Girls love pink… guns. This writer is taking the plunge into weaponry for little women, and she’s taking no prisoners.
My amber-haired daughter is turning three in a few weeks. She is having a fairy party with a Princess Barbie cake and her two older brothers have bought her exactly what she has asked for: a pink crossbow and a Nerf gun.
This gender stereotyping of toys, though, has reached an unusual climax.
When I was a kid, girls played with dolls and dolls’ houses, boys played with things with wheels and everything else was fair game for both of us. Somewhere along the line, manufacturers decided that toys had two distinct binary roles. Girls’ toys had to be a shade of pink and boys’ were black or blue. Hence Toys ‘R Us does sell prams for boys, but they are blue. And yes, you can get cars for girls – but they are a shade of lipstick pink so bright you will want to lick it.
But the newest frontier in toys are weaponry and arsenal. Popular toy maker Hasbro introduced the Rebelle line of pink-swirled weaponry last year.
Over a dozen new lines are due to be released this year. Amongst the most popular are the heartbreaker bow-and arrow and the Sweet revenge dart kit.
I can appreciate some parents feel uncomfortable allowing their children to play with weapons. Even I tried to fight it for a while.
My oldest son – now six-and-a-half - was told quite firmly that guns don’t shoot bullets, they shoot magical wishes (ya think that worked?). He was told that kids aren’t allowed Nerf guns till they turn seven (nup, didn’t work either), and to play pretend with sticks as ‘wizard's wands’ not weapons (‘nuff said, huh?).
As you can predict, after the arrival of a younger brother things rapidly changed until I found myself agreeing to purchase the “Army” bag at the local show - complete with three replica machine guns, a flight up flashing pistol and several round of pretend bullets.
Right now, I feel the need to justify the fact that my first grader happily plays teddy bear picnics with his sister and one of his favourite shows is My Little Pony. But give him a light saber and he’s a happy Jedi.