The article linked below talks about two sisters and the campaign the founded to ban gender stereotypes within children’s toys. The sisters were both pregnant around the same time one with a boy and the other with a girl, this is when they noticed they were receiving gender specific gifts for the babies and they felt as though small children aren’t given a fair chance to choose what toys and clothes they would like. They then began the organisation Pink Stinks, http://www.pinkstinks.co.uk/ “Pinkstinks is a campaign that targets the products, media and marketing that prescribe heavily stereotyped and limiting roles to young girls. We believe that all children – girls and boys – are affected by the ‘pinkification’ of girlhood. Our aim is to challenge and reverse this growing trend. We also promote media literacy, self-esteem, positive body image and female role models for kids.”
The campaign is not here to say girls are not allowed pink, its saying that both girls and boys should choose what they like, rather than having products forced upon them. They want the pink toys to be available for both boys and girls, and the boys toys to be marketed for girls too. They also want to stress the point that there are many ways to be a girl, not all include barbies, pink, easy bake ovens and hair and beauty.
It has been said for a long time that Barbie in particular is not a toy which promotes self confidence and good body image, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7920962.stm this article on bbc news explains what a human would look like with Barbies proportions. It will be interesting to try and find out if Barbie really does give impressionable young minds the impression they should aim to be as perfect as a thin, blonde plastic doll.