I’ve long since stop being surprised at the vast array of paraphernalia on offer for the pink obsessed woman/girl/ confused boy, but when a store such as Toys’R’Us actually starts to categorize their gadgets by colour, well that’s whole new level of incredulity- even for me.
After all, it’s not like they have made a category for ‘pink’ Barbie dolls, or associated toys, but instead they have a whole pinks section for games that don’t need to be pink. Why does Twister or Jenga need a blushing makeover? It’s simply not right. And then you notice they have a pink ouija board in that category as well- so not only are they preying on those that buy into the whole ‘pink’ trend, but they’re also subjecting them to supernatural mumbo jumbo.
There is one ray of light in this fairly bleak picture however- the pink category exits on the US site, but there’s no mention of it on the UK version, which suggests for once, us Brits have done something right. I’m not denying people the right to choose to live in a real-life Barbie house or cover themselves in so much mauve and fuchsia you could make Kew Gardens vomit, but segregating items into colour categories on a site predominately aimed at children seems rather icky to me.
You could also argue that boys are lacking blue options as well, or is it just taken for granted that a number of toys will be of that persuasion? After all, if we get pink Jenga should we not have blue Jenga- but perhaps they feel the ‘regular’ version is manly enough for the sex with the Y chromosome.
I’m still appalled at the ubiquitous pinkification of paraphernalia aimed at women, and wonder just why we buy into this pink-myth. The fact that it’s all down so subtly is part of the problem, and addressing it is bound to be controversial.
Pink implies certain characteristics- femininity, approachability, softness, roses, love; and it’s easy to see why we’d want this type of confirmation around us. Problem is it DOESN’T suggest practicality, confidence, independence- and when you grow up on a diet of Disney, those traits tend to be associated with the bag guys/heroes, rather than the princess.
It seems we’re pre-programmed to accept pink as the desirable colour for wannabe princesses and though I’d like to say this has no bearing on current society we DO live in a WAG obsessed culture with women desperate to marry into money and never work again. Still, there’s no reason to instill the ‘pink’ mindset into impressionable kids, let them enjoy a wide spectrum of shades and then grow into whatever they choose to be. Pink can be worn by people of any age- decide for yourself if you’re buying into the princess world, or wearing it quasi-ironically.
Toys R’Us – please remove that category RIGHT NOW!