Weekly Digest: Girlhood

I spent some time this week thinking about the experience of taking my daughter to see Cinderella.  When my students asked about what I thought about it, my response of “Oh, I have things to say” garnered a chuckle.  There are times when I wish I could just watch a show, read a book, or attend an event without “reading” it.  But then I wouldn’t be me anymore.  This act defines me, at least in my mind.  And the world is neither simple nor easy.  So if we want the bad to change to good, we need to read all of the things around us, including movies, toys, and, well, books.

This month started my new gig as a staff writer for bitchflicks.  I have done guest posts for them before, and the kind and awesome editors of the site have asked me several times to consider committing to a more regular schedule.  They like my work, and I like the work I do for them.  I couldn’t resist the offer to get to write about something I love, so once a month I will be writing commentary and/or analysis for them.  When I saw Cinderella, I couldn’t resist writing about my experience of taking Ev to the show even when I am trying so hard to fight against princess culture.

Head on over to bitchflicks and check out my piece.  It is only 800 words, so it won’t take you but a minute.  If you like it or hate it, please share it.  Comment here or there.  Would love to hear your thoughts.

I was enamored by a piece about Lego’s ongoing marketing to girls, this time in their magazine.  In this week’s what-the-fuck moment, Sharon Holbook’s blog post for Motherlode blasts Lego magazine for giving girls beauty tips.  We should have know it wouldn’t take long until Lego’s pink explosion would add to lessons about beauty.  What a difference a few decades make when it comes to Lego’s marketing to young girls (and their parents):

lego-what-it-is-is-beautiful-legos-billion-dollar-girl

Now, as I said in my bitchflicks post, my kid made a bracelet instead of a bridge with her Goldieblox.  What I am more concerned with here is the change of message over the decades.  We need to ask ourselves: Why this is the new face of Lego marketing to girls?  Why are they giving beauty tips on the “girl” page of their magazine?  Of course, shameless marketing and capitalist desires.  But is there more at work?  Is Lego seeing Goldieblox and saying, “Well, then we will do the opposite marketing?”  Because Lego is way bigger, holds way more power in the market.  So let’s all watch and see where this is going.

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4 comments

  1. The old ad is so much more interesting. What is she holding? What does SHE think she’s holding? The new ad is boring, and slightly creepy with the women-as-headhunter cliche clearly in action. I love Lego so much, but when my nieces play with their “friends” sets, I have to wonder…

  2. Your comments about Lego really relate to my childhood. When I was growing up in the 90s and early 00s I loved Legos. But despite my love for building I grew up sad that there weren’t many Lego minifigures that were female. I had two. One with platinum blonde painted on bangs and the other was Princess Leia. And while I loved my two female characters, I got tired of being one of the two. My brothers on the other hand had about 30 different character heads and outfits to choose from. I always ended up changing my girly head with the many different boy outfits we had. But I was always upset that there weren’t more female figures. Every time my mother would take us to the store, I would look through every single Lego set to find myself a female figure to relate to. I needed someone who looked like a girl and still would fight off the villains. Finding female lego characters in that time was extremely difficult. Lego wasn’t making female figures. There were hundreds of male figures and only a handful of female figures. When the lego friends came out I was livid. Why couldn’t Lego just make female characters to fight bad guys instead of these fashion girls who wanted to get their hair done? I wouldn’t have any of it. Even today, if you would look at the Lego minifigures, there is blatant sexism. The majority of the yellow minifigures are male. While all the males have functional legs that you can make them sit, a good number of the female ones now have large bricks on the bottom to make them have a dress/skirt. How is my female minifigure in a skirt going to pilot my plane?? Is she going to stand up for the flight? This led to my female characters looking male again and I would also toss away the skirt pieces and opt for the ever useful pants. I like that Lego is finally catering to girls, but I am still disappointed that they have to do it was purples and pinks and figures that look like mini fashion models, instead of just having female figures that are in the regular sets that also can kick butt.

    Let Ev play with her legos. The building of anything is a step in the right direction. She may want to design accessories now but maybe she’ll build bridges or maybe she’ll fight bad guys, the point is she’s using her imagination. Legos were and still are a great imagination building toy, I am just still waiting for more female kicking butts sets. Hopefully they get on that.

  3. Congratulations on Bitch Flicks! Very cool.

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