Gender Socialization Analysis
As I walked through the toy section of Target, I felt like I saw what I’ve seen ever since I was young enough to shop for toys in this section with my mom. When I was little I would go straight to the pink, Barbie aisle and then venture into the other pink aisles as well. This time, though, I looked through all of the toy aisles (including the boy section) and looked at the toys and dolls and games through a different lens. The color choices for the toys themselves and then the packaging as well are very specific to the gender they are targeting. And each age range appeals to its buyers in different ways. When I looked even closer into the details of the toys, appealing to specific races and social classes were more apparent than I had realized as well.
Like stated before, identifying the girls’ toys and the boys’ toys, is still very easy. Toys for girls are usually pink and/or purple and are right by each other with their own aisle. The boys’ toys are also grouped together on an aisle, but the colors are usually always blue, red, and/or green. The toys that are more gender neutral don’t ever have pink on them (which I find very interesting). They are multicolored and are more common among the section for the youngest ages. So, the colors are what catch everyone’s eyes first, whether we consciously recognize that we do it or not. Now, the kid models that are on the packaging of many of the toys are either boys or girls, or both. This is the next most obvious sign of gender identity since they aren’t as noticeable to the eye as colors are on every single toy. But looking at the kid models really does help the initial clarification of the gender identity of the product. I remember toys like the Corn Popper, Mr. Potato Head, and all kinds of instrument, which are still being sold. There are also some new additions, though, like the cell phone and laptop. As a whole, the kids section in Target still looks very similar to what I saw...
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