Many Parents Are Calling Sexism On These Children’s Toys

Our kids are trapped in a pink-and-blue nightmare—and, yes, these toys are real.

April 10, 2017
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For as long as we can remember, pink has been associated with girls and blue with boys. But it’s time to break away from these sexist confines and let kids pick out whatever they want to play with. First, though, have a good laugh (and maybe a small scream) over these ridiculous children’s items.

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Many of us have long been frustrated with the idea that certain toys are for boys and others are for girls, and it’s an issue that persists. It has long been the tradition that anything made for girls comes in a range of pinks and purples, whereas clothes and toys for boys are made in shades of blue. But the sex segregation in children’s clothing and toys seem to have only gotten worse as time goes on.

There are some who might think that a toy can’t do much damage, but that’s really not true.

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And toys like these don’t help at all. Here are some of the most sexist toys and children’s items that people have found out in the real world.

These Onesies

Yes, what you’re looking at is a onesie that reads “I Hate My Thighs”…for a baby! We get that the message was probably intended to be humorous. It’s for a baby, babies are sometimes chunky, and they can’t read what the onesie says anyway, right? 

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— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) April 3, 2015

Consider, though, that the onesie made for little boys right next to it has a far more fun design and a message that’s much more positive.

It’s also important to think about other children who might be able to read what that onesie says, who may have never thought about what their bodies looked like until they saw it.

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A recent survey shows that parents play one of the biggest roles when it comes to how children learn to see their bodies, and even as a joke, talking about chunky thighs or hating your body isn’t going to do them any favors in the long run.

These Dress-Up Suits

We may have been able to quell some of our rage over these play outfits if they had produced two doctor suits, one pink for girls and one blue for boys. At least that’d put them on equal footing in some way. Instead, the suit with the girl on the packaging happens to be a beautician’s outfit, while the packaging with the boy is for a doctor’s outfit.

Apparently, the creators of this toy think girls are better suited to sticking with hair and nails, while the boys should be left to the tougher job of figuring out the human body.

There’s nothing wrong with a girl who likes to do her nails or style her hair, but toys like this seem to be pushing girls toward those types of interests. If your little girl has aspirations of being a doctor, we say let your her perform as many check-ups as she wants.

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While you’re at it, let your little boy do your hair from time to time if that’s what he feels like doing.

These Cookbooks

We’re always happy to celebrate kids getting in the kitchen, but it’d be hard not to notice the dramatic differences between these two cookbooks.

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The cookbook for girls is clearly designed to impart a whimsical, dainty feeling, and the cupcakes on the front may even be implying that baking is what girls should be doing with their time in the kitchen. The cookbook for boys, on the other hand, pictures all kinds of delicious looking food on its cover, and it’s clearly the book that has the more fun vibe.

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If you ask us, getting kids to want to spend time in the kitchen is a great thing no matter what you’re making, and they should be encouraged to make whatever it is that they want. After all, boys like cupcakes just as much as girls do, and a little girl would happily chow down on that burger or pizza just like a boy would.

This Bible

Call us crazy, but we’d think that the lessons in the Bible were intended to be beneficial for anyone to learn, not some for certain people and some for others.

Yet again, we see another item marketed specifically for girls that comes in a shade of bright pink—this time complete with girl in a pink shirt, purple skirt, and a bow in her hair. Don’t you know that’s what all girls wear?

This Tape

Ah, yes, because girls can’t use tape unless it comes in comes in female-friendly packaging. Perhaps it’s easier to tear, you know, because of girls’ delicate fingers. 

What’s even worse is that this tape is probably just the same as the plainly decorated variety, and it likely costs much more, all because it comes inside of this useless packaging.

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Fortunately, it’s also giving us a good laugh, serving as a reminder of the hilarious fiasco surrounding the Bic Cristal “For Her” a few years ago.

These Magnets

Along with color-coding these magnets to go with each gender, the terms contained within these sets are completely sexist.

Are the manufacturers of these toys trying to tell us that boys don’t like ice cream, sunshine, and friends? Do they honestly think they’d prefer scary monsters, ghosts, and bones?

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On a side note, if your child prefers bones to actual friends, we fear you may be raising a serial killer.

These Coloring Books

Are children not allowed to just draw whatever pops in their head anymore? On the girls side, we have horses, flowers, faces, and other “cool stuff”—whatever that means—while the boys get aliens, robots, and warriors.

We’re obviously not saying that girls have to like any of the things in the boy coloring book or vice versa, but who decided that any of these things were inherently male or female?

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Honestly, though, we’d love to hear how “faces” were deemed as a girls-only interest.

These Guide Books

These books claim that their intent is to explain the things out there that are “inappropriate for young girls” in a way that is appropriate.

We could possibly be understanding of these books if they wanted to explain these scarier topics in a way that seemed more appropriate for all young children, but they seem to be implying that the subject matter isn’t interesting for boys, only for girls.

These Snacks

We get the need for cute, bear-shaped food that’s targeted toward children—sometimes you just need to do what you have to to get a kid to eat something, right? This just crosses the line, though.

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We’re not quite sure what the difference is between “wild paprika” and “sweet paprika” but, based on the photos on the bag, the flavors appear to be the same. In fact, everything about these products seems to be the same other than the color on the bag—why not just make them “for kids”?

This Slide

If you gave a massive eye roll the second you saw this labeled as a slide for boys, know that you’re not alone.

Do boys possess some quality that allows only them to use this oh-so-special slide? Are girls physically repelled by its blue and green colors, unable to get too close without melting?

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Unfortunately, we still see these types of color-coded toys on a daily basis, and they only serve to further reinforce gender stereotypes for young children. For girls, these seem to be toys that focus on appearance or taking care of others, whereas boys seem to get the toys that focus on fun, action, and bravery.

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Of course, kids should be allowed to pick out whichever toys they gravitate to, and if that sometimes happens with pink toys for a girl or blue toys for a boy, so be it. Sometimes they will legitimately like a toy or its color without any outside influence. The point here is to let kids be kids, and let their toys be toys for all of them.

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