birthday outfit (we celebrated my doll’s birthday a lot…). Not only did it come with a cute pink hat, dress, stockings, and shoes, but also a wind-up cake that sang “Happy Birthday.”
      Each doll came with a tiny teddy bear as well. And, of course, there were outfits for the bears too! I remember the Halloween costume was a tiny black Zoro mask and black hat. It’s mind boggling how detailed toys have become. Just as I was growing out of my Bitty Baby faze, the company created “Bitty Twins.” Thank gosh I was maturing; otherwise my parents would have gone broke buying Bitty Baby’s. It’s funny how much we change from childhood to adulthood. One minute I was a Bitty Baby addict, and now I only think to spend money on clothes…boring.
      A second toy that I think we all found thrilling, as children was the feerby! Those ugly, furry, creepy creatures that would not stop talking unless you took the batteries out or chucked it in the closet. Although it may have been the most annoying toy I ever owned, I was obsessed with it. My feerby was awesome, white with black spots – very rare (all my friends were jealous haha).
      Looking back at these memories, I realize how much my parents must have loved me…really loved me.

  10. acar2284 says:

    I think you could say I was pretty much a die-hard barbie girl when I was growing up. In fact, I remember having this big purple box FULL of barbie paraphenalia that my sister and I appropriately called “The Barbie Box.” On a daily basis, she and I would dump out the entire container of barbies and proceed to dress them up in every article of clothing that we could find. I also remember that we were always losing the little shoes and other pieces that the barbies came with, and my mom would always get annoyed when they got accidentally sucked up in the vacuum.

    It’s interesting to consider how toys have evolved since our parents’ time. It seems like toys have become safer for kids to play with. Many manufacturers have shifted their primary toy material from metal to plastic. I wonder how this change relates to how the generations of children have evolved in our society.

    My childhood love for barbies makes me wonder what it was exactly that attracted me to them. I can’t be sure whether I thought she was pretty, or if I just liked playing house with her. Either way, would I have been just as happy dressing up a power ranger action figure?

    It’s also an interesting idea to consider how toys are “genderized.”Are most girls predisposed to only play with toys that are colored pink? Or are they made to feel like they’re supposed to? It’s fascinating how things between boys and girls are separated at such a young age. It seems like society has this idea that boys shouldn’t play with dolls. I wonder, how are kids really affected by the toys that they play with? Do they experience any lasting cultural influnces?

  11. When my sister and I grew up, we were literally obsessed with our dolls and Barbies. We would always take our dolls for “walks” outside and pretend they were actually real people. My sister and I probably owned fifty Barbies that we actually ended up displayed in our local library for a particular event for a month. Talk about separation anxiety!

    My sister and I loved getting the new in style Barbies around the holiday season. We would always have Barbies listed on our Christmas lists. Looking back, I remember these Barbies only having conservative clothing. However, today we see Barbies that have grown in breast cup size and have skimpy outfits for purchase. Is this correct? NO! Children should not be given a Barbie to play with that is wearing basically nothing!

    It is interesting to see how dolls are evolving to these figures that almost match up with the reality TV stars we see on MTV. What is next? Pregnant Barbie???

  12. Sean Harrison says:

    haha this blog made me think of my childhood, especially my sister. My brother and I always carried around our action figures and GI joes and just laughed at my sister who used to sit in her room with her life size barbies’. Not gonna lie, she talked me into playing barbie with her every now and then but I never told anyone. What guy wants to play with barbies. They did have Ken, the ladie’s man of the barbie world which made it much more appealing. I know most boys during their childhood thought that every girl had cooties so it took a lot of pride to sit down and play barbie. Us boys didnt like the pinks and other hott colors, so right off the barbies just didnt appeal to us.
    And the title… cant help but think back to the middle school days when every girl was singing that song. But not just the girls, I also knew every lyric to it.

