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Bitchy, Diva Attitude - Page 6

post #101 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Anyway, I don't understand the idea of personalities being "sold" to girls. I think that something can't be sold unless there is a buyer. Personal responsibility is where it's at. If I see a 5yo with "flirt" across the seat of her shorts, I'm not going to blame society or the corporations who manufacture the product. I'm going to blame the parents who bought the item.
So I can manufacture anything, market it to whomever I like, and I bear no responsibility for the products I bring into the world?

I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but I do think there's an interest in turning our children into good little consumers, and I tend to think these "purchase a personality" products are part of that. Given that marketers are consciously trying to teach my kids how to best wear me down so I will buy their products, I think they bear some responsibility when their plan succeeds.

I'm not arguing against personal responsibility, I'm just saying there's such a thing as corporate responsibility as well.

ZM
post #102 of 172
Marketing is a science, a precise science. They use focus groups, sociological research, and more to get out a very very precisely tuned message in such a way that the largest portion of their chosen market segment will purchase the product. Do not believe for one single SECOND that it is not like this and it's just that easy to turn away. There are entire degree programs dedicated to teaching people how to convince other people to buy finely-crafted messages and integrate those messages into their lives. I suggest, for anyone thinking that it's all about "personal responsibility" to do some reading of books written for and by marketers. It will make your head spin.
post #103 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post

Ugh. We just had to deal with the "Boys are Stupid" crap in a book store over the weekend. DS (7 in a month) was looking for a blank book for drawing/notes/etc and came across one with "Boys are Stupid." He looked at it, read it and then started crying. He kept asking how girls would feel if there was a book with "girls are Stupid" on the cover. It really hurt him and I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would think that appropriate to say about anyone and then market it to a kid.
post #104 of 172
Haven't read the whole thread, but I don't feel that my dd's personality is so easily swayed that she is going to be influenced by baubles from Claires to become a "diva" or anything else. If I did think so, I'd seriously examine my parenting to see what I could rectify.
post #105 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Haven't read the whole thread, but I don't feel that my dd's personality is so easily swayed that she is going to be influenced by baubles from Claires to become a "diva" or anything else. If I did think so, I'd seriously examine my parenting to see what I could rectify.
Wow. The naivete in that post is mind-boggling.
post #106 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
I couldn't agree more and I'm grateful to the PP who suggested it. Interestingly, my DD and I just walked into Old Navy yesterday and the first thing I saw was a new display for jeans with the very large words "SWEETHEART," "FLIRT," and "DIVA" written across the display. Yep, that's it. You can only be one of those three types if you want jeans. The "sweetheart" has the highest rise; the "diva" the lowest.
Nope, you don't have to be one of those three types, you have the OPTION of going to another store. Nobody is forced to buy those clothes against their will.
post #107 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennnk View Post
Marketing is a science, a precise science. They use focus groups, sociological research, and more to get out a very very precisely tuned message in such a way that the largest portion of their chosen market segment will purchase the product. Do not believe for one single SECOND that it is not like this and it's just that easy to turn away. There are entire degree programs dedicated to teaching people how to convince other people to buy finely-crafted messages and integrate those messages into their lives. I suggest, for anyone thinking that it's all about "personal responsibility" to do some reading of books written for and by marketers. It will make your head spin.
Absolutely. Marketers are especially enthralled with the social media trends - it provides a whole new venue for them to hawk their wares in. However, it leads to subtler/sneakier tactics which are harder for consumers to recognize as marketing - the line justs keeps getting blurrier.
post #108 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Haven't read the whole thread, but I don't feel that my dd's personality is so easily swayed that she is going to be influenced by baubles from Claires to become a "diva" or anything else. If I did think so, I'd seriously examine my parenting to see what I could rectify.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
Wow. The naivete in that post is mind-boggling.
I don't think that's necessarily true. I think that Choli makes a valid point that is very similar to what many other people have said in this thread. We do have a responsibility and the ability as parents to influence how our children react to those "baubles" in Claires or whatever the item is. I talk to my daughter about commercials and I try to limit her exposure to them. I want her to understand what the marketers are trying to do. If I realized she was becoming really swayed by something I would re-examine my approach and see how else I could try to teach her about it.

