The Common Good

The Top 10 Worst Toys to Give Your Daughter This Christmas

My Cleaning Trolley. Labeled "Girls Only" on the box.
My Cleaning Trolley. Labeled "Girls Only" on the box.

The Top 10 Googled Celebrities of 2011.

The Top 10 New Species of  2011.

The Top Ten EPA Rated Vehicles for 2011

The Top 10 Face Plants on a Local Television Game Show of 2011. 

Stop with the top. What I care about is the bottom.

Or maybe if you’re the best of the worst, you’re still “Top 10.” I don’t know…here goes:

Christmas is coming — we’re within hours. I may be a grownup, but let me tell you, I’m excited. I’m not stressed, I’m Holly Jolly Happy, and I’m ready for Christmas.

But when I put the list that follows here together, I cried a little.

And not just on the inside. It put a damper on my holiday mood. Be prepared.

Disclaimer: These toys are wrapped up in a whole lot of complicated gender roll/motherhood/feminism issues…so take my snark with a grain of salt, folks.

 

THE TOP 10 WORST TOYS TO GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER THIS CHRISTMAS

1.       My Cleaning Trolly Set.

Wow. And in case the toy's target audience wasn't self evident, the box reads, "girl's only." 

That’s what our girls need — to pretend to do useful things around the house.

If you’re going to subjugate them, why not make it productive, too? At least we can have our houses cleaned while we’re crushing their dreams.

 

2.       The Pole Dancing Dolly

I have nothing.

Just 'cause it’s a great workout doesn’t mean it’s a great life decision.

The fact that someone green-lighted this toy is reprehensible, and really unimaginable. Who are you!?

 

3.       Future Hooters Girl

Before you even need to cut a shirt for the curves of a woman, we advertise them for sex.

Let’s take our prepubescent girls, right when they’re most impressionable, and tell them that their career prospects shouldn’t include The White House or the board room, but your local Hooters. Great.

 


4.       Bebe Gloton Breastfeeding Doll

This whole thing is mixed up in a lot of touchy subjects, so honestly, I’m not going to go there. But really? Really?


 

5.       The Stylin’ Studio

This isn’t about imperfections that go away by themselves — braces, crooked bangs, a pimple. This is about deciding that your nose makes you look fat and that your eyelids are crooked or your chin is too small.

This toy teaches our daughters that we have to change everything to be considered beautiful.

Is your daughter into photography? Give her a digital camera and a subscription to National Geographic.

Don’t get her this. Please.

 

6.       Allergic to Algebra

This is one is so bad they don’t even sell it anymore.

Way to go, folks. Way to go.

The barriers for women in math and science careers aren’t thick enough. Let’s build one more brick wall, lets fortify that stereotype just one more time.

 

7.        “Too Pretty To Do Homework…So My BROTHER DOES IT FOR ME”

Here’s a shout-out to all the girls who are smarter than their brothers!

Actually, I’m not one of them — mine’s getting a Ph.D,  but he never did my homework for me. That’s what!

 

8.       Smart Like Dad, Pretty Like Mommy Onesies.

And for all the new moms out there — how about giving your infant one of these for Christmas?

Let’s insult the baby and the parents at the same time! What a great idea.

The only person that gets an ego boost? Dad.

 

9.       Sweet Talkin’ Ken

Yep.

Let’s teach our girls that the best relationships are with men for whom you can literally be a puppet master.

Isn’t there anything between a push-over and a despot?

Is this better than a Ken doll who whispers sweet nothings that he thought of himself?

Well, that Ken would probably give gifts like the ones on this list, so I’m not sure that’s a good option either…

 

10.   Modest Is Hottest

OK, here’s one you weren’t expecting.

A shirt supporting modesty is bad news? In a list of Hooters shirts, this is bad?

Consider this: It may come from a place of affirmation of women and healthy sexual behavior, but really it’s just objectifying modest girls now, too!

Cat calls for all! 

I’m not against affirmation, and I’m not against looking good, but what we shouldn’t be perpetuating in any form is lifting up women based solely on their looks.

*Moves Soapbox*              

Everyone out there, let’s try giving our girls something positive this Christmas.

One gift at a time, we can foster their intellect.

One gift at a time, we can affirm their worth as contributors and not just bystanders.

We can give them value beyond their curls and big brown eyes, which are beautiful, yes, but what about giving them a book that doesn’t have a princess as the main character?

What about that science kit that you were looking at for your nephew? Would your niece like it too?

I don’t think any of you bought a ‘Future Hooters Girl’ shirt for your daughter, but you have a few days left to return that sparkly bow-making kit for a Scrabble Junior set.

Girls, take it from me, paint your nails, but read a book while they’re drying. It works great.

Carrie Adams is the Communications Associate for Sojourners. Follow Carrie on Twitter @MadameCAdams.

 

 

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