• Wed, Dec 28 2011

Allow This Toddler To Explain To You The Problematic Nature Of Gender-Stereotyped Marketing To Kids

Have you ever wondered exactly why it’s so problematic that marketers try to push gender stereotyped toys on kids? Like pink for girls and superheroes for boys?

Allow Riley, a toddler, to explain. She’s taped here in a toy store railing against the inequity of the toy selection. Why, she wonders aloud, do companies only make princesses and pink toys for girls? Maybe girls want superheroes! (And maybe boys want pink, her gender conscious dad adds as he films his budding feminist activist). Anyway, if you needed a talking points memo on this particular issue, Riley pretty much nails it.

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  • EKS

    so cute! (and true!)

  • KDC

    That was the most precious thing ever!! What a smart girl. She’ll go places.

  • KeLynn

    I hate to say this but…this sounds very much like she was coached by her parents on what to say, then they videotaped her parroting it and pretended she thought of it all on her own.

    Obviously I agree with the sentiment that the “girls only like pink” mentality is ridiculous, but I don’t think most little kids would even notice those details. I think most kids would play with the toys they wanted to – dolls, action figures, princesses, superheros, whatever – and not play with the ones they don’t want to, and I don’t think a kid this young would really take it to the next level to a) notice that pink things are marketed towards girls and b) care enough about unjust marketing to get this riled up about it.

    • Elle

      First, humans develop a sense of gender by age 3 so they absolutely notice these things, and second, small children have to play with whatever toy their parents buy them, and parents love to reinforce gender stereotypes because they are stupid and think a boy playing with a doll will traumatize them. So you’re wrong about everything you just said.

    • Brooke

      Agree with kelynn. While I don’t doubt this kid is smart and probably did notice something paculiar about the separation of the toys, it seems coached. I just don’t think kids realize ‘companies’ are the ones targeting them. Awesome video regardless, though.

    • KeLynn

      Elle, I think maybe you didn’t understand what I said? I never said that kids don’t notice gender. I said that I don’t think they would notice the difference in marketing schemes aimed at different genders, which is an entirely different concept.

      Also, you are right that kids have to play with whatever their parents give them so I guess I’m wrong with the detail that kids “would” play with the toys they like because their parents have the ultimate say, but I guess my point was more that kids know what they WANT to play with, regardless of whether their parents actually buy it for them. So, if a little girl wants to play with superheros and her parents won’t let her and buys her barbies instead – that sucks for her, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to automatically notice gender-specific marketing. I think it just means that she’ll notice she’s not allowed to play with the toys she wants to play with and think her parents are mean for that, and not think about the companies’ “tricks” behind that unjustice.