Marketing is an incredible field. My husband is getting his MBA and just took a marketing course. It was very interesting to read some of the case studies for his class and some of the types of research that are done. As someone else mentioned people get whole degrees in this field and make a ton of money studying human psychology and the best way to get the consumer to buy something. Just think about all the reports of how supermarkets play different music at different times of day based on who tends to shop at those times or the long-term influence of Joe Camel or Tony the Tiger. Marketing costs companies billions of dollars a year. They wouldn't do it if they weren't getting a return on their money.
post #109 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
Given that marketers are consciously trying to teach my kids how to best wear me down so I will buy their products, I think they bear some responsibility when their plan succeeds.

I'm not arguing against personal responsibility, I'm just saying there's such a thing as corporate responsibility as well.

ZM
But if you are aware that your kids are using techniques they were taught to wear you down, why do you give in? If you give in, the responsibility lies with YOU, especially when you are aware of what is going on.
post #110 of 172
Quote:
We do have a responsibility and the ability as parents to influence how our children
As the mother of a 20 yo (and a 2 yo and a 4 yo) I can say that once they reach the age of 12 or so, it's a whole new ballgame.
post #111 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
As the mother of a 20 yo (and a 2 yo and a 4 yo) I can say that once they reach the age of 12 or so, it's a whole new ballgame.
As the mother of a 10 and 13 yr old, I can say that much depends on how you've prepared the ground when they are younger.
post #112 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
As the mother of a 20 yo (and a 2 yo and a 4 yo) I can say that once they reach the age of 12 or so, it's a whole new ballgame.
It certainly wasn't for my house when I was growing up. My mother made it clear that it was HER money that bought us clothes and if she didn't approve, it wasn't purchased, full stop, no matter how much pleading or "but everyone ELSE is wearing it and they're TEASING ME" I whined. Even when I got a job, all my purchases were cleared through her and I knew better than to push the envelope. I wasn't even allowed to wear a skirt without pantyhose until I was 16, nevermind halter tops or anything else skimpy. 2-piece bathing suits weren't allowed until I was 14, and even then it was only because the only option in the store at the time (March, we were going on vacation) was a bikini. The next year, I got a one-piece again, because that's what Mom allowed. Yes, some kids will rebel (gotta love those episodes of Maury Povitch that South Park spoofed..."Whatever, whatever, I do what I want!"), but not all kids will; some will have the fear of MOM scared into them, and that will be enough to keep "juicy" off their butts.
post #113 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
As the mother of a 10 and 13 yr old, I can say that much depends on how you've prepared the ground when they are younger.
Yep. Educating our kids about how marketing works, what marketing does in the way of influencing purchasing decisions and its impact on the culture is a great way to lay that groundwork. Books like Packaging Girlhood are great tools to help parents understand how to talk to our kids about brands and advertising.

