humour me

Not that there’s anything wrong with this…

Just wondering how possible it would be for the general population to even imagine as ‘normal’ an ad showing the get-ups done the other way round, i.e. the girl as pirate and the boy as singer.
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Easy enough to imagine kids dressing up the other way round… I’m talking about an ad showing this.

And why is that so unlikely, so rare? And what, exactly, is normal? And who says? Who???

And although this is simply an ad in a toy store brochure [and not that big ugly toy store either, but a small, supposedly-aimed-at-cleverness one] and so why make a fuss and question anything… It’s precisely because  this sort of always-everywhere subliminal messaging has an ever-increasing effect on how and what we think of ourselves.

At increasingly younger ages.

While we shrug and say it doesn’t matter.

And maybe little TommyJoe prefers being a pirate and sister JennieJune adores singing or doll collecting or wearing feathery hats, that’s not to say it’s the only scenario that can be played out in advertising. Because for every boy who vrroooms a truck over a carpet, there’s one longing to make sponge cakes with an Easy Bake Oven. And if they have smart families they’ll be allowed to have both truck and kitchen accessories in their toy box. I’d just like to see that broader world of ‘play’ reflected by toy manufacturers… both in packaging and in advertising. And though I suppose strides have been made, take a walk in any toy store or flip through the ads… seems it’s pretty much still about compartmentalization and stereotyping of genders in order to create more effective demographics.

Another name for childhood?

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4 thoughts on “humour me

  1. Going out on a limb here, Carin … but isn’t the little girl’s microphone suggestively phallic? I agree with your message about stereotyping. It’s up to parents to offer choice, but I don’t see it happening in my family.

  2. I hadn’t noticed that…
    Oh dear. Can only pray it was unintentional. (what’s the emoticon for vaguely nauseated?)

    It stuns me that, as a society in general, we continue to overlook the power in advertising, especially as it relates to kids, how they’re being trained to grow up numb and just do as the marketing tells them. As were we of course, but it’s ever more pervasive. And increasingly dangerous, I think, in all kinds of seemingly ‘unrelated’ ways.

    It’s all so enormous that fighting against it feels quite pointless… but I’m guessing that’s the smoke and mirrors effect they’re hoping for.

    Ah well, awareness and discussion, slow but powerful. It can’t hurt. And what else is there? [aside from a few well placed rotten eggs against a few corporate windows?]

    1. Kids have an overwhelming amount of choice today. In the mid-50s it was either a ballerina doll or a Davy Crockett purse. Mum made the doll’s clothes and you were given a quarter for the purse to buy a bit of candy. Fads lasted a longer time ( thinking hula hoop) and didn’t require a ton of add ons (thinking Barbie doll). In 1959, Barbie might have been the beginning of a marketer’s dream, but the demise of innocence. She and GI Joe thrust kids into a grown-up world that required campers and machine guns, and more. Our dumps are filled with plastic junk. And I feel sorry for kids today – too much choice in everything. But are their brains able to deal with this google-eyed feasting on disposable crap? Thank you, Carin. I got that off my chest.

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