“Be A Strong Men You Small Boy”

In “What’s Wrong With Cinderella”, Peggy Orenstein points out the boom of ‘gender based marketing in toys’ after 1980’s. She supports her ideas by giving examples of toys that obviously discriminates the boundaries of girls’ and boys’ play cultures. With 1980’s, advertisers and manufacturer have begun using femininity and masculinity as a marketing weapon against children and parents. They have been doing this by evoking ‘pure and innocence’ feelings of girls and boys, although some people might think that audience of these toys are pretty small children, who are not able to be aware of these thoughts. However, as we also notice it in Orenstein’s article, the aforesaid discrimination of toys place the gender directly to the center of toy industry. Generally, girls are given toys that introduce them an ideal beauty and illustrates that beauty is the most important thing they have and have to protect, whereas boys are forced by manufacturers to play with toys mostly based on action and fun such as cars, wild characters, electronic toys etc.

Action Man, being a toy which is found in vary uniforms and with lots of different weapons and equipments, is a good example of sexualized toy industry, because they are men figures that wear masculine clothes and display masculine behavior. They mostly play the role of men heroes such as soldiers, rangers, sentinels, watchmen and rescue team members. Thus, it unsurprisingly becomes an impossible toy type for girls to play and consequently separates girly girl culture and boys culture. 

action men


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