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Bitchy, Diva Attitude - Page 7

post #121 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
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.
It's anger issues, anxiety disorders, eating disorders... whether or not you buy the sh**. Not buying the stuff and saying that your influence as a parent will supercede the allure of marketing really is naive.
I mean, it's true that we have a great influence on our kids and we have the opportunity to influence who they become. But some children don't have the benefit of physically and emotionally present parents. Some kids are just another mouth to feed. And besides worrying about how my DD grows up, I worry about them, too.
post #122 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
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.
Heck, I was visiting some friends w/ a newborn baby and his little fabric book showed boys doing active things like riding horses and girls doing nurturing things like caring for little sheep.

Compelling or coercing kids into gender roles begins VERY early and it's VERY subtle. I don't think I would've noticed if I hadn't had this subject on the brain.
post #123 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
The jeans I was talking about were marketed toward teenage girls, not girls younger than 12.
Well, unfortunately, a lot of preteen girls are big enough to buy grown up sizes. and the stuff marketed to the tweens is pretty sleazy anyway. when I sold children's clothing I was shocked at our entire holiday season's offerings one year. Nothing but slinky sexy stuff! For children? Ick.
post #124 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by silly_scout View Post
It's anger issues, anxiety disorders, eating disorders... whether or not you buy the sh**. Not buying the stuff and saying that your influence as a parent will supercede the allure of marketing really is naive.
I mean, it's true that we have a great influence on our kids and we have the opportunity to influence who they become. But some children don't have the benefit of physically and emotionally present parents. Some kids are just another mouth to feed. And besides worrying about how my DD grows up, I worry about them, too.
Gordon Neufeld's Hold On to Your Kids was one of the most depressing books I've recently read, because all I could think about was all the kids who weren't going to have 'present' parents staying connected with them, and would be navigating the muck of growing up basically on their own or with their friends. And trying to figure out how I could try to help them by being the connected adult he speaks about in his book. :

I think for me, it's not just that the "only" options out there are for princess/diva/slut because that's not true, you can certainly decide to not spend your money on anything you don't want to. For me, it's more the fact that these image options are being portrayed as positive ones that are a goal for girls to become...instead of perhaps being smart, considerate, and confident, which I would see as actual goals for a kid of either gender. It's the negative/destructive/selfish image options being sold as desireable that bothers me, for both boys and girls.
post #125 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.
As someone who is in marketing and has even done marking research, this made me laugh out loud. Marketing is anything but a precise science especially the marketing research that you mention. Focus groups are mostly a joke at this point for marketing research. Human nature is not a precise science.

That said, yes the entire purpose of marketing is to get someone to think about a company a certain way and buy a product. The first thing they teach you though is that you can try lying about a product and get people to buy it but you won't get lasting customers if you do. What you need to do is find the need that your product fills. If the product doesn't fill a need no amount of sales pitches is going to make it sell.

In this case, there's a need for tweeners to do some rebellion. And here are products that seem to fill that need in a "cool and edgy" way. There was a great article about Bratz and Barbie and most mothers don't actually like either so they provide a bit of rebellion for young girls. Mothers put up with it b/c well it's just a doll and it's teaching their girls to care about how they look and giving them a chance to rebel in a controlled way.

Yes you're being marketed to. It is your responsibility to figure out though what need you or your child has that's being marketed to (self esteem? rebellion?) and figure out if that's the best way to fill that need. Until we as a society no longer feel like a product or series of products fill a need marketers are just going to keep doing what works. It's their job.
post #126 of 172
Well, I'm the one who brought up personal responsibility and was called naive for it.

My parents didn't buy me garbage because they were broke. Actually, I never really asked for garbage, so maybe I'm an anomaly. Since I was given a lot of freedom as a kid, and was allowed to make most of my own choices, maybe I had little to rebel against.

As the mother of a teenager and a tween, I don't think anything has changed for us since they hit 12. My youngest is actually just turning 12 this month, but he doesn't seem to have any real desire to appear "cool and edgy." Maybe it's because they don't have the peer pressure that most kids have. They make friends based on common interests.
post #127 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I mostly understand what you're saying, but it is really sad to me that you are using negative language towards females--"bitchy" and "diva"--to describe this stuff. Maybe it's just a sign of how ingrained it it in our collective consciousness to put down and negatively stereotype girls.
I haven't had enough coffee as of yet to fully articulate why I agree with Annettemarie's statement so strongly....

But I completely, 110%, instinctively do. This was my very first gut reaction to the OP.

More later, after caffeine, perhaps.
post #128 of 172
Quote:
it is really sad to me that you are using negative language towards females--"bitchy" and "diva"--to describe this stuff. Maybe it's just a sign of how ingrained it it in our collective consciousness to put down and negatively stereotype girls.
I didn't take it that she was using those word to describe girls. She was using those words to describe the nature of the identity that is being marketed to girls. As she wrote in the OP:

Quote:
Why are marketers selling this identity to girls?
"Diva" is an actual word that appears on clothing that is marketed to girls. "Bitchy" is the attitude that is conveyed by many of the products, for example, some of the Happy Bunny stuff that is discussed in this thread.

