Did you know viral Goldie Blox ad is selling princess themed toy?

This is how fucked up kidworld has become. Finally, parents are catching on that gender stereotyping children limits potential. So what do we get?  An anti-everything pink and princess themed ad, which is great, selling a princess themed toy. WTF?

Here’s the ad.

Here’s the toy, which isn’t so great. “In this much-anticipated sequel, Goldie’s friends Ruby and Katinka compete in a princess pageant with the hopes of riding in the town parade. When Katinka loses the crown, Goldie and Ruby team up to build her a parade float as well as other fun rolling, spinning, and whirling designs.”


Read this blog by Rebecca Hains to learn more. “I have been rooting for GoldieBlox since their Kickstarter days, and I love their mission to break stereotypes and spark a love of STEM in girls. But by pandering to princess culture, this new offering just isn’t living up to the promise.”

Melissa Wardy also has a great blog on this: “You cannot create a toy meant to break down stereotypes when you start off with the ideal that ‘we know all girls love princesses.’ ”

Another good one here (though I think it’s fine to change sexist lyrics and make them your own.) Goldie Blox, no thanks. “It’s the same dumb-downed princess bullshit as the rest of the stuff they are shoving down the throats of our daughters.”

I am pretty sure I gave money to Goldie Blox’s Kickstarter campaign. I know I intended to, but I’m not positive I followed through. I certainly promoted the toy in its earliest days on Reel Girl’s blog, Facebook page, an my Twitter feed.

Once again, I like the Goldie Blox ad. I understand the product is supposed to be a step towards getting girls interested in engineering, but this doublespeak makes me feel like I’m being taken for a ride on a big, old float right down Main Street. I would not have given money or promoted a toy like the one above. I don’t know if Goldie Blox’s “success” made it become this or if this was this always the intention. Maybe, like someone on Reel Girl’s Facebook page writes, Goldie Blox is trying to “straddle the market.” If so, that kind of risk-free, inauthentic approach appeals to me even less than the product.

The toy box shown at the end of the ad is Goldie Blox and the spinning machine. You could argue that the Goldie Blox princess is just one image, or one character, of many. But what I thought is that this brand was going to be different. In a market saturated with princess/ pageant narratives, Goldie Blox was going to stand out as moving beyond stereotypes, not just in some products, some of the time. Maybe I misunderstood the message, but aren’t parents seeing this ad misunderstanding it as well?

Here are 4 previous blogs I’ve written about Goldie Blox where you can see how I progressively begin to question what is being created and sold to kids. One of the lines in the adoring media that really creeps me out states that those sweet, caring girls have “an inclination to help.” In boyspeak, we call that same impulse something more heroic: “a rescue fantasy.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if toys, and the language used to market them, was created for humans, not stereotypes?

‘The thing is, 89% of engineers are male, so we literally live in a man’s world’

GoldieBlox: new building toy created around a narrative with female protagonist

Ever heard of a prince with ‘an inclination to help’ a maiden in distress?

Toy companies start marketing sexism as progressive



NYT reports on link between toys and grown-up inequality

You will not believe what the New York Times is reporting today!

“Girls’ toys are often about beauty and the home, while toys for boys are mostly about being active, building things and having adventures,” said Laura Nelson, a neuroscientist who led the campaign against Hamleys last year and runs Breakthrough, a project combating stereotyping in schools. “Gender-specific color-coding influences the activities children choose, the skills they build and ultimately the roles they take in society.”

The post goes into stats about pay equity and gender segregation in the professions. Right here is basically the whole reason why I started Reel Girl: the sexism in kidworld is so blatant, so offensive, so pernicious and yet, happily accepted and celebrated by smart, educated, progressive parents who carefully teach their kids how to separate garbage.

I would go on, but I’m really trying (REALLY TRYING) not to blog for one more month, and I have a couple more links I need to tell you about.

Another tale of misled parenting: a bullied teen is receiving free plastic surgery from a non-profit.

Think there’s a non-profit out there to help teen girls with low self-esteem by providing free breast enhancements?

The problem is the bully, not the kid! The bully, not the kid.

One more for you on the Jonah Lehrer plagarism scandal. In my opinion, The New Yorker is being silly-indignant by getting on Lehrer for “self-plagarism” (is that even a real term?)

All blogs are repetitive; they are more like speaking than print writing.

That said, making up and cutting and splicing Bob Dylan quotes in a digital age, when they can be fact-checked by anyone in 2 seconds, is kind of amazing.

Salon.com has a great piece on how the Lehrer phenomenon was allowed to happen, how it has in the past and will again, largely because of the role the media plays in creating and perpetuating the “boy-genius” myth.