Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is ... Read More
As children, many of us turn to our toys to navigate our developing identities. Sometimes, our dolls serve as surrogates; we parent them the way we see our children parenting us, and we identify with them. Photography operates similarly: as teens, we might dog-ear or collect magazine images that appeal to our expanding sense of self. Since so many dolls and photographs in mainstream fashion magazines present a grossly limited definition of femininity, it ... Read More
Pink is for girls, and blue is for boys. Girls want to be pretty; boys want to be smart. We’ve heard this nonsense before, yes? Well, it seems like companies are finally catching on: 1950s gender norms and prejudicial limitations should stay in the past. The present is about empowering children to dream and play however they wish! That’s why Goldie Blox is basically the best ever. A biting response to all the toys that teach us that brushing our ... Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.
But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic ... Read More
BY Amalia Graziani
on Sep 09, 2013
There are few things I love more than household items that have the capacity to arouse confusion and discomfort in unsuspecting guests (taxidermy animals and memorial pet portraits, anyone?). Which is why the bizarre intergalactic creatures of MadKnits bring me immense joy. Born from the creative mind and talented hand of Kaitlin Juarez, these fabric monsters hail from Providence, RI. They are hand-stitched, one-of-a-kind, and expertly detailed. MadKnits are ... Read More