Last week, you’ve probably been on the couch watching the Superbowl. While you probably remember the highlights of the game, my personal favourite part is always the halftime show, which this year included a commercial of the toy company Goldieblox. The video included little girls dragging their pink, girly toys (think: strollers, kitchen sets and dolls of course) through the streets of their neighborhood. On their way, their group grew, and left boys and their parents behind in surprise. Eventually, the girls joined all their toys into a giant rocket, which they launched into the sky. All while chanting a song about how girls want “more than pink, pink, pink,” because they “want to think”. This video made me extremely excited: finally there was a brand that wanted to give little girls a choice, and isn’t filled with stereotypes!
Afterwards, I surfed around a bit, and found out that Goldieblox sell building blocks in combination with stories, especially designed for girls. The CEO, Debbie Sterling, noticed that women were extremely misrepresented in engineering. Goldieblox aims to make little girls excited about engineering.
I am extremely happy about Goldieblox’ mission, and I already went to Intertoys to get a set for my 8 year old. When I walked through the aisles, I was reminded that that the gender divide starts at a young age; in advertising, girls are often portrayed playing with toys like kitchen sets, babies and fashion dolls. These gear girls to focus and put importance in being or becoming a caring house mother and stresses the importance of their appearance. Whereas boys’ toys allow for more heroic and sometimes even violent imagery such as action figures or LEGO sets that require creativity and technical insights. You can see the effect of the stereotypes used in toys when you ask toddlers what they want to be when they grow up: housemothers or princesses for girls and superheroes or builders for boys. In this advertisement, Goldieblox takes all these typically female toys, almost ritually throws them on a stake, and presents their alternative that is girly ánd smart!
Goldieblox is clearly aimed at girls, as the advert portrays mainly girls and leaves the boys gaping on the sides. I don’t think this is a bad thing, because the aim is not to raise our children gender-neutrally, but with the freedom to express themselves, instead of conforming to society’s expectations and stereotypes. Goldieblox clearly shows this, it challenges the stereotype that girls only like pink and dresses, by showing girls that are diverse in clothing, wearing jeans and colorful clothing, We see this clearly when the running and cheering girls come across girls who take part in a beauty pageant are motivated to throw down their crowns and join the crowd. What a powerful image!
I think that as a feminist and an open-minded parent, I want to be aware of the kind of gender stereotypes my little girl is already facing. In my opinion, we should strive to allow our daughters to explore themselves, knowing that whatever they choose to play with or pursue in life, be it a house mom or an engineer, they should feel comfortable and encouraged to do so! Or, in the words of Goldieblox:
We’re Goldieblox, a toy company out to show the world that girls deserve more choices than dolls and princesses. We believe that femininity is strong and girls will build the future – literally.
I’d love to hear what YOU think of all this! Had you considered it before? Do you think this is all way too far-fetched? What do you think about Goldieblox? Let me know in the comment section below!