Makes me want to kick something…

I had to swing in to the supermarket (Loblaws, Superstore, Dominion or whatever you call it where you are – I see no need to withhold names here) yesterday and, after grabbing the necessaries, wended my way to the cash. I was in a hurry, so I steered around the crowded areas, which caused me to pass by the pharmacy and cosmetics section.

On the end of one of the rows was a basket of those little kits of garbage they do up for girls to make them think they’re wearing make-up, you know, the lip gloss, blush and nail polish and whatnot. For elementary school kids. But that’s another topic. What made me see red was what was written on the outside of the pink parcels.

They said:

“Too cute to do math.”

If I had had more time, I would have made a complaint. Or at least, done up my own sign:

“Too smart to buy lines like that.”

Where the hell do they get off with pushing crap like that in this day and age? More to the point, who in their right mind would buy it?

A good sign was that the bin was still full. If it’s still there this evening, I’ll make time to have words.

Addendum: As if the above wasn’t enough…  You can get the t-shirt, too. It never ceases to amaze me what parents will pay to have their kids wear.  I am now removing the soapbox to the basement for the day and restoring my bloodpressure to normal. Deep breath.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. sarai says:

    Oh, I don’t even know where to start. The sad thing is, I do know people who would find that funny.

    And it’s there that the danger lies, of course. Otherwise, we could rest assured that the dumb idea would immediately disappear.

    I hope you get a chance to complain. In fact, I think I’ll do the same. I’m not sure who is the best to contact, but going straight to the top, Loblaw Co. owns Loblaws, Dominion, Atlantic Superstore, etc, as well as the Real Canadian Superstore, in the West and Ontario. Their contact information page is here: http://www.loblaw.ca/en/cont_email.html The sidebar on the right provides links to the various stores, as well.

  2. (pounds head on desk) As you say, makeup for little girls is a rant in itself, but this kind of garbage makes me furious. Complaint forthcoming.

    Coincidentally, SkylarkD continues the theme today.

  3. mary hood says:

    Ahhhhhh!!!!!And Barbie still lives! There are still people who buy into it with the excuse that ” Barbies at their worst are harmless and you know can be looked at as tools for socialization.”

  4. Ellen says:

    its really sad when you think that there are parents out there that would actually BUY those things for their little girls !!!

    crazy ! I think things like that should be banned, what kind of message is that sending to the kids ?? and then if they ACT like that the parents can’t figure out WHERE they got the idea from..

    I’m with you on this one , there outta be a law….

  5. RDCT says:

    Don’t forget the manufacturer / distributor. Might be something in which Ann Budgell would be interested.

    Pretty hard to legislate against this type of garbage, it goes with living in a free country. However, protest and ridicule are good weapons.

  6. rexton says:

    Vicky,

    Would you send me the name of the store?

    I’d like to work out a little equation, then test it empirically.

    I display (say about $100) – (N customers)(52 weeks)($50 of food)=
    100-($2600)(N customers).

    For N=1 they lose $2500.

    For N=100 they lose $25,900 dollars.

    For the company removing the display and apologising; priceless (but very unlikely).

  7. SkylarKD says:

    Argh, there are so many things that bug me about marketing for girls.

    – padded bras for 6 year olds
    – heavily made-up, skanky looking dolls
    – marketing that equates ‘princess’ with helpless
    – hearing little girls sing “Don’tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me”

    … I could go on and on. I read a post recommending this book today, and I added it to my wishlist: Packaging Girlhood – Rescuing Our Daughters From Marketers’ Schemes, by Sharon Lamb. Looks interesting!

  8. sarai says:

    I wrote to Customer_Service@loblaw.ca and got a response today from Atlantic Wholesalers Retail Support. (How the one is related to the other is a mystery to me, but the link provided in the email redirects me to http://www.superstore.ca/dom/default.asp .) This is the body:

    “Thank you for your email, I have been in contact with the Merchandising Manager for that department.We as a business have
    recalled the product and wish to thank you very much for your feedback,if I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.”

    Sounds like good news to me…

  9. rexton says:

    Sounds like there have been a significant number of complaints. Great job, sarai!

  10. The same parents buy this crap are the same ones who by ‘training bras’ for 5 year olds. Don’t get me started!! :o)

  11. Found this rather timely article at CBC Technology today: “False stereotypes can affect performance.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2006/10/19/women-math.html

  12. rexton says:

    And here is a new twist on sexism. Boig-boing mentions a new product; a pole that little girls can dance around, like in certain types of bars best avoided. There are even play dollars and a DVD showing suggestive poses. The company, Tesco, has been forced to remove this item from their web page toys and games section.

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