In Biz: The “pink princess problem” and why it’s not

By Emily Overholt, Staff Writer
@EmilyOverholt

Scrolling through the internet, every week or so I see a different thought piece on marketing toys for girls (I’m looking at you, Slate).

It all started about a year ago with the kickstarter campaign for GoldieBlox, a cute toy which supposedly will harbor engineering and creative problem-solving skills in your daughter. Cute idea and a pretty stellar ad, if I say so myself. But people aren’t mad not that the toy isn’t good, even if the Amazon reviews say as much, they’re mad because it’s pink.

Seriously, it’s almost April 2014, and on Sunday Slate posted yet another think piece on the “pink princess problem.”

The author, Allison Benedikt, says: “What is it with you moms of girls? I have never met a single one of you who isn’t tortured about pink and princesses. It is a given that if you are a mildly feminist mother (or father, but more mother), you are going to do everything within your power to steer your daughters away from anything that has the stink of “girly” on it. I shudder to think how many pink ruffled onesies, gifts from less enlightened relatives and sexist friends, have gone unworn because America’s feminist mothers could not stand to dress their 3-week-olds in the color of oppression.”

You know what I want to know? Why are we stressing about colors? Why is it kids products that set people off? Since when does my vast collection of Barbies (which no, you can’t give away Mom) mean I hate women?

Marketing isn’t perfect for any demographic. If the internet is to be believed, models are too skinny, men are too muscled, advertising is misogynistic and Obamacare is a scam. But I take the internet with a grain of salt. Advertisers are just doing their jobs. Studies have shown that little girls like princesses and pink and not worms.

Let’s stop fighting. If you have a brain, marketing doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all of your tastes. And please, Slate, stop writing about colors and how they oppress little girls who don’t know what the phrase “gender binary” means.

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