Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Speaking of Stereotypes...

There I was at Costco the other day, contemplating a post about all of the outdoor stuff on display. But then I caught sight of this bike. And while I tend to be reasonably mild-mannered in my dotage and not given to Politically Correct Cause-Think, my BQ (Bile Quotient) went up several notches when I saw this confection of a bicycle. Lord spare us from the unrelenting shower of pink and lavender that drenches today's young girl-creatures.

I should have guessed that this wussy product was labeled "Barbie".

Sitting right next to the pink horror was this other modern commercial stereotype: the boy as daredevil, done up in R.E.D. Only one false note: the safety helmet.

Honest, guys, I'm far from the modern, true blue feminist sort Pretty Lady wrote about today. But when I was a kid, I would have picked the R.E.D. package over the pink any day -- it promises a lot more adventure, though I'm completely aware that we are dealing with yet another stereotype. Yes, I would have been disappointed. Adventure can't be boxed!

There will always be a marketing man. AAARRRGGGHHH!


Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, we made fun with old skates, a 2X4 and a woden crate. This was before skate boards came out.

stitchwort said...

How about Equal Treatment for kids?
A chance to wear green, orange, or yellow, and some unisex toys.

Like the concept of Bile Quotient!

Granny J said...

My father was not a build-it type of guy & besides, I was a girl. However, my first bike (a second-hand purchase, BTW) was green. My brother's bike was a more comfortable fit.

That Barbie message really reaches the little ones, Ms. Stitchwort -- my daughter has a problem with colors other than pink etc. for the granddaughter.

Avus said...

That "Barbie" bike - fingers down the throat time!

prettylady said...

Note that the Barbie bike is labeled 'FUN!'

Evidently a bit of necessary brainwashing.

Granny J said...

As you can tell, Mr. Avus, I think the bike's decor is dreadful.

And yes, Ms. PL, just why do little girls have to be instructed to have fun? Either they do or they don't.

k said...

I've always had a problem with pink. No - I won't soften it - I hate it with a deep and abiding passion.

Which had a lot to do with that stereotyping bit.

It was clear to me from a very early age that the boys were supposed to have all the fun and little responsibility, and the girls were supposed to be helpless and cutesy, except also be the ones to do all the housework.


Me, I chose adventure.

And to this day, I know I did exactly the right thing.

Lucy said...

Yes, it really had got worse this pink thing, I'd have gone for red too, or blue perhaps or brown because it was the colour of animals. But the Barbie thing is vile, makes me see red!

Granny J said...

k-- you hit the nail on the head about the difference in expectations between little girl chilluns and little boy types back when. I'm just surprised at the surge of pinkness in this age of feminism!

Lucy -- the one thing that Barbie did for my granddaughter was persuade her to take up ballet! As for pink, here's one explanation.

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