  13. Sheridan French says:

    This article was awesome! i completely agree with you saying that kids wee tougher in the late 1900’s. it’s ridiculous how much things have changed but i can understand why.

    With the advancement that we have made in the last 30 years alone the world has changed. The image of what’s cool and what’s successful has changed. I feel like the image of cool was either being a “bad boy” or being calm and collected. nowadays the image of being cool is having all the newest and most obnoxious gadgets that you really don’t even need.

    But also, some of the changes are much needed and just all around better. for example, a slide is much better being plastic than it is being made out of metal. same with the slinky… basically what I’m saying is that the change in material is better, and the changes in appearance are, for the most part, unnecessary. It’s interesting though, to see how they change and think of why. My favorite is either the barbie or the oven. at first, the oven were blue and looked appealing to both boys and girls. now that it’s pink it looks like it’s ore for girls, which portrays the message that cooking is for girls. STEREOTYPE!

  14. djravs says:

    This post brought back numerous of memories because the slinky was one of my favorite toys growing up as a child. I remember having a reproduction of the metal slinky which would occupy me for hours at a time. The metal one was an incredible toy to have because of the durability and it would just out slink any plastic slinky there was. The plastic ones use to break very easily and would tangle up and be such a pain to untangle it. I remember as a child setting it up on the top of the stairs and have it slink all the way down and when it would finally make it down I would go ecstatic. I would not go anywhere without my slinky. Another child hood memory is being at the park across from my house where they would have the best slides. The best one was a metal one and even though it hurt so bad going down the slide it was worth it because it was the time of our life. The plastic ones are nice now and they do not hurt but if you went down in sweatpants in the metal ones you would go so fast and it would be so much fun. What does anyone else think metal or plastic?

  15. Yosh Karbowniczak says:

    What i will be commenting about is the first three toys, the barbie, slinky, and the slides. The barbie obviously never was a toy that i was interested as a kid, but now… I’m kidding. Anyways, as a kid i was more into G. I. Joe’s. I feel like G.I. Joe’s were more of a collectable compared to barbie, who is always getting thrown around. Its amazing how pop culture has re-shaped barbie into what she is today. This hints at how society’s image is trying to shape up, or is expected to.

    The slinky picture was was appealing to me as well. Its funny how much better put together they were back then compared to today. Now a days, companies make most toys out of plastic just to save money. Besides the fact that the new toys are safer, i like the older ones because it reminds me of a time when things in America were made of better quality, and things were not meant to break.

    The slides are another thing. All slides now are mostly made out of plastic. I actually like this because, i use to have an old slide that was metal and it would get hot from the sun and i could never use it because it would burn my skin.

  16. danielle moreau says:

    I was not really a barbie person either… I never took care of my toys and so my parents put me into sports rather than buying me a bunch of things to play with.

    The one plaything I did use ALL THE TIME as a kid was a swingset in my backyard. I thought it was pretty incredible: two swings a hanging bars, and a slide. In the summer i remember my dad used to put out a sprinkler and I would invite friends over on the weekends to spend hours upon hours playing outside. I can’t remember what I found so amusing about it, but I do remember having a blast.

    Getting into sports was probably the best thing that could have happened for me, because it turned into a really productive use of my time and a big part of my life even as a young adult. I definitely feel like I wouldn’t be as balanced of an individual had I not had that experience, so mom and dad – thanks for the lack of barbies!!!

  17. dana Nachbar says:

    I loved barbie as a child. I collected thousands of them and played with them everyday. I also collected American Girl Dolls and Beanie Babies, those were the days…Our generation is much more advanced, like you mentioned with the transformation of metal to plastic in the use of slides on a playground for example. I also had one of those easy bake ovens, mine was the newer generation pink one in the photo above. I remember getting really fed up with it cooking so slow that I wanted my cake ASAP. So one day I said screw it and I put my easy bake pan in the microwave to ease up the process and create my cake faster. Turns out the process failed and my cake exploded, little did I know, because I was at that “stupid age,” that metal pans in a microwave will spark and blow up. I learned that one the hard way…all I wanted was the stupid cake.

