Catch Some Wide Eye

I Have a Confession…

I love Happy Meals.

There’s something exciting about buying a properly portioned meal that comes with a prize.

It’s also slightly disturbing.

As I look at the marketing for the boys vs. girls, I really wonder what on earth parents of little girls are thinking.

Here’s an example:

The toys in the boys’ meal-

Mind you, that’s all in one meal. The games on the side of the box aimed at boys encourages them to circle the words that describe them. The words included: smart, leader, just, strong.

Let’s flip the box, shall we?

The games on the side of the box aimed at girls encourages them to flap their arms like a bird. No joke. Disturbing because, although supporting creativity and exercise (because girls must learn at an early age that they are entirely too fat), it also coaxes them to act like complete fools. Oh, and here’s the girl’s toy–

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “My GOD, wtf is it???!!!!”

Here is the answer–

Creepy. Plain, pure and simple.

But maybe it’s an anomaly, some weird, freaky coincidence, right?

Girls’ toy–

Not so bad. It’s a fairly good-sized doll with realistic hair. They actually have noses and normal faces unlike the horrific Bratz dolls. They even come in different races, though all the billboards only displayed the black and white ones.

The boys’ toy–

Their own freakin Pokemon. Now if you’re not a fan of the series, this might not mean much, but it comes with a playing card. Kids collect cards and can trade them. Or sell them on eBay. Meaning it’s teaching boys to become investors while the girls comb plastic hair. Interesting that they chose to market Pokemon Black and White. (Subliminal racist undertones all over this meal.)

Okay, but maybe I’m overreacting, right? Reading into things that aren’t really there, right?

Girls’ toy–

Aww, Strawberry Shortcake! We grew up with this girl, we trust this girl, and we know how she should smell. Like strawberries, right?

Nope. Nothing. Not even a scratch-and-sniff sticker. She’s just a plastic doll.*

But adorable, right?

Let’s not forget the packaging.

Be a part of our berry fun family. Imaging living in Berry Bitty City with us…
What would your special name be?
What color hair would you have?
What sweet smelling scent would you have?

The only question they forgot was “Which street corner would you work?”

The boys’ packaging?

Help others, a Jedi always does. How many helpful things can you do today?

Priming boys everywhere to be upstanding citizens and, oh, here’s their reward–

It walks. It freakin walks! Any toy that can walk on its own automatically wins and, I’m afraid, the girls sorely lose out on this and almost every other marketing ploy in existence.

*EDIT- apparently most of the dolls do smell like they should, I just was the lucky one who got a scentless doll. *sigh*


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4 thoughts on “I Have a Confession…

  1. I am so amazed at how sexist our society still is, especially in the matter of toys, games, clothes for children. This post is very well done and if the sexism starts at this age is it any wonder that it never ends! Nothing short of criminal in my opinion. Also, if the boy’s meal was given to a girl, there probably wouldn’t be a big uproar, but give the girl’s meal to a boy and the fur would truly fly! Very sad and thanks for writing such a brilliant post!

    • Yep. For a girl, the boy’s toy would be an upgrade. That’s okay.
      For a boy, the girl’s toy is a downgrade from what he could have.
      And the same goes for everything in society. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

  2. not to mention if a boy wanted to live in berry city.

  3. This type of commercial stereotyping is rather disturbing…but unfortunately consistent with much of the social reinforcement the children receive.

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