JennK - I wasn't referring to kids rebelling when I said "whole new ballgame". I was referring to the influence peers have over our kids beyond our ability as parents to shield or really even to influence. They *will* go the mall; they *will* see the clothes their friends wear, and they *will* develop their own ideas about what is appropriate and appealing - and many of those ideas will be shaped by marketing and advertising.
post #114 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
JennnK - I wasn't referring to kids rebelling when I said "whole new ballgame". I was referring to the influence peers have over our kids beyond our ability as parents to shield or really even to influence. They *will* go the mall; they *will* see the clothes their friends wear, and they *will* develop their own ideas about what is appropriate and appealing - and many of those ideas will be shaped by marketing and advertising.
I figured that's what you meant. And that's what I meant by my mom putting her foot down. I didn't go to the mall without my mom, wasn't allowed to until I was 16, and I only ever got $10 (IF I got money at all) when I went and most of that was spent on food (slice of pizza, drink, and a cinnabon, mmmmmm cinnabon). My mom didn't care if other girls were wearing short skirts and "90% bitch, 10% princess" shirts, she made it perfectly clear that she thought those things were trashy (her words, not mine), and even more clear that no daughter of hers would be allowed out of the house wearing something ridiculous (again, her words). Of course, my mom once pointed out a kid with a green mohawk and told me "If you ever come home with your hair like THAT, I will shave. your. head." I was three. And when my friend pierced her nipple, my mother said, "If you ever do that, I will tear it out myself." My mother doesn't understand marketing or advertising, but she does understand what she believes, and she believes that this type of "fashion" that we're discussing in this thread is unacceptable and trashy and makes people judge you as less than you are. She believes the same of torn jeans, stained shirts, and clothes that don't fit properly, and constantly gave my male friends hell when they came over and their underpants were showing. She even pants'd my boyfriend once, then told him he should stop wearing his dad's clothes. He wore a belt every time he came over, even after we broke up, still does to this day.
post #115 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
But if you are aware that your kids are using techniques they were taught to wear you down, why do you give in? If you give in, the responsibility lies with YOU, especially when you are aware of what is going on.
Well, I don't give in, as far as I'm aware. I recognize that I am responsible for what I purchase, but aren't *they* responsible for what they manufacture, market, and sell? Am I not allowed to be a little ticked that of all their possible options, they choose to sell things that are unhealthy, unkind, and age-inappropriate?

ZM
post #116 of 172
I know that this is not neccesarily in the same line with the whole thread but I do believe that this article demostrates the power that marketing has on our children.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.....ap/index.html

http://www.time.com/time/health/arti...650268,00.html


So, I must agree that to think that marketing in all forms does not impact our childrens' taste in everything from fashion to food would be naive.
post #117 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
I just checked the Old Navy website, and for girls they offer "the girlfriend" and "the darling" jean styles. I consider either of those to be just about completely innocuous. I don't think they are at all the same as "diva", "flirt" or "slut".

However, "the darling" is nauseatingly patronizing. As is all the personality-branding. I shop at Target, a bit at Lands End, and I'm trying to find a good thrift store.

ZM
The jeans I was talking about were marketed toward teenage girls, not girls younger than 12.
post #118 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Haven't read the whole thread, but I don't feel that my dd's personality is so easily swayed that she is going to be influenced by baubles from Claires to become a "diva" or anything else. If I did think so, I'd seriously examine my parenting to see what I could rectify.
If it were only baubles from Claire's, Choli, it would be easy: we could say, "Oh, don't go in there" and explain why and hopefully that would suffice. However, the problem of marketing certain specific identities to girls (and to boys too, but girls are the subject of the moment) does not stop at the store door, or even the mall door, but into nearly everything our daughters read, hear, and play with.

I don't pretend to have some magic solution. We homeschool, and that's going to prevent exposure to what I personally see as a largely noxious culture, but obviously it doesn't prevent it 100%. I don't think you can escape some cultural noxiousness (and OBnoxiousness) even if you're Amish. What I do think is incumbent on most parents is to consider the effects on your child that these messages some people think of as funny are going to have on their child and on other people's treatment of that child and how those treatments may seriously affect their friendships, their opportunities in life, their perception of themselves, and a host of other issues.
post #119 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Nope, you don't have to be one of those three types, you have the OPTION of going to another store. Nobody is forced to buy those clothes against their will.
Choli, perhaps you should read the whole thread.

Other people have spoken very eloquently about how these three basic types are not just present in jeans at Old Navy. They're nearly omnipresent. The Old Navy jeans were just one of many examples.
post #120 of 172
Right. And it's not just jeans, or clothes, or stuff at Claire's. It's school notebooks, lunchboxes, bicycles (oh, the part in the book about bicycles really ticked me off!), videogames, and on and on and on.
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