One of the most thought-provoking parenting books that I read in 2011 was Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein. The book tackles the ‘princess’ mindset so firmly ingrained in our young girls, as well as the ‘pinkifying’ of toys and clothes for girls. One of the chapters that really stuck with me was how ‘toy language’ varies for boys and girls.
Advertising for girls’ toys encourage them to be passive and pretty; frequently used words include magic, party, show, fun, love, fashion, nails, glam, style, pixie. Boys’ toy language encourages action and aggression; words include battle, power, heroes, stealth, ultimate, transform, beat, rip, fire. In isolated incidences, I’m sure these commercials don’t have an impact on a child’s understanding of his or her sexuality or position in society. But over time, Orenstein argued, the princess culture, the ‘pink is for girls’ menality, and the passive nature of girls’ toys have a negative effect (same is true for boys).
That’s why I loved, loved, LOVED this video of a little girl arguing for superheros and against princesses. Little Riley has a pretty awesome grasp on marketing tricks. I see a little feminist in the making!
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