  18. Andrew King says:

    Great Article! Its so true that a long with the advancement in toys comes the lack of toughness that these toys carry out. When I was a little I remember almost burning my house down with my Creepy Crawler machine. Much like the old easy bake oven that you showed, in order to make a creepy crawler a kid would have to play with a high temperature oven made out of plastic. If this oven was left on for about an hour, the whole oven would melt down… which i learned from experience. Its hard for me to imagine going to a toy store today and seeing one of these machines up for sale.
    On another note, that barbie picture from the 90s to the 00s is just down right hilarious. It is hard to believe that the social medias interpretation on women’s beauty would have an effect on the toys that a 6 year old girl is playing with. Personally i think that this is just unhealthy for a young girl, its almost like they are being brain washed to think that the only way to be beautiful is to have a 0 waist with big boobs. Maybe thats just where are society is heading…. who knows!

  19. Peter Cruice says:

    As a child I never grew up with barbie dolls as my own. However my sister had quite a few of them. I used to throw her barbies across the room, and sometimes even break them apart if I was able to. My sister used to have the whole collection. So many different barbies, with so many outfits. My sister also had all of barbies friends and even barbies boyfriend. The difference between the 90’s barbie to the 00’s barbie shows how much our culture has changed in ten years. It shows that little girls are perceiving that the skinner and more fit the barbie is the more attractive it is.

    I had a roller car like power wheels that I could pedal around with. I would spend hours driving it and crashing around. My brother had an identical one. My parents still tell me stories of watching my brother and I drive down hills and make jumps and go crashing. It gave not only them entertainment. I wish I had a video of this.

  20. I never really had any Barbies in my house since I grew up with two older brothers. However, I had some bizarre fascination with Polly Pockets, (which for me is extremely embarrassing to be telling this but i guess there is a time and place for everything.) When I was in pre-school I couldn’t put down my Polly Pockets. For some reason they entertained me to no end. I’m not really sure what my Father was doing letting me play with such a feminine toy but I eventually grew out of it and got into sports and other boyish things.
    Although I received major criticism from my older brothers because of my Polly Pocket fetish my eldest brother, ironically had a little phase of his own. In the beginning of my post I said we never “really” had Barbies lying around the house but according to my parents when my oldest brother was very young, there may have been a few lying around. That is because he and his best friend Rob, (they are still best friends today,) used to steal his sister’s Barbies and play with them. Making fun of me for Polly Pockets? What a hypocrite. Conversely, I do not think that little boys playing with Barbie dolls is a bad thing. If it makes them shut up and stop crying…im all for it.

  21. Doug says:

    Enough about Barbie; i’m gonna whine about the new Cooties. the old ones were awesome because they looked like bugs; the new ones suck because they look like Teletubbies or sock puppets or somethings. the ones i had were sort of in-between; they were more like caterpillars than crickets, but they didn’t yet have the stupidly-smiling faces.
    Now, the plastic Slinky is hardly a new thing; i had one as a kid(90’s), and they still make metal ones to this day. I bought one at Walmart a few days ago in a fit of nostalgia, and they had both the metal and plastic kinds side-by-side.

  22. karinaaramboles says:

    Right away I flashed back to when I was a child playing with Barbie dolls to pass time in my room with my sisters. I never could stay away from the Barbie brand. No teddy bears for me mommy more like Barbie, Ken and their mansion. The youth of yesterday is certainly not like the youth of today and tomorrow…I would have never been worried about MTV shows, social networking sites and guys when I was in elementary school. Nowadays small elementary school kids are simply worried about that rather than just being kids like they are supposed to be. Even though it’s unusual to see a human without a cell phone, back in the day elementary school kids would have never had a phone especially an iPhone. I mean these kids are growing up too quickly and we plus the media are not helping this tragedy. Kids mock and talk about what they see and hear whether it’s in their homes or while their parents are out buying groceries. And what do they see you’re asking? The tabloids which are at the counter, they see kids caring for kids, people wearing provocative clothing, even dolls like Barbie’s have become more provocative. I mean the picture above says it all…society has given these kids a replica of what they want the kids to become when they get older. A plastic, busty, really skinny female with long legs who lives in a mansion and has a beautiful boyfriend named Ken. Golly Yee great plan for the future.

