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#1 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, this is a S/O of the princesses thread.

I got the book Packaging Girlhood, by Sharon Lamb, and I was horrified at the description of some of the diva garbage they sell at places like Claire's.

Here are examples:
1. Pink (what other color?) flip-flops that read, "Hey, that butt needs kicking."
2. Tins of cookies inscribed "Poison [crossed out] cookies for a friend" and in the Fun For Bulimics department, "Hey, you make me throw up."
3. Notebooks with statements written on them like "You suck and must be punished," "Can't listen, you're dumb," and my personal favorite for the Sociopathic Narcissism Award, "It's all about me, deal with it."


Why are marketers selling this identity to girls? What possible advantage could there be in encouraging what I cannot help but see as poisonous, corrosive, spoiled nastiness?

Seriously. Anyone know? Why in the world would anyone want to be associated with this kind of identity? Why would this identity be sold to girls?

By the way, I am genuinely asking this question. I want to make my DD aware of this kind of stereotype, but she'll ask why and I have no clue.
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#2 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Worse, they aren't selling it to the girls. They are selling it to the Moms, because that is where the money to buy it is coming from.
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#3 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:03 PM
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Worse, they aren't selling it to the girls. They are selling it to the Moms, because that is where the money to buy it is coming from.
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The marketers have one goal: to make money. They may be capitalist pigs, but who is really guilty...the capitalist pigs, or the parents who provide the cash flow to purchase this crap?

I hate the entire genre...like the "Boys are Dumb" thing. Yuck. Have you seen those t-shirts?
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#4 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Worse, they aren't selling it to the girls. They are selling it to the Moms, because that is where the money to buy it is coming from.
Well, okay, but why in the world would a mother want to have her daughter express an attitude like, "Gold Digger" or "Hottt" or "Boys make good pets"?
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#5 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The marketers have one goal: to make money. They may be capitalist pigs, but who is really guilty...the capitalist pigs, or the parents who provide the cash flow to purchase this crap?

I hate the entire genre...like the "Boys are Dumb" thing. Yuck. Have you seen those t-shirts?
Yeah, I have. Again, why encourage thoughtless sexism? Can you imagine how up-in-arms people would be if a boy wore a shirt that said "Girls are dumb"?

The thing is, I understand very well that the purpose of the marketers is to make money. What I don't understand is why make money constructing and selling this identity? Why this identity?
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#6 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:29 PM
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The thing is, I understand very well that the purpose of the marketers is to make money. What I don't understand is why make money constructing and selling this identity? Why this identity?
You're working on the presumption that marketers have a soul :

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#7 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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You're working on the presumption that marketers have a soul :

I think I must be explaining myself very poorly. Sorry...I'll try again with examples.

Okay, why not t-shirts or notebooks that say things like,

* "Smart Girls Love Math"
* "Hermione is My Hero"
* "I Heart Harvard"
* "Smart Girls Don't Need Sugar Daddies"

or whatever. I could see an advantage to promoting the "smart, academic girl" identity in that many girls (smart or not) would like others to think that they are smart; more girls than guys go to college now, so slogans like these would be reflecting something like reality, and so on. It would be socially beneficial in that it would promote and encourage a behavior that encourages intellectual (and probably financial) advancement.

Conversely, statements like the one in my OP promote a stereotypical view of girls as competitive, backstabbing, materialistic, nasty, and dangerously narcissistic. I see no advantage to that. Why promote THAT identity?

In short, if they're selling ersatz identity -- which of course they are -- why do they make it THAT identity? If you're going to (for example) have a stupid charm bracelet where the girl can "personalize" the bracelet according to specific charms, why do the charms say things like "Princess"? Why not "Soccer Star," or "Straight-A," or "Science Whiz" or "Madam President" or whatever?

Why is this bitchy, diva personality being bought? Why is it being sold? Why is it being bought and sold to the near-exclusion of almost all other faux identities pushed on girls by marketers?

Can anyone tell me that?
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#8 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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I like claires.... If someone doesn't approve for their child by all means don't let your daughter shop there. I have a wicked sense of humor and they sell happy bunny so I buy it. I think most things in claires are tounge in cheek, not ment to be taken serious at all...


ETA: actually all those quotes from the OP are happy bunny... go figure
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#9 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I like claires.... If someone doesn't approve for their child by all means don't let your daughter shop there. I have a wicked sense of humor and they sell happy bunny so I buy it. I think most things in claires are tounge in cheek, not ment to be taken serious at all...


