BY Hallie Marks
on Jun 14, 2013
Who IS that girl?
We know all about how kids’ toys are divided by gender in really icky ways. Why can’t a boy use an Easy Bake Oven? Why aren’t girls playing with those trucks in the commercials? And the issue goes far beyond surface advertising – “boy products” often encourage building, activity, and adventure, while “girl products” usually emphasize appearance and foster skills like nurturing and cooking. These are all great ... Read More
BY Mary Grace Garis
on Jun 10, 2013
When the American Girl catalog would enter my household, I’d page through the overpriced accessories with glee. I had Kirsten, because I was vaguely blonde-ish, and she was my very best friend. We slept in the same bed every night, we joined my swim club’s American Girl Club and dressed in the same clothes (yup, I was the unfortunate child who was a Swedish pioneer for Halloween). Eventually she grew up and had to get her own miniature bed, which ... Read More
BY Jennifer Welsing
on Dec 18, 2012
I've heard it said that "ask and you shall receive", but I guess in this case it's more like petition and you shall get heard. After starting a petition asking Hasbro to make their Easy-Bake Oven a more gender-neutral toy, McKenna Pope got her wish and more.
If you haven’t heard of McKenna Pope, she's the 13-year-old girl from New Jersey who questioned Hasbro on why they don't make a gender-neutral Easy-Bake oven. It all started after her four-year-old ... Read More
BY Kari Belsheim
on Dec 12, 2012
I don’t know about you, but I grew up positively drowning in Barbies. As I got older, I began to notice that all mine looked the same. (Go figure!) I read articles explaining just how unrealistic Barbie’s proportions are, and had to come to terms with the fact that I would never have perpetually pointed toes, hair that changes color in the pool, or perfectly symmetrical lady parts. We all know the dangers of comparing ourselves to a small, plastic ... Read More
It’s about time that Hasbro began marketing their famous Easy-Bake Oven, which has been aimed towards preteen girls since its conception in the 1960s, in a more gender-neutral manner. Inspired by her little brother, one 13-year-old New Jersey girl has started a petition on Change.org to get the company to make the toy oven more boy-friendly.
McKenna Pope of Garfield, N.J. wants the company to drop its all-girl advertising in hopes that boys like ... Read More
BY Intern Ariana
on Jul 05, 2012
I remember getting American Girl catalogs every few weeks in the mail when I was a little girl. I would beg my parents for a doll, and one Christmas I found Samantha waiting underneath my tree. Despite my love for turn-of-the-century girl Samantha, I always wanted one of the My American Girl dolls--the customizable ones with contemporary clothes and range of skin and hair colors. But I never saw one that looked just like me, with medium-tone skin, brown hair, and ... Read More
BY Intern Kerishma
on Apr 20, 2012
I’m sure you all remember the controversy surrounding manufacturer LEGO’s incredibly sexist line of toys called “Friends,” heavily simplified from their normal toys and marketed specifically to little girls. I’m sure you also remember the completely legitimate outrage over these toys (John Darnielle won my heart with his call to arms to “leaflet and raise hell”) and the attempt of SPARK activists Bailey Shoemaker Richards ... Read More
BY Intern Kelsie
on Apr 18, 2012
As a child of the nineties, I have such a soft spot for the toys of my youth. Furbies were somehow cute and creepy at the same time, Skip-Its were practically the only way my mom could get me to exercise, and I'm pretty sure I thought my Lite Brite drawings had one up on Van Gogh's Starry Night.
I've gotten over most of my obsessions because, you know, I grew up or something. But every now and then, those old standbys get an update and my pigtails-sporting, ... Read More
BY Intern Caroline
on Jan 16, 2012
More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org stating they don't support toy manufacturer LEGO's newest campaign, a line of toys called Friends made just for girls (an already gag-inducing phrase when it comes to marketing). Critics are calling it sexist because the line makes a break from LEGO's usual build-it-yourself aesthetic. Friends features pre-assembled sets that follow gender norms like a hair salon, fashion design studio, and ... Read More
BY Bridgette Miller
in Eat Me
on Sep 27, 2011
I remember begging my mom for an Easy Bake Oven. Well, actually, I begged her for the Creepy Crawlers playset and an Easy Bake Oven, but she said I could have only one. Since I was too young to explicate a formal critique of gender dichotomies in children's toy advertising, and brownies seemed way more useful to me than bugs, I went for the Easy Bake. Only one photo exists of me using my new toy--in it, I’m frowning at the little white oven, waiting for a ... Read More