Did I love my Barbies and baby dolls and princess storybooks as a little girl? Yes, I did. But I also grew up on a farm as the daughter of a painting contractor, so I spent a great deal of time learning to build things and being fascinated by tools (my favorite Christmas gift when I was in middle school was my very own Swiss Army knife). So, I’ve always been well aware (as most girls are) that females of the species have varied interests and abilities.
The people marketing toys to young girls, however, have never quite seemed to figure that out.
Enter game developer Debbie Sterling, who set out to change all that last year when she designed GoldieBlox, a construction-themed board game designed to combine young girls’ love of reading and characters with the engineering aspect of toys typically geared toward boys. Now, the holiday promotion spot for the game is calling out all the sugar-spice-and-everything-pink ads that inevitably flood the airwaves around the holidays.
I watched with glee as the ad turned both the “girl toy” stereotype and The Beastie Boys’ song “Girls” on their respective heads. While the original 80’s tune had lyrics like these: “Girls – to do the dishes/Girls – to clean up my room/Girls – to do the laundry/Girls – and in the bathroom,” the re-imagined version goes like this: “It’s time to change/We deserve to see a range/’Cause all our toys look just the same/And we would like to use our brains.”
While it would be great to someday see the same construction and science-based toys being marketed to girls and boys, this is a phenomenal, amusing, and on-point step in the right direction. Bravo! And with GoldieBlox being one of four companies in the running for a free Super Bowl ad paid for by Intuit as part of a small-business contest, we may soon get to see what the company’s message could do on an even larger scale.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did: