Christmas is almost here!
To help you wade through the countless metric tonnes of overpriced plastic crap that threaten to overwhelm us in tsunami-like waves at this time of year I have compiled a list of the Top Ten Sexist Stocking Fillers for Girls.
This elite collection of dubious toys excel in the hotly-contested arena of cringeworthy gender stereotypes, despite fierce competition from pretty much every other commercially manufactured toy being marketed to girls.
Congratulations to all our winners.
1. Crayola Creations “Hot Heels” Shoe Design Kit (Ages 6+)
Because six year old girls need to design their own stripper heels. Hell, I’m thirty six and I can’t even walk in five inch heels properly, so I’m not quite sure why these things are being marketed to kindergarten kids. Looking forward to the Crayola Creations “Design Your Own Stripper Pole” product with bonus pom-pom pasties and glitter g-string. Remind me again why six year old girls need to be “hot”?
2. Monster High Cosmetic Lab Kit (Ages 10+)
Because if you are going to be interested in something as boring and fugly as “science”, you better make sure you are only doing it to make yourself look attractive. Learn how to synthesise your own lip balm, skin cream and glitter hair gel so that the boys will like you, even though you must be a dork or a dyke or something. Why try and cure cancer when you can have shiny hair instead?
3. Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Magical Musical Mirror (Ages 6 months – 3 years)
Featuring vanity mirror, comb, powder puff, lipstick and two bracelets, this whimsical piece of sexist bilge is marketed as an early learning experience for girls aged 6 months and up. It is good for female babies to learn from a young age that if you don’t perfect the art of decorating yourself then one day you will find yourself home alone with your cats every Friday night, replaying the lake scene from “Pride & Prejudice” on DVD.
4. Crayola Catwalk Creations (Ages 8+)
Craft kits specifically for girls are mostly dedicated to three things 1) grooming yourself, 2) decorating yourself and 3) grooming and/or decorating an inanimate object in likeness of the female form. There aren’t many kits dedicated to the pursuit of crafting something for the intrinsic satisfaction of creation itself. This one is odious for any number of reasons, but primarily because it contributes to an aspirational culture around modelling that promotes unrealistic standards of beauty, encourages unhealthy body image and values appearance above all else.
5. Fairytale Wedding Gift Set (Ages 3+)
I know it’s a hackneyed feminist cliche to hate Disney Princesses, but I hate Disney Princesses. So when I saw this set of three happily married royal couples I had to include them, well, just because. And then I saw this in the description: “Dolls cannot stand alone”. DOLLS CANNOT STAND ALONE. There is something so creepy about that.
Cons: Marry your dream man and become a co-dependent wife-bot with no life or identity of your own! Pros: Live happily ever after!
6. Tinkers Nursery Set TIED WITH Kid Kraft Kitchen (Ages 3+)
Because being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen never goes out of style. Women’s work, all of it.
7. Three Level Cosmetic Set (Ages 5+)
I don’t like five year olds who have a more comprehensive make-up kit than I do. It makes me feel like less of a woman. This has all the must-have cosmetic items a kindergarten kid needs to rock the hottest new looks, so they can twerk around the playground looking like Miley Cyrus; set contains lipsticks, nail polishes, lip glosses, eye shadows, blushes, bronzers and applicators.
“…..and of course, a mirror!”.
8. Blingles Princess Bling Studio (Ages 6+)
I still can’t work out what the fuck this thing is but it has the word “Bling” twice in the product name, so I’m guessing that glitter is involved somewhere. Other clues? It’s pink. It has the word “princess” in the title. It has the word “studio” in the title, which leads me to suspect it is one of those pseudo-craft activities designed solely to decorate the female form. I read the entire product description and I am still none the wiser, suffice to say that the word “Bling” seems to have been used as a noun, verb, personal pronoun and an adjective, all in the same paragraph. Whatever it is, I have no doubt it is harming our girls.
9. Disney Princess Royal Shopping Cart TIED WITH Kid Kraft Doll Shopping Centre TIED WITH Barbie Coffee and Cake Set
Because we are female. In between makeovers, having babies, doing the housework, covering ourselves in glitter and doing the laundry we like to go shopping and have coffee and eat cake.
10. My Little Home Laundry Playset (Ages 3+)
I note the beaming young girl in the picture, exploding with satisfaction and glee as she powers through that pile of ironing. I note that the product description for this item says “Number of Players: One”, because heaven knows it might just KILL a man to help out by taking the clothes off the line, bring the washing in and fold his own goddamn undies. I note every one of these things and I want to BURN every Little Home Laundry Playset ever made. I have never wanted anything so fiercely than to see every single laundry playset in existence reduced to smoke and ashes and smouldering piles of mis-shapen pink plastic all over the world.
And so that concludes Hugzilla’s Guide to the Top 10 Sexist Stocking Fillers for Girls. Shaping the hearts and minds of young girls, one pink ironing board at a time.
DISCLAIMER: This post is NOT about judging anyone for their individual parenting choices, or their domestic division of labour, or for the toys they buy their kids or the way they choose to raise their offspring. It’s a tongue-in-cheek comment on broader social and cultural norms and is intended to be a light-hearted and thought-provoking look at the overt and implicit messages we as a society send to our girls (and boys) about gender roles and stereotypes as they are growing up.