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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Are There Girl and Boy Kindereggs?

Dear Daughters,

Last night when I was grocery shopping a father was ringing out his groceries in front of me and at the last minute he decided he wanted to buy a Kinderegg for his young daughter. He asked the cashier if he could grab a “girl egg”. I watched as he went to the display of Kindereggs and grabbed the one with pink coloring at the top. The ones on display beside these “girl eggs” were wrapped in foil colored white on top and orange on the bottom. By process of elimination, I presume these are the ones the boys are expected to buy even though this is the typical “neutral” packaging of Kindereggs. NOTE: I do realize that they do make Kindereggs with blue coloring on the top that are marketed specifically towards boys.

The little girl was so excited to receive this Kinderegg that she had it opened and was holding up the toy before her father was finished paying for it. The toy was a light blue animal of some sort. And so I wondered what toy would be in the other eggs and if the only difference between the two was the pink on the packaging. Naturally I bought one of each and explored the eggs in great detail. I have pictures and a video to share with you below.

Girl and boy Kindereggs

The Kindereggs – front and back views

Kinderegg Toys

The toys – the toy from the pink egg is on the left and the toy from the typical package is on the right

In conclusion it seems that the only difference between the two eggs (until we get to the toy) is indeed the pink color. The toys were different but fairly “gender neutral”, in terms of the type of marketing we usually see when it comes to toys. It is obvious that marketers have decided that a simple addition of the color pink makes something “for girls” and the story they are telling our children is that pink is for girls. It worked when it came to these Kindereggs didn’t it? Funny thing is the father did not even ask his daughter which egg she would like, he just went straight to the “girl eggs”. I could tell he was happy to buy his daughter a surprise and I don’t think he did anything wrong. What it made me realize though is two things:

1. That’s part of the problem – we don’t even think about it. The message marketers is sending us is so strong, most of us don’t even realize we are buying in to what they are saying. We see a pink item and we think of all the little girls who would love it. We also make a mental note not to buy it for any little boy we know. I used to do it! That’s one reason I started this blog. When I stopped and thought about it and decided to try to avoid the “pink trap”, I found I didn’t really have much choice. Another reason why I started this blog.

2. We don’t give our children choice. McDonald’s decides which toys our children should get based on their gender. Dear Daughters, We Can Stop McDonald’s Genderizing of Toys. Toy stores separate the toys into a section for boys and girls. Dear Daughters, Toy stores scream societal expectations. When buying toys for children, well meaning adults tend to automatically grab anything with pink for girls and avoid pink totally for boys (the case of the Kindereggs we are discussing is a prime example). When we let our children choose a gift for a birthday party they are attending we tend to guide them towards avoiding pink for boys or anything that seems “girly”. What we need to do is back off on the pink, shelve the toys together, and let children decide what they want. There is no such thing as a “girl” or “boy” toy. Our children aren’t born knowing about “girl” and “boy” toys, activities, behaviours, etc. These are taught to them.

We have discussed the color pink before on Dear Daughters. You can also read:

Dear Daughters, Pink is Powerful

Dear Daughters, This is How Pink Became the Color of Anti-Bullying

I will end this post with a little anecdote involving the Kindereggs and a little boy, who was around five or six years old. He was in line behind me when he saw the two Kindereggs I was purchasing on the counter. I took a picture of what they looked like from his vantage point.

Vantage point of the little boy when I was purchasing my Kindereggs

Vantage point of the little boy when I was purchasing my Kindereggs

All he could see was the orange on the bottom of the “boy egg” and the pink on the top of the “girl egg”. He said, “Yummy! Kindereggs are my favourite!” I could not help but ask him which one he would choose if he had the choice and I have to admit I totally expected him to say something about not getting the pink one because that is for girls, but he didn’t. He said, “I would choose both!” I loved that answer! Smart boy! He did then narrow it down to “the orange one because orange is my favourite colour!” Nothing about avoiding the pink. He was basing his choices on his personal preferences as he and all of our children should. I told him that orange is my favourite colour too to which he responded, “I love orange. And red! And pink!”

One of his favourite colours is pink. But chances are no one would have bought him that pink colored Kinderegg because he is a boy. It is true he would have chosen the other egg over the pink one, but not for any reason having to do with pink being a “girl color”. In fact, if they had been the only eggs there, he would have gladly taken one. He is a shining example of why we have to stop restricting our children based on their gender. Pink is just a colour to him, and it happens to be one of the ones he loves. I hope it gets to stay on his list of favourites despite the fact that he is a boy.

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