Sam Gordon is the first female football player ever to be shown on a Wheaties box. She is nine years old.
We are a cereal eating family. At any given time, we have about 7 boxes in our pantry. My children’s favorites right now are Cheerios, granola, and Special K with strawberries. My kids are also obsessed with looking at, or if they can, reading the boxes. Each one will place the box in front of her bowl to give her “privacy” and easy access to the info. (Don’t ask me, but apparently, my husband also did this as a kid, and from the time and energy marketers put into these boxes, my guess is it’s a common practice.)
About a year ago, I blogged about the awful, horrible, offensive Special K box . Check out who my daughters get to read about in the morning:
That’s right, this woman’s weight loss gave her “a sense of pride I’ve never felt before.” She’s telling my daughters that the biggest accomplishment of her life is losing weight. That’s just the lesson I want my daughters to digest along with their morning cereal.
Around the time I blogged about Special K, I posted pics of the “junk” cereal boxes. Even I was shocked at the total lack– LACK– of female characters. If a female does show up on the box, she is literally marginalized.
Here’s Cocoa Pebbles. On the front of the box, there’s Fred, waving at us. At the top of the box, you can see buddies, Fred and Barney, driving cars and having fun.
More fun for Fred and Barney can be found on the back on the box. There they are playing a racing game with their cars. A game you can access on your smart phone as well. How cool is that?
Where’s Wilma? Is she car racing? Is she in a game at all? No, silly. Women can’t drive! They’re not fast, they don’t compete, they don’t care about winning. Women are above all that boy stuff. Women, just like the Special K lady, care about “health.”
There’s Wilma, on the side of the box, hoping kids are getting enough Vitamin D.
If you think this gender bias happens to be only the particular cereals my family eats, check out this link where a guy posts nostalgically about his childhood cereal eating days and the greatest kids’s cereals of all time. Except for one box with three characters that includes one female, his list features 100% male characters. Check out your supermarket and you’ll see a similar gender ratio.