The saccharine, confectionary pink objects that fill my images of little girls and their accessories reveal a pervasive and culturally manipulated expression of femininity” and a desire to be seen. To make these images, I arrange and display the cotton - candy colored belongings of several children in their rooms. When I began producing the pink images, I became aware of the fact that many boys have a lot of blue possessions. Customers are directed to buy blue items for boys and pink for girls. In the case of my eleven-year-old son, even though he does not seem to particularly like the color blue over other colors, whenever we shop for his clothes, the clothes he chooses are from the many-hued blue selection. The clothes and toy sections for children are already divided into pinks for girls and blues for boys. Their accessories and toys follow suit.
In turn, these toys are forcing young children to create a stereotypical self-image for themselves before they have even had the chance to explore their world fully.
In conclusion, after conducting and analyzing our observations, my partner and I began to question gender socialization within children’s toy merchandise as if we were parents.
This observation determines that toys for young boys are steering them to be more powerful, fearless, and the dominant breadwinner for the future and steering girls to be more loving, supportive, and become a stay-at-home mother when they grow up.
Lastly, we identified various gender stereotypical icons within boys and girls toys including the types of outfits on toy dolls, various occupations, Disney brand products, and “try me” features. All of the outfits seen in boys’ toys are some type of professional uniform whether it be a policeman, an army officer, etc.
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For these reasons, the structure of toys for girls give off the self-image that girls should grow up to be clean, thin, and put together whereas boys should be muscular, dominant, and act as the main authoritative figure in the family.
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Furthermore, we noticed that the boxes along with the texture for girls’ toys was very smooth and seemed more organized in comparison to that of the boys. All the items in the aisles for girls was cleanly boxed off and the boxes seemed to shine, while every item in the boys’ aisles had rough looking boxes with the plastic of the box fitting exactly to the shape of the toy, regardless of how rigid in structure it was. Additionally, the structure of dolls in the different aisles showed modern expectations for how girls and boys should be built. It was shocking to see that from this early of an age, the way girls and boys “should” look within the realms of modern society was so clearly displayed by these products.
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For boy toys they must build everything before being able to partake in fantasy play with them while with the girls’ toys there is no construction aspect to be seen at all.