Monday, March 17, 2014

Stop gifting Barbies

Perhaps you should first read this post which set rolling a series of pent up thoughts. So what this dad is saying is essentially how we can't even buy normal clothes for our daughters in a colour of our choice. They have to be in pastel shades or with flowers and glitters. It has happened on few occasions when I went to buy jeans for my daughter and couldn't find one without glitters. Hell.. jeans for women aren't spared too sometimes. But the rot is deeper. It goes beyond dresses. I go to a book shop and find them filled with story book for girls usually about princesses and fairies. Even activity books are colored pink. I have nothing against princesses and fairies but the sheer quantum of books on these subjects packaged in pink and branded with barbies can leave the best queasy. Let me ask you one thing? When you are hunting for birthday dresses for one year old girls, which color do you see most often? Yes. And we love it. No doubt its a pretty color for baby girls but have we seen any other option other than pink? or even if the darker colors make an appearance, they are usually ugly and wouldn't sell anyway.. so I realise with a sinking feeling that we have been deliberately conditioned over the years by stereotype marketing to lean towards pink for girls. And the girls grow up rooting for pink. No wonder the 'pink stinks' campaign surfaced. more here - So if you have been buying pink, it isn't your fault. But perhaps its time to start reconditioning your mind. And perhaps the maufacturers will get the message. Oh and lets stop buying Barbie for girls on their birthday! Again, a doll who has stylish dresses to change and removable shoes is essentially a fun thing for girls who of course have a natural maternal instinct but girls also read you know? and they are actually quite intelligent and can also play with puzzles, cars, science kits, mechanical toys, guns. Yes really. Don't deny them those. How many Barbies can you play with? How many Barbies do you need to keep you happy? Its just so easy to pop in to a shop and pick a Barbie as a gift for a girl. No brainer really. There they are .. displayed right in front so you couldn't escape them. In bright pink packaging too. Last time I visited a book shop, I was disgusted to see a score of Barbies displayed. In a book shop. I asked the attendant why they are selling barbies in a book shop? Next thing you know, the local vegetable vendor will be selling them too. Shop for birthday gifts not in the last moment. Instead, spend some time browsing through good books, activity kits, board games, cool stationary. So sorry if I sound preachy. Just a little too queasy today. Lets show the girls we know they are smarter than just changing barbies clothes and role play.


Rama said...

Hey Kalpana! Nice post! And bang on! Completely understand the frustration with the pink parade! Somehow I did not feel it so acutely back home, but after moving recently to the UK... OMG!! its so bloody frustrating, I don't know where to start complaining! Toys, books, shoes, dresses, watches, room decor, what-do-you-call-it... everything is pink or purple! And somehow I feel parents love to indulge as well.. I dont seem to think it is thrust upon them - at least not most of them!

Din know about the wiki page ;-) Will check it out soon! And your other posts as well! :-)

Rama Ramaswamy

kaalpanique said...

Thanks for replying. its a viscious circle. buyers - sellers - buyers. You know. you dont notice the trickles and now its no longer a trickle. the scary part is it now takes a monumental effort to steer away from this conditioning.
we should do something about it. raise more awareness.
anyway. hows it in UK? my cousins in US also complain about the same thing and i feel its seeping into our culture too.