UPDATE: Fisher-Price Responds to Furious Mom's Post About Toy That She Thinks Stereotypes Women
Update, 10/20:Fisher Price sent Gina Zuk Gerber a direct message on Twitter regarding her Facebook post. The toy company admitted that there was gender stereotyping involved, and promised to make progress. The message is below:
Hi Gina, we're aware of your post and want to address your comments because you've made us step back and see our product and package through a consumer's eyes. We think you're absolutely right; we could have done a better job. Our intention with this product and its package was to represent a moment in time many of today's families could relate to – just an example of something a parent might do – but we understand how some see it as gender stereotyping. We're making an effort to break down those stereotypes in our products; most of them are developed in what you may call "gender neutral" colors. You can find a female Little People firefighter, dentist, mail carrier, farmer, and in 2019 you'll see our Little People friends branch out even more with both female and male characters in professional and community service roles such as servicemen and women, doctors and dentists, athletes, construction workers and others. We're making efforts in our advertising, too – people had good things to say about a recent ad and post featuring a boy playing with our pink house. As parents and people who work for one of the most iconic child development brands, those are the kinds of playtime moments we want to be known for. Because time and again, we've seen that kids don't make the assumptions adults tend to do – boy or girl, if they see a toy that looks like fun, they dive right in and play! Thanks for taking the time and caring enough to share your opinions. You've inspired us to change the phrase the toy says, and also the words we call out on the package … we're getting to work on that now!
Original, 10/19:In 2019, it seems like there's no limit on what women can be — they can be astronauts, CEOs, artists, actresses, and, oh yeah,president
But one mom is furious that Fisher Price's Little People toys are putting women in a very, very retro. Gina Zuk Gerber took to to write a furious post about what she saw in a toy store.
"My son's favorite toys growing up were Little People. I always just grabbed the fire truck or barn and didn't think much about it," she wrote. "Today when shopping for toys for [my daughter] Anna I was disgusted to see the 'girl' versions of Little People. The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the 'home,' and they all lacked the multiple educationalelements the 'boys' toys had. Then I set my eyes on this prize: 'SUV' and a clearly mom looking figure. Please note tagline 'time for yoga and a smoothie.' It's 2019 people. Fisher Price needs to step it the f up and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles. Ok off my soap box. Carry on with your regularly scheduled Saturday night and election bashing...."
For what it's worth, Little Peopledoessell non-stay-at-home-mom female toys (like a , for instance), but the offerings for girls are paltry when compared to those for boys.
This problem, however, isn't limited to toys. It's an issue that runs rampant in imagery that's marketed towards young women. Who could forget Amy Schumer's viral Instagram post that placed a Girls' Life magazine next to a Boys' Life magazine, in which girls were invited to "wake up pretty" and "find [their] dream hair" while boys were told to "explore your future?" (Someone even posted it in .)
Sure, the dutiful stay-at-home mom breaking a sweat from cooking some fatty meat has "progressed," for lack of a better word, to a health-conscious mom who cavorts about town in a care-free manner, scheduling workout classes and sucking down smoothies to better herself rather than please someone else. But it's still representative of one kind of mom: a stay-at-home mom, which, while fine to be, shouldn't be the only possibility illustrated to young girls. After all, they can be much, much more.
Video: Mom issues warning to parents after a toy sends her child to the hospital
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