  23. Ariel Trent says:

    Toys have changed drastically since I was a child in the 90’s however some of them are safer and much better than the ones we had in the past. One main thing I noticed is that toys such as the slinkys and the slide seem safer now than they were before. Metal slides and metal slinkies are a lot more dangerous in that they absorb heat and are sharper. Plastic has chemicals as well and can also have a negative effect on children but I feel like it is safer because they are not as firm, sharp, and hard.
    Not only have the elements people use to make these toys have changed, but the colors have changed. Toys seem like they are made more for girls rather than boys. One of the most popular toys for boys is cars and hand held games. I feel like society has done this because they don’t want boys playing with “female toys” since society is against gays and lesbians. Society makes it seem like if boys play with toys made more for girls is “gay”. I do not think it’s right however that most toys are made more for female; it should be neutral so both genders can interact with them. For example, the new version of the Easy Bake Oven is pink and looks more flashy and more for a female. It brings the idea that this is a girls toy and the social norm that this is where girls should be. It may not be clear but I see this toy as saying women are supposed to be cooking dinner in the kitchen while the men go out and work.
    Along with the enhancement in colors and the type of gender suited for the toy, towards females these toys encourage the ideal look for females. The body type of the original 90’s Barbie doll has changed DRASTICALLY! Similar to models and magazines, these new Barbie dolls have been made a lot skinnier with more curves. The curves of the body and the face are more focused on in today’s society and can have a bad impact on children. Young girls might see this as the “ideal look of a woman” and start working towards looking similar to a Barbie doll. What is wrong about this is that people are not being themselves. Skinny and being beautiful should not be messaged encouraged. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and should be happy with what they have. Rather than encouraging this “perfect body type,” society should be trying to encourage healthy eating and the act of exercising.

  24. Tacco26 says:

    There are so many assumptions surrounding toys and gender. Like you would assume I loved barbies and pink as a child because I am a girl but no I didn’t they are so boring! I was pretty tomboyish as a child and loved to be outside. My parents bought me one Barbie. I barely ever played with it because as I remember it was boring and I would just end up leaving it places like in my tree house in the back yard for weeks. Barbies are so weird looking they have bleach blonde hair, blue eyes and are skinny everything I wasn’t as child. I took it outside and got her hair stuck in the swing set, my mother cut the Barbies hair and then my brother proceeded to rip its head off. I never really liked my Barbie because all my brothers’ toys were so much cooler. While I was stuck with a pink mini bike to ride around in the yard my brother got one that was red and black mini jeeps and had huge wheels. I hated how we couldn’t have the same toys his were always so much cooler and mine were always pink, a color I very much disliked.
    It is so interesting that toys are gendered. A parent wouldn’t buy their son an easy bake oven; they would get him a bike or game boy. There are stereotypes of what kids will play with based on whether they are a girl or boy. Well I will be the first to tell you that they have some misconceptions based on assumptions of what girls and boys like. Yes most girls go for whatever toy is pink and pretty but I guess I was a weird kid and went for the toy that was the fastest or coolest. I thought and still think a remote controlled helicopter is much more exciting then an American girl doll. Thank goodness my parents started to let me pick out my toys. I guess the appeal of American girl dolls just wasn’t there for me but I guess racing my brother’s goat cart was. So unfair that boys get to have all the fun because Toys R us assumes girls rather sit inside with their dolls and mini ovens.

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