Girly Consumerism

Screenshot of pink teething credit card
Via Sociological Images comes this heinous credit card teether. It’s pink and the name on the card is “Ima Spender.” Gross. Though I suppose we shouldn’t expect better from the creator of baby high heels.
This reminds me of the Barbie “Fashion Fever Shopping Boutique” that came out a couple of years ago. The toy featured a built-in credit card swiper and a pink credit card that never ran out of money. The commercial is especially disturbing, with a chorus that sings “Buy It!” over and over again.

Transcript (of which I’m sure someone could write a whole thesis on) after the jump
Awesome…a toy that will ensure little girls grow up to have shitty credit. As someone who is going to have a daughter in the Fall – this scares me. How can we raise little girls to realize that they’re more than consumers? Sigh.
Related posts: Barbie Girls and the culture of consumption

Chorus (singing): Buy everything you want at the Barbie Shopping Boutique!
Voice-over: Barbie Shopping Boutique is a whole store with eleven shopping pieces, a check out counter and a credit card for you! It holds twenty fashion pieces that you can mix and match!
Chorus (singing: : Barbie Shopping Boutique!
Voice-over: Cool shoes! When you find the perfect outfit…
Chorus (singing): Buy it!
Credit Card Machine Voice: You have two hundred dollars!
Little girl: Pink is perfect! Another perfect outfit!
Chorus (singing): Buy it!
Credit Card Machine Voice: One hundred fifty dollars!
Little girl, holding up credit card: I love shopping!
Voice-over:You never run out of money!
Credit Card Machine Voice: Two hundred dollars!
Chorus (singing): Buy everything you want at the Barbie Shopping Boutique!

Join the Conversation

  • Comrade Kevin

    They do start younger and younger these days, don’t they?
    I know that you will be a good mother because your heart is in the right place. It’s a temptation to want to be the perfect parent and shield your kid from all of the negativity, but I think sometimes children, even though they don’t think as adults, have the ability by themselves to be discerning in ways that are healthy.

  • Honeybee

    While this in NO WAY changes my disdain for these products, I am genuinely curious to know who is coming up with these – i.e., men or women.
    Because despite the fact that you’d think the opposite, in my experience it is women who are the most likely to perpetauate alot of these stereotypes and create products like this. I have ALOT of friends who have aprons and shirts and such with slogans such as “Will cook for Food” and so on, and they think they are hilarious. And they are completely designed and marketed by women (I’m referring to a specific local brand here).
    I only point it out because I’ve always felt that feminism sometimes focuses too much on men and sometimes not enough on women. In that, I think we need to get more women on board with feminism, because if we can’t convince women of the movement, how the heck can we expect to convince men?

  • Michelle J

    I had a horrifying moment the other day that reminds me of this sort of thing…
    My best friends 6 year old daughter said “I don’t want dinner, I want to be skinny!”
    I shit you not. Scared the crap out of me. At 6 years old!! We proceeded to tell her about being HEALTHY not SKINNY, but it was still horrible.


    What makes me sad about this is that we as a society aren’t really trying to adapt to the reality of excessive advertising. Why don’t schools teach classes on media literacy? Why is personal finance a class that only some students choose to take, and isn’t required? Why aren’t there books written for kids that approach the subject in a fun and easy to understand way?
    The truth is that we can’t expect corporations work in the best interest of kids, because they’re just trying to make money. When they make toys like this, it’s society’s job to react negatively and point the corporations in the right direction. Capitalism and a free market only works with an informed citizenry that actually thinks and makes rational decisions.

  • ScienceAndTheCity

    Sheesh, culture is horrifying sometimes. As a person who one day wants to have kids, I can relate to being scared by this kind of stuff.
    I just remind myself that I turned out okay, and my mom wasn’t super protective of me. She always told me I could be anything I wanted and has been a big source of support in my life, but she didn’t shield me from all of the “you should like pink and high heels and want to take care of babies RIGHT NOW” stuff that I remember as a kid, because she I think she figured that’s what’s normal. Somehow, I still knew that it was a load of B.S. and carried on with my tomboy ways.
    I’m not saying we shouldn’t fight back against stuff like this. I do think it’s damaging on a lot of levels. I just also want to believe that kids can overcome these expectations, especially with support, wherever it comes from.
    Also, I second the idea that we should be educating everyone about personal finance. It’s way too complicated of a topic to expect people to pick it up on their own, and it’s really important for a person’s independence and stability.

  • Honeybee

    Sorry I meant to say “Will Cook for Shoes”

  • dark_morgaine

    I would love to see a society in which we didn’t automatically gender-ize everything children do. This may be just my opinion, but the things girls get to do and play with often seem more shallow than boys’ things. In a lot of ways, this continues through to adulthood. Why is it that skirts rarely ever come with pockets, and women’s jeans’ pockets rarely have enough room for your fingers, let alone keys, a cell phone and a wallet? Women can’t take our purses with us everywhere, and I don’t want to leave my purse with the above mentioned items lying around where anyone could grab it, don’t we deserve deep pockets too?
    For the record, I am female and I hate shopping. The whole shopping experience. I hate walking slowly as everyone stops to ogle some useless thing they’re not going to buy anyway. I hate when my friends or family take forever to decide which item to purchase. I hate spending hard-earned money, as everything seems so much higher priced than its value. I hate waiting in lines to make purchases! And I think some other women agree too.

  • uberhausfrau

    at my high school, i was in the first track/honors economics class and we learned about the stock market, supply and demand and all that crap. i dont even remember half of it. (when i was growing up, my dad watched PBS’s nightly business report and wall street week with louis rukeyser
    – i actually thought he was the guy on the US one dollar bill
    – and to this day i simply can not get interested in it.)
    it was the second track/regular econ class that learned about how to apply for a mortgage, create a household budget, researching household appliances/warantees, etc.
    says a lot about class expectation (pun intended).

  • Jesus Christine

    “You never run out of money!”
    True story. NEVER.

  • The Boggart

    Horrifying, but not nearly so horrifying as “but if you get fat, then nobody will love you”.
    Delivered in perfectly dead-pan, matter-of-fact fashion by a bright, creative little girl of 7 years, during a conversation about the Powerpuff Girls’ favourite foods.
    Horrifying, just horrifying.

  • Surfin3rdWave

    That IS horrifying (same to the comment above me).
    While we’re sharing horrifying things that come out of children’s mouths… My friend’s husband tried to hug his five-year-old son, and the boy pulled away and said, “No, I don’t hug my DAD! That would be GAY!”

  • Kim C.

    “And I think some other women agree too.”
    I DO I DO I DO I DO.
    Sorry: that’s the extent of my useful input on this topic.