ETA: actually all those quotes from the OP are happy bunny... go figure
That still doesn't answer my question. Also, most things that are "funny" still send a message.
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#10 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Okay, this is a S/O of the princesses thread.

I got the book Packaging Girlhood, by Sharon Lamb, and I was horrified at the description of some of the diva garbage they sell at places like Claire's.

Here are examples:
1. Pink (what other color?) flip-flops that read, "Hey, that butt needs kicking."
2. Tins of cookies inscribed "Poison [crossed out] cookies for a friend" and in the Fun For Bulimics department, "Hey, you make me throw up."
3. Notebooks with statements written on them like "You such and must be punished," "Can't listen, you're dumb," and my personal favorite for the Sociopathic Narcissism Award, "It's all about me, deal with it."


Why are marketers selling this identity to girls? What possible advantage could there be in encouraging what I cannot help but see as poisonous, corrosive, spoiled nastiness?

Seriously. Anyone know? Why in the world would anyone want to be associated with this kind of identity? Why would this identity be sold to girls?

By the way, I am genuinely asking this question. I want to make my DD aware of this kind of stereotype, but she'll ask why and I have no clue.

Being that i just figured out where your quotes came from...I think I can better answer your question than my PP...

It's happy bunnies identity not a girls, he is an evil little rabbit and says mean but funny things imo anyways
Happy Bunny is kind of like South Parks Cartman only in rabbit form...
I believe they market these things because they sell to people who have a warped sense of humor like myself... HTH
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#11 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Being that i just figured out where your quotes came from...I think I can better answer your question than my PP...

It's happy bunnies identity not a girls, he is an evil little rabbit and says mean but funny things imo anyways
Happy Bunny is kind of like South Parks Cartman only in rabbit form...
I believe they market these things because they sell to people who have a warped sense of humor like myself... HTH
But if you're buying Happy Bunny, you're (by extension) making him an extension of YOUR personality, as if YOU were saying these things with him as the proxy -- the ventriloquist's dummy, as it were. It would be absurd, wouldn't it, to say, "My dummy said that, but I didn't"?

Whether it's Cartman or Happy Bunny, they're basically announcing that you're endorsing what are essentially mean statements.

The difference is, though, if you're an adult and you want to buy objects that express mean statements, that's up to you: it's a free country.

However, what I simply don't get is...

1. Why would a parent buy these things?
2. Why is this an identity that this society as a whole would want girls to buy into?

To take all the Happy Bunny statements as parts of an overall personality profile, a girl goes around threatening other people with the prospect of random, purposeless physical violence; she playfully offers what might be drugged or poisoned food; she offers food to others with the message that they or the cookies cause vomiting; and she says random cruelties to others such as the idea that they "suck" and need to "be punished" and finally state that they are the most important person in the entire world and other people have to accept their subordinate status.

I find this kind of identity more than problematic. I find it bordering on the sociopathic. The fact that this kind of identity is encouraged for girls is deeply disturbing.
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#12 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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But if you're buying Happy Bunny, you're (by extension) making him an extension of YOUR personality, as if YOU were saying these things with him as the proxy -- the ventriloquist's dummy, as it were. It would be absurd, wouldn't it, to say, "My dummy said that, but I didn't"?
No, it means I find Jim Benton, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker funny. They are the ventriloquists and their charaters are the dummy, I'm just one member in the audience. I do recall a comic having a routine about a dummy who "he couldn't control" it was quite funny.

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Whether it's Cartman or Happy Bunny, they're basically announcing that you're endorsing what are essentially mean statements.

The difference is, though, if you're an adult and you want to buy objects that express mean statements, that's up to you: it's a free country.

However, what I simply don't get is...

1. Why would a parent buy these things?
2. Why is this an identity that this society as a whole would want girls to buy into?
1. Well if my child found them funny, I prob. would by them...
2. Because different people like different things.



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To take all the Happy Bunny statements as parts of an overall personality profile, a girl goes around threatening other people with the prospect of random, purposeless physical violence; she playfully offers what might be drugged or poisoned food; she offers food to others with the message that they or the cookies cause vomiting; and she says random cruelties to others such as the idea that they "suck" and need to "be punished" and finally state that they are the most important person in the entire world and other people have to accept their subordinate status.
Parents are always going to be mad at SOMEBODY for "sending bad messages" to their kids...
So far Elvis, Bevis and Butthead, South Park, The Simpsons, Married with Children etc. have all hit a nerve I guess it's finally Happy Bunnys turn to shine...
The reason most people find HB amusing is because his ideas on stuff are so out there it would never happen. Stephen Colbert is full of himself but America loves him. There is ALWAYS somebody, and I think it's wrong to blame these things on how kids act or I guess "could act" would be more correct.

