A Practical Guide to Buying Toys for Girls

Of all the parenting hullabaloo on the interwebs lately, I’m less inclined to pay attention to “tiger mother” Amy Chua, who strikes me as a flash-in-the-pan anomaly, and much more interested in Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Through interviews, field trips and a whole bunch of self-reflection, Orenstein examines the inevitable “princess phase,” and it’s subsequent (and perhaps more dangerous?), Bratz and Hannah Montana (RIP) stages.

In a stellar interview with Mother Jones, Orenstein expresses great frustration with trying to buy toys, school supplies and basic toiletries for her daughter that aren’t covered in princess paraphernalia. I vividly remember trying to pick out gifts for a holiday toy drive and being disgusted with the array of Bratz dolls baring belly-buttons even while “snowboarding.”

So here’s my stopgap, haphazard solution. I give you the Should I Buy This For My Daughter/Niece/Sister/Toy Drive? Guide. It’s a handy chart to pull out when you’re standing in the aisle at Target overwhelmed by the sparkles. Keep a clear head, start in the top left, and follow the arrows:

One could (and maybe I will) make a similar flow-chart for buying for boys. Avoiding violent gun culture and absurdly offensive video games (have sex with a prostitute, kill her and then take your money back) isn’t easy either. I think the last “No” box on the chart is decent criteria in general, though finding things that fit that bill is no picnic. Just give them a box of crayons. Who isn’t happy with crayons?

Related Post: Book buying for a guy who hasn’t a female-authored book since he had to read some Jane Austen in high school? Check out Books for Dudes (by Chicks).



Filed under Advertising, Family, Gender

16 responses to “A Practical Guide to Buying Toys for Girls

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