This weekend I purchased a gadget for me niece as a gift for her second birthday - a fantastic camera from VTech.
We were so excited to give her this, as she’s always going after our video and still cameras, pushing the buttons, staring at the screen, and stashing them in her handbag. (Yes, her handbag. She carries it around on her elbow. I know.) We started bringing our waterproof Kodak Playsport with us every time we saw her, simply because we knew she loved it so much, and as I bang on about women and technology all of the time, we thought a digital camera for kids would be the perfect gift.
I didn’t know if such a thing was possible - aside from Barbie Video Camera - but thankfully both Fisher Price and VTech make kid-friendly digicams.
They have them for both boys and girls (can you imagine if they only sold ones targeted at boys!?) but rather unfortunately, so most of the companies making them are being both boring and lazy, and only sell a blue one for boys, or a pink one for girls. Sigh.
“Well, we could get her the blue one,” we thought, but the blue camera is so ...boyish. There are boys on the packaging, and no doubt boyish features on the camera. Why, oh why, wasn’t there just a yellow or a white camera with both boys and girls on the packaging? Wouldn't that just be easier? You make one camera, targeted at both genders. Why is that so unimaginable?
In a time where we all know that pink stinks and that girls don’t have to like pink and boys don’t have to like blue - why is asking for gender neutrality in products especially for children so difficult?! Putting in the extra effort to not feed children the same gender stereotypes we were fed just seems so hard. No wonder parents just go along with the products that are shoved in our faces. Disney Princesses are certainly more readily available than gender neutral tech proucts for children, so why not just go for that as a gift?
UPDATE: After writing this, I did a search for the same camera we bought her in a different colour. Apparently there is an orange one in a different model. But there's also a DISNEY PRINCESS version. I'm still unimpressed.