I think Meg Murry is actually saying the opposite, that girls are NOT divas or bitches, and asking the question, why is it tolerated that companies wish to *sell* things that label them as such?
post #129 of 172
By labeling certain behaviors diva, bitchy, or slutty, I do think we're adopting the same female-negative language as the marketers. A shirt says "I'm the center of the universe," and we (collective we) label it bitchy or diva. A shirt says "I have lots of boyfriends" and we claim the shirt is for "future sluts." The shirts that actually say "diva" or "bitch" or "slut" on them, that's one thing. But taking the saying and extrapolating that the girls who wear them are future bitches, divas, or sluts (among other things) is quite another. I just find the language, even in a discussion like this, to be negative, disturbing, and counterproductive.
post #130 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
I think Meg Murry is actually saying the opposite, that girls are NOT divas or bitches, and asking the question, why is it tolerated that companies wish to *sell* things that label them as such?
I think it's a freedom issue.

I'm not really on board with censorship, which is probably why I find MDC so frustrating at times.

If people don't want their daughters to get sucked into the Diva/Princess culture, then they 1) need to stop buying products that promote it, and 2) have meaningful discussions with their kids as to why they disagree with it.

This thread is beginning to remind me of the recent case down South, in which a certain town banned the style of dress which reveals one's boxers. Yeah, I think that pants belted around the thighs looks incredibly stupid. If someone else wants to look that way, it's not my business. Likewise, my Happy Bunny t-shirt is not really your business.
post #131 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
By labeling certain behaviors diva, bitchy, or slutty, I do think we're adopting the same female-negative language as the marketers. A shirt says "I'm the center of the universe," and we (collective we) label it bitchy or diva. A shirt says "I have lots of boyfriends" and we claim the shirt is for "future sluts." The shirts that actually say "diva" or "bitch" or "slut" on them, that's one thing. But taking the saying and extrapolating that the girls who wear them are future bitches, divas, or sluts (among other things) is quite another. I just find the language, even in a discussion like this, to be negative, disturbing, and counterproductive.
There's a lot of that around MDC. Toddlers in two piece bathing suits looking like sluts, girls wearing spagetti straps looking like sluts, girls in low cut pants looking like sluts...Expressions like "prostitot" and "hoochy mama" applied to children...Sometimes I wonder if I've time travelled back to junior high with the amount of character judgements (usually negative) attached to clothes and hairstyles on MDC.
post #132 of 172
I only read the first page but this dawned on me from one of the posts:

there really are very few, if any positive "themes" going towards girls. Most consist of the bitchy diva, slut or princess theme for girls. that stinks!
where are the positive messages for girls to tell them that being smart is cool, you don't have to be a diva or slutty to be popular, there's no need to be a bitch to other girls to make yourself appear cooler, you don't need a man on your arm to be successful or to support you....frustrating.

for boys you get the homework is stupid shirts, or i'd sell my sister for a video game, I'm bored or not listening to you...that's not so great either.

no i won't buy my children those things.
post #133 of 172
Quote:
2tadpoles wrote: I think it's a freedom issue.

I'm not really on board with censorship, which is probably why I find MDC so frustrating at times.
Nobody is suggesting that these products be banned or made illegal. By "tolerated", I mean, why do some parents (enough to make it worthwhile to the fashion industry) passively either avoid or accept these products? Why is there so little reaction or consequence to the companies that so blatantly promote negative stereotypes?

I agree that dark humor, satire, and parody are all fun forms of self expression. I don't agree with marketing those forms of expression to/ for children who are too young to understand what they mean, or to get the irony. In those cases, the children are not self-expressing, they are being used as marketing tools for the consumerist culture, without their knowledge or consent.

Which is why we, as parents, must be vigilant, as so many who have posted in this thread have agreed. Talking to our kids, and helping them distinguish between acceptable products and unacceptable products, is the topic being discussed here.
post #134 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
I didn't take it that she was using those word to describe girls. She was using those words to describe the nature of the identity that is being marketed to girls. As she wrote in the OP:



"Diva" is an actual word that appears on clothing that is marketed to girls. "Bitchy" is the attitude that is conveyed by many of the products, for example, some of the Happy Bunny stuff that is discussed in this thread.

