Gransnet forums


To wonder when children's age cards became so stereotyped

(41 Posts)
Leticia Sat 14-Mar-15 16:24:45

I have not bought a child's age card for a long time. I wanted birthday cards for boy and girl twins. I wanted a 3 on the front and suppose I vaguely thought of an animal or a story book character.
What I found was a split into pink or blue and very definite stereotypes. I found a nice Mickey Mouse one, but when opened it was the 'birthday boy'- I assume that a girl must have had to have Minnie Mouse.
I went to 6 card shops and eventually found two that could be for either.
It isn't just children. It is easy to find the Mother's Day cards- just look for the pink display.
When did this happen?- I don't remember it being so pronounced.

MrsEggy Sun 15-Mar-15 20:26:49

Pink Lego does have an advantage. GD demanded it for her birthday as she knew her older brother wouldn't take it for his projects grin

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 20:05:23

I was actually a very girly,girl-loving dolls, dressing up and pink etc.
However in 1950s cards, clothes, toys etc were not marketed in the way they are today and I just don't understand the backward step.
Things have moved on so much-boys do cookery at school, girls do woodwork etc and yet at toddler stage they are aware that -'pink is for girls'.
I was buying cards for twins who play with all the same toys and yet it took me 6 card shops to manage to buy cards that would do equally for either gender.

Eloethan Sun 15-Mar-15 19:34:02

Without any prodding whatsoever from any of us, our grand daughter is not interested in dolls or most "girly-type" toys and doesn't like wearing dresses (though she does like the film "Frozen" - but so does her brother). She mostly likes jigsaws, cars, Lego, drawing and very active play. Her brother likes cars, super-hero and dinosaur figures and construction-type toys, but he particularly enjoys books, drawing (after a fashion - he's not yet 3), singing and playing with a dolls house.

There may well be an inclination for some girls and boys to like particular types of toys but I think many of the preferences that these children exhibit result from the ways in which toys are marketed, as well as the attitudes and behaviour of the adults around them.

Wheniwasyourage Sun 15-Mar-15 17:56:36

I quite agree with you Leticia. It is dreadful the way things, not just cards, are stereotyped for young children. I was very attracted to some small teeshirts in Lewis's when 2 of our DGC were on the way and we didn't know what they were - stripes in bright colours, and very cheerful. However, when I found out that they were in the boys' department, for babies mind you, I was so cross that I didn't buy them, and told the assistant why. I don't think she had a clue what I meant. angry angry Also in JL, the Lego I was going to buy for DGD was in the boys' shelves angry (I think they've since changed that, at least - hope so anyway).

To return to the OP, some of the Simon Elvin cards are not so bad as they don't always say Birthday Boy or Girl, they can have nice pictures, they tend not to have much of a message on them, and they are cheap too!

Anya Sun 15-Mar-15 11:45:20

So true. And the pride they take in giving them. The 4-year old GS couldn't wait for his mummy to pick him up from our house to give her the card he'd made at school.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 10:51:30

I can picture the scene Anya grin typical boys stuff isn't it? My DGD's are frequently heard screaming the house down when their little pest of a bother dangles a favourite dolly by the hair from the top bunk bed. Threatening to let go.

I have to say my most favourite Mother's Day cards ever are/were those ones the children and grandchildren make themselves. The love that goes into one of these little cards is worth a million times more than any from Hallmark, Card warehouse, Birthdays, wherever. smile

soontobe Sun 15-Mar-15 10:41:51

But it could be "made for Tescos" by xxxx company
And Made for Sainsburys" by the same xxxx company?

I dont know, but source companies of anything are becoming ever larger it seems.

thatbags Sun 15-Mar-15 10:27:40

It usually tells you on cards what company or individual made them, soon.

Anya Sun 15-Mar-15 10:23:41

I recognise that scenario Gilly !!

Last year I had 3 under 5's here playing. The dog basket was the boat and all three were in it. Apparently there were crocodiles in the sea (the carpet) and they had to try and reach dry land without being eaten. The two girls have several dolls and soft toys on board.

The boy solved the problem by tossing all the dolls and toys overboard as crocodile bait!

soontobe Sun 15-Mar-15 09:57:31

I dont think it was like it 10 years ago.
My rough guess is about 6 years ago.

I dont know if films have anything to do with it?
Or where the cards are made?
Or whether even, most cards are made from the same company?

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 09:45:56

Lego bricks come in all colours these days thatbags pink, lilac, dark purple, lemon, orange and various shades of blue,grey and brown too.

I still don't think there's anything wrong with making space sets, dinosaur sets and disney princess sets. DGC usually play together although DGS often sends his dinosaurs crashing through some poor unsuspecting disney princesses carefully constructed castle wall. