Monday’s Food for Thought: The Cultural Evolution of Toys

A fellow graduate wife recently shared this post with me and it has definitely given me much to think about.

The author, Rachel, a former graduate wife herself, shares a disturbing trend in the evolution of the My Little Pony doll and has raised some good points on what these startling changes mean for our children.  Having a daughter myself, I am dreading the day she wants to go shopping for a new doll and hands me a barbie that resembles a stripper.  Not my idea of a fun and carefree childhood toy.  Hmm… and thinking through what all this means for our society, not just my little two year old.  What is up?!

Check out her post that is full of interesting and surprising pictures, as well as few other similar posts that capture (in words and pictures) the rapid change from innocent girl toys made for five year olds, to over the top, cleaveage showing dolls made with more shopping accessories than you can imagine.

Some of her thoughts below:

On My Little Pony: “Is the slimming of toy horses reflective of the growing fear of fat in our culture? Does sexiness in a toy animal relate in any way to the expectation of sexiness in or of a young girl? I don’t know. But the old ponies seem childlike and sweet, and the new ones don’t.”

On Strawberry Shortcake: “Why does a fanciful, friendly rag doll have to be turned into a sexy, skinny pre-teen?  Are we witnessing the Disney-princessification of everything?”

On Polly Pocket: “Polly and her anorexic friends (seen here) aboard a floating paradise-of-consumption.”

Thoughts?  How do you handle this with your kids?  What does this say about the world we are living in?

-M.C.

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