I think Meg Murry is actually saying the opposite, that girls are NOT divas or bitches, and asking the question, why is it tolerated that companies wish to *sell* things that label them as such?
Thank you very much for understanding. I thought my point was obvious, and I think it was to most people. I sincerely appreciate the very clear, straightforward articulation of what I meant -- you said it better than I could have.
post #135 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
By labeling certain behaviors diva, bitchy, or slutty, I do think we're adopting the same female-negative language as the marketers. A shirt says "I'm the center of the universe," and we (collective we) label it bitchy or diva. A shirt says "I have lots of boyfriends" and we claim the shirt is for "future sluts." The shirts that actually say "diva" or "bitch" or "slut" on them, that's one thing. But taking the saying and extrapolating that the girls who wear them are future bitches, divas, or sluts (among other things) is quite another. I just find the language, even in a discussion like this, to be negative, disturbing, and counterproductive.
Would you prefer "Outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism"?

The problem, Annettemarie, is that "Outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism" is TOO gender-neutral. These marketers are creating the princess/slut/diva identities for girls specifically, and they are capitalizing on thousands of years of misogynist stereotypes of women as vain, materialistic, self-centered, sex-using gold-diggers to do it. These stereotypes being marketed at Claire's, Old Navy, A&F, and so many places elsewhere are specifically female, not gender-neutral at all. Therefore, it would blur the definition of what these marketers are doing to call it "outrageous, quasi-sociopathic narcissism," though it is also that. To do that would be to ignore the fact that "diva" (for example) is being sold as a POSITIVE identity, something you should want to be if you are a girl.

There is no comparable stereotype (or even label, not even the infrequently-used "Divo," which gives me bad Eighties flashbacks anyway) for boys.
post #136 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonconformnmom View Post
Nobody is suggesting that these products be banned or made illegal. By "tolerated", I mean, why do some parents (enough to make it worthwhile to the fashion industry) passively either avoid or accept these products? Why is there so little reaction or consequence to the companies that so blatantly promote negative stereotypes?

I agree that dark humor, satire, and parody are all fun forms of self expression. I don't agree with marketing those forms of expression to/ for children who are too young to understand what they mean, or to get the irony. In those cases, the children are not self-expressing, they are being used as marketing tools for the consumerist culture, without their knowledge or consent.

Which is why we, as parents, must be vigilant, as so many who have posted in this thread have agreed. Talking to our kids, and helping them distinguish between acceptable products and unacceptable products, is the topic being discussed here.
Yes, and my original question was not, "Can we censor this?" but "Why is this identity being marketed -- and bought?"
post #137 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
I'm not really on board with censorship, which is probably why I find MDC so frustrating at times.
Hm. I kind of agree with this statement. I feel like I can't really elaborate on why I agree without breaking a UA violation again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tadpoles View Post
Likewise, my Happy Bunny t-shirt is not really your business.
Happy Bunny is innocuous enough (IMO), but anything that markets women in a negative light IS my business, because I am a woman and my DD will be a woman one day. And I think we're all in agreement that people have the right to buy what they want... it's more of a "what the flippin' heck is wrong with a culture where these are the images women are pigeon-holed into?"
post #138 of 172
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silly_scout View Post

Happy Bunny is innocuous enough (IMO), but anything that markets women in a negative light IS my business, because I am a woman and my DD will be a woman one day. And I think we're all in agreement that people have the right to buy what they want... it's more of a "what the flippin' heck is wrong with a culture where these are the images women are pigeon-holed into?"
:
post #139 of 172
This thread is interesting. I really don't have a problem with sarcastic humour (aka "Happy Bunny") But it's not really something I would choose to wear or put on my daughter. Aside from the odd onsie that has "little star" "little sweety" or "Grandmas Angel" on it, she doesn't have any sort of "personality" tees (sarcastic, mean, diva or otherwise) I try to avoid them as well.

My main issue are the things that promote "exteme self esteem" in little girls or kids in general but mostly seems to be directed at young girs. I don't really like it. And 9 times out of 10 it's superficial qualities. I'm not saying that it's bad to think you are smart or even pretty...I just think it's bad to be arrogant about it.

And this may be mean or shallow, but whever I see a person that has one of those narcissitic "Hottie", "Cuter, than you" "StudMuffin" or Playboy bunny logo t-shirts on...I tend to immediately focus on all the physical qualities that make them not that. (for example an extremely skinny/chubby 12 year old girl with no boobs to speak of/muffin top wearing a playboy bunny shirt...is definately NOT a playboy bunny)

Self Esteem does not equal arrogance. And you are not going to find it in a t-shirt...it comes from within. Hopefully I can teach my daughter to believe in herself, that she is smart and beautiful...on the inside and the outside. But so is everyone in their own way. And you don't need a t-shirt to know that and for others to know that.
post #140 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by phreedom View Post
And this may be mean or shallow, but whever I see a person that has one of those narcissitic "Hottie", "Cuter, than you" "StudMuffin" or Playboy bunny logo t-shirts on...I tend to immediately focus on all the physical qualities that make them not that. (for example an extremely skinny/chubby 12 year old girl with no boobs to speak of/muffin top wearing a playboy bunny shirt...is definately NOT a playboy bunny).
Maybe that's why she's wearing it - and she gets a kick out of people who don't get the joke.
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