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I find this kind of identity more than problematic. I find it bordering on the sociopathic. The fact that this kind of identity is encouraged for girls is deeply disturbing.
I would really hope that I've raised my son to know the difference between a cartoon and the real world. I have more faith in humanity than for a child to say "I gave my friend poision cookies b/c happy bunny did it"
I have yet to read a news report about any child doing something b/c a cartoon sticker said so. I guess I am just missing why this is a big deal, If you dislike Cartman and Happy Bunny so much why not boycott, or start a group?
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#13 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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I agree with ya. IMO wearing statements like that on your person and saying you dont endorse them makes little sense.

As to why they are popular I would guess that attitudes like that are considered the domain of the priviliedged celebrity. You know, the image of an actress rejecting her lunch because the grapes arent peeled or something. That sort of entitlement is seen as desireable. So, if you are an average kid with no hope of having the real world cater to you buying the gear and adopting the persona is as close as you can get.

With tabloids and E! giving a play by play of those people's lives like it's news it doesnt surprise me that young girls think that is what acheivement looks like.
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#14 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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I think they market this identity because it's already out there in other forms. Look at Paris Hilton and her ilk. The day she was sent back to prison that was what was on 90% of the news that day (hey I'm a sucker and easily amused and watched it. It was fascinating human drama.) Anyway Paris, Britney, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and all of the other young female celebrities having been making oodles of press and money by portraying themselves as stupid, bitchy women. Marketers see this and want to capitalize on it. Can't blame them truly. It's about the parents who buy the stuff or allow their children to read magazines or watch tv about them.

I recently saw an article about a young woman trying to at least start to combat this idea. Danica McKellar (best known as Winnie Cooper on the Wonder Years) left Hollywood for school and got her degree in mathematics including being an author on a peer-reviewed paper. http://www.danicamckellar.com/ she has written a book aimed at middle-school aged girls called "Math doesn't Suck". It looks like a funny attempt to show that "smart is sexy" as she puts it. I think she was always a very pretty young woman and frankly has grown into a fairly stunning young adult both physically and mentally.

I hope that with all of the negative press about Britney, Paris, and Lindsay that their stars are beginning to fade and maybe just maybe we are on the verge of turning away from this identity. I think it will always exist to some degree though. It has since I was little so I don't think it will ever completely go away.
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#15 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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No, it means I find Jim Benton, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker funny. They are the ventriloquists and their charaters are the dummy, I'm just one member in the audience. I do recall a comic having a routine about a dummy who "he couldn't control" it was quite funny.
Sorry if I wasn't clear -- if you are buying these items and are wearing these statements, they are extensions of you and people take them as such -- not in spite of whether you find these folks funny, but because you do.

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2. Because different people like different things.
Either you're being flippant or you believe this is the whole story. I'm not sure which I would prefer. I think the first possibility, actually.
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The reason most people find HB amusing is because his ideas on stuff are so out there it would never happen. Stephen Colbert is full of himself but America loves him. There is ALWAYS somebody, and I think it's wrong to blame these things on how kids act or I guess "could act" would be more correct.
When the diva personality is sold as only one of approximately three or four personalities a girl is marketed from which to "choose," it becomes a problem. It's encouraging a behavior for which there are regrettably very few alternatives besides Princess and Slut. This hardly reflects the diversity of real girls' actual interests or personalities.

By the way, there's a difference between nastiness for its own sake and political satire. I wouldn't object if my DD wore a Stephen Colbert t-shirt.
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#16 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I think they market this identity because it's already out there in other forms.
But if your argument is that it's already out there (e.g., that these products are reflecting some form of reality), then where are the other choices besides Bitch Diva for girls' identities that are also "out there," such as scientists (Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin), astronauts (Sally Ride), political figures (Condoleezza Rice), sports stars (Brandi Chastain), and others? Where are those figures? Where are those identities?
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Look at Paris Hilton and her ilk. The day she was sent back to prison that was what was on 90% of the news that day (hey I'm a sucker and easily amused and watched it. It was fascinating human drama.) Anyway Paris, Britney, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and all of the other young female celebrities having been making oodles of press and money by portraying themselves as stupid, bitchy women. Marketers see this and want to capitalize on it. Can't blame them truly. It's about the parents who buy the stuff or allow their children to read magazines or watch tv about them.
But I'm not sure it's merely a matter of marketers being driven by what parents want -- in fact, I think it's more like parents being driven by what marketers want.

