Yesterday Adrian's scout group had their ceremonial wherein the kids received the badges they had earned over the year. Adrian got 8! The ceremonial was held at Kankakee River State Park, which is about an hour from our house. On the way home, Adrian asked to get dinner from the drive-thru.
Usually I avoid the drive-thru. I don't like the culture, I don't think the food is healthy, I don't like all the trash that is a result of a meal-in-a-bag. But I was exhausted from corraling 2 kids out in the woods all day, and he had been really good so we pulled up to a McDonalds. I don't really like McDonalds either--they are like the WalMart of the food industry and I find them distasteful. I placed the order for 2 happy meals, and the voice-from-a-box asked if they were for boys or girls. (a small alarm went off, but I ignored it) I said one of each. We drive to the first window and pay, then we drive to the second window and get our bags.
Once home, I get a good look at the toys. Adrian got a hot wheels car--cool. He loves those things and 1 car can keep him busy for HOURS.
Fiona got a Barbie compact with lip gloss.
I lost my shit.
Make up is not a toy. Children don't need it (they don't need hot wheels cars either, but that's not the point I'm trying to make).
In one seemingly innocent package, McDonalds manages to deliver a load of social conditioning and a message about gender roles.
Again, I lost my shit.
And I know some of you are probably thinking "Relax, it's just a toy. It's just about having fun".
Go and ask any grown woman you know WHY she puts on make up. I will guarantee you it's not because she needs a dose of fun before she heads out the door in the morning.
Halloween make up is fun. Clown make up is fun (creepy, but fun).
But a mirrored compact with lip gloss is just setting girls up for disappointment. There are only a limited number of play scenarios that you can use that particular item in. And none of them seem to encourage girls to be proud of their bodies and their brains.
I was hoping that we had moved past the idea that girls are to be concerned with how they look, whereas boys are to be concerned with how things work.
So, that's my soapbox.
Thanks for visiting.