When marketers show on television commercials exactly these stereotypes (Princess, Bitch Diva, and Slut), when Disney movies buy into precisely these stereotypes also, when almost every children's show does the same thing, they create an impression in everyone's mind that these stereotypes are real, these stereotypes are popular, desirable, that these stereotypes represent the only legitimate choices for girls' identities that exist. Is it any wonder, then, that girls want the latest Bratz to reflect what they see and what they're told is the essence of cool? Is it any wonder that their parents buy it for them when their girl wants it so much and when the other girls have it too?
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I recently saw an article about a young woman trying to at least start to combat this idea. Danica McKellar (best known as Winnie Cooper on the Wonder Years) left Hollywood for school and got her degree in mathematics including being an author on a peer-reviewed paper. http://www.danicamckellar.com/ she has written a book aimed at middle-school aged girls called "Math doesn't Suck". It looks like a funny attempt to show that "smart is sexy" as she puts it. I think she was always a very pretty young woman and frankly has grown into a fairly stunning young adult both physically and mentally.
Okay, so where are the "Math Doesn't Suck" t-shirts? Even better, where are the "Math Rocks!" t-shirts?
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I hope that with all of the negative press about Britney, Paris, and Lindsay that their stars are beginning to fade and maybe just maybe we are on the verge of turning away from this identity. I think it will always exist to some degree though. It has since I was little so I don't think it will ever completely go away.
It seems to be even more pervasive and obscene than I remember it being when I grew up and all I had to worry was why Barbie had no vagina.
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#17 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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I guess the Happy Bunny lipbalm I bought for a friend that said "<s>Poison</s> Lip Balm For Friends" wasn't funny.

Ummm, yes, it was.

For too many years, girls were taught to be quiet and passive. And they let many bad things happen to them as a result. (I know this all too well.) I'm personally okay with girls being taught to be a bit more sassy, to have some attitude, and to stand up for themselves.
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#18 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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I love (andy buy) Happy Bunny myself, but I see him as being every bit as tongue in cheek as Stephen Colbert.

I don't love South Park but understand what people find funny in it - it's a breathe of fresh air (at least for an episode or two) after the formulaic sitcoms with canned laughter and problems solved in the last 4.2 minutes before the commercial.

I think you are confusing pg-13 semi-sick humor with something else that I agree is disgusting, which is the seducing of our daughters into commercialized, princessy, materialistic, and entitled diva-hood. It's as if the corporate industrial complex took the little girl princess complex and twisted and spun it until they'd made it the ideal consumer - entitled, self-centered, and too snotty to listen to anyone else.
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#19 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 07:13 PM
 
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But if your argument is that it's already out there (e.g., that these products are reflecting some form of reality), then where are the other choices besides Bitch Diva for girls' identities that are also "out there," such as scientists (Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin), astronauts (Sally Ride), political figures (Condoleezza Rice), sports stars (Brandi Chastain), and others? Where are those figures? Where are those identities?
Those identities can sometimes be found in more specialty shops, but they don't sell for long. People like Paris and Britney partly keep themselves in the public eye by their negative antics, but they also have publicists who make sure they stay in the public eye. The publicists are paid to make people want more and more of them. People in the other fields you mention don't have that.

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But I'm not sure it's merely a matter of marketers being driven by what parents want -- in fact, I think it's more like parents being driven by what marketers want.

When marketers show on television commercials exactly these stereotypes (Princess, Bitch Diva, and Slut), when Disney movies buy into precisely these stereotypes also, when almost every children's show does the same thing, they create an impression in everyone's mind that these stereotypes are real, these stereotypes are popular, desirable, that these stereotypes represent the only legitimate choices for girls' identities that exist. Is it any wonder, then, that girls want the latest Bratz to reflect what they see and what they're told is the essence of cool? Is it any wonder that their parents buy it for them when their girl wants it so much and when the other girls have it too?
Certainly parents are driven by marketers. One of the keys to trying to teach our kids about marketing is to understand this. Coke and Pepsi spend oodles to advertise during the Super Bowl and the rest of the year because they want to drive all other soda makers out of our minds. And they want kids to see their favorite football star with their soda and think it's cool or that they NEED to have Michael Jordan's shoes to be cool. Marketing is incredibly powerful; that's why companies spend so much time and money on it.

It goes both ways. Marketing influences kids and parents, but the companies themselves are influenced by parents' and kids' interests.

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Okay, so where are the "Math Doesn't Suck" t-shirts? Even better, where are the "Math Rocks!" t-shirts?
Again these can sometimes be found in specialty stores, but it doesn't sell in the mass market.


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It seems to be even more pervasive and obscene than I remember it being when I grew up and all I had to worry was why Barbie had no vagina.
It is more pervasive at the moment and as I said I think and hope we may be turning the corner on it a little bit with a lot of parents now seeing all of the negative press of Britney et al. I do remember though that even in my little country school the popular girls were the bitchy, "dumb" ones. Smart wasn't cool. It was decidely uncool to be smart.
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#20 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 07:42 PM
 
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Okay, so where are the "Math Doesn't Suck" t-shirts? Even better, where are the "Math Rocks!" t-shirts?
Ahem -
Math Rocks!
and
Math Goddess
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#21 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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Stuff like this makes me glad my family lives in our own crunchy little bubble. I have no idea who Cartman and Happy Bunny are. And judging by the above, I don't want to know!

This is off the track from the OP, but from the one time I was in Claire's, my question would be: why would anyone buy JUNK? Most people don't need more stuff. Not to mention all that stuff is probably made in China by exploited workers and full of lead-based paint.

*sigh* I just don't understand mainstream society.
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#22 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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Stuff like this makes me glad my family lives in our own crunchy little bubble. I have no idea who Cartman and Happy Bunny are. And judging by the above, I don't want to know!

This is off the track from the OP, but from the one time I was in Claire's, my question would be: why would anyone buy JUNK? Most people don't need more stuff. Not to mention all that stuff is probably made in China by exploited workers and full of lead-based paint.

*sigh* I just don't understand mainstream society.
I hear ya.
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#23 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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I have to agree that merchandise of this type is completely distasteful, and I would not buy it.

I hate seeing girls with words on their butts "Hot" and "Kiss This" - these girls are like twelve years old!

In a different vein, but sort of the same topic, I saw on an online baby boutique type of store that had an infant romper sized 6-12 months that said "Jail Bait" on it. I showed it to DH, and we both just stared at it open-mouthed and horror-stricken. I can't imagine someone in their right mind putting that on a child.

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#24 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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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.

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#25 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Yeah, I have. Again, why encourage thoughtless sexism? Can you imagine how up-in-arms people would be if a boy wore a shirt that said "Girls are dumb"?

The thing is, I understand very well that the purpose of the marketers is to make money. What I don't understand is why make money constructing and selling this identity? Why this identity?
I guess you haven't seen the shirts that say shut up stupid b***h

and no, I'm not joking.

These things have been accepted (in some circles) on men's tee shirts for a long time, now unfortunately it's showing up on girl's clothing as well. What progress, huh?

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#26 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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I would really hope that I've raised my son to know the difference between a cartoon and the real world. I have more faith in humanity than for a child to say "I gave my friend poision cookies b/c happy bunny did it"
I have yet to read a news report about any child doing something b/c a cartoon sticker said so. I guess I am just missing why this is a big deal, If you dislike Cartman and Happy Bunny so much why not boycott, or start a group?
While I believe in free speech and all that, I have noticed a difference in my dd's behavior when she isn't exposed to smart alecky kids on tv. Maybe you are lucky and your children aren't affected by it. Most people, adults included, when exposed to rudeness often enough, are going to soak up some of it.

Do what you want, it's a free country. But I'm really tired of that 'I hope I've raised my child better than...' argument that pops up so often when people point these things out. When your humor is mean, what makes you think your child isn't going to be mean?

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#27 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:35 PM
 
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I don't mean to offend anyone who likes this stuff... but seriously, if those statements are not statements of arrogance, than what is?!
They ARE mean sayings, and they DO intend to make you sound better than the rest in an arrogant way. So why would you chose it for your child? Or yourself for that matter?

They say that you can't dispute person's taste, at the same time, I just don't understand what would you consider poor taste if these t-shirts are ingood taste in your book? :

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#28 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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I guess the Happy Bunny lipbalm I bought for a friend that said "<s>Poison</s> Lip Balm For Friends" wasn't funny.

Ummm, yes, it was.
You're right; that is crazy funny.

[/QUOTE]For too many years, girls were taught to be quiet and passive. And they let many bad things happen to them as a result. (I know this all too well.) I'm personally okay with girls being taught to be a bit more sassy, to have some attitude, and to stand up for themselves.[/QUOTE]

I agree to a certain extent. I like sass and intelligence; unfortunately, most of the phrases Meg Murry is speaking of are not that. They are bitchy and diva-like. Hell, here are some of the infant onesies I've seen lately:
Does this diaper make my butt look big?
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Conversely, statements like the one in my OP promote a stereotypical view of girls as competitive, backstabbing, materialistic, nasty, and dangerously narcissistic. I see no advantage to that. Why promote THAT identity?
Have you read Backlash by... Susan Something-or-other... can't think of her name right now. Anyhoo, the theory set forth by this book is that after a period of progression for women, there is an intentional "backlash" by marketers to put women back in their place. Voila:
First Wave Feminism (ala Seneca Falls/Suffragists): Vote obtained. 1920's saw sexual enlightenment for some women. B/C pill (like it or not) invented, freeing some women to have their sexy cake and eat it too. WWII and Rosie the Riveter show women their potential. Then: BAM! WWII is over and women are back in their places, arguably more oppressed than ever. Girdles make a comeback. Birth rights and breastfeeding (trusting your body) at an all-time low.
Second Wave Feminism: Women again organize, NOW, attempts to stop sexual harrassment, increase wages, huge steps taken, then BAM: fashions of the 1980's and marketing ploys become disgustingly sexual and demeaning. See the film "Killing Us Softly" as a reference. Hard core porn (which, IMO, is demeaning and abusive to women) becomes more accessible.
Third Wave Feminism (about the past ten years): Remember in the late 80s and early 90s how shirts actually went to the waist and the jeans actually didn't sit so low that you showed your thong? Remember when thongs weren't popular?! Okay, so the past 10-15 years has seen some more advancement for women... geez, we may be about to see the first female American president. Condaleeza Rice (like her or not)... more women in higher positions, kwim? More WOH mothers staying in their positions and getting wages previously never known to women. So, according to the theory of Backlash, it's time for an adjustment. Therefore, marketers try to do this through promoting a trashy, bitchy persona - a bitch eat bitch type of atmosphere.
Do I sound paranoid? Maybe. I don't know if all of this is done on purpose (like, are there ad execs dressed like villians with long twirly moustaches rubbing their hands together and laughing MWAH HA HA HA!? IDK.) But the subconscious idea is definitely there regardless. Kind of like the pattern of what is considered attractive in a female in antiquity. In time periods and cultures when there is universal hardship, a heavier women is considered attractive because she symbolizes "plenty" and "success". In a time of universal thriving and "success", a thin waif is considered attractive because she symbolizes "control".
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#29 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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Unfortunately, being smart isn't cool. Never has been, for girls, as far as I know. Because when you're smart and everyone knows you're smart, not only are you branded a "nerd" and a "geek" and a number of other demeaning things, but people think that you think that you're better than them (projection/jealousy/insecurity) and you're bullied. This was my experience, and the experience of all the smart girls I knew. Plenty of men/boys are intimidated by smart women, by confident women, by assertive yet caring women. These stereotypes and classifications that we're letting our daughters slip into (princess/diva/slut) are a result of insecure men and women wanting to put the rest of us "in our place." They reinforce the patriarchal, sexist notions that you'll never get a boyfriend if you like math, because boys don't like girls who like math, boys like PRETTY girls who like PRETTY things, and boys like girls who can get "freaky" and bend like pretzels, they don't care about whether or not you know the periodic table - they can talk to their FRIENDS about that. It's not funny to joke about poisoning your friends, it's not funny or cute to put a baby in a onesie that says "hung like a third grader" or "jail bait," it's not cute for a four-year-old to wear a halter top & miniskirt and a THONG. And it sure as hell isn't ok to reinforce these notions that being smart is something to be looked down upon, which is what these g-d d*mned things do. Does anyone else remember talking Barbie? "Math is hard, let's go to the mall." I shot that b*tch through the electronic voicebox with a .22. I was 11. I understood then, and I understand more now. It's not okay to dumb ourselves down, to dumb our daughters down. It's BS and it needs to stop.
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#30 of 172 Old 08-04-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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Oh yeah... remember the thongs that Abercrombie and Fitch marketed to 4-10 year olds a few years ago? They said things like "Wink Wink" and "Eye Candy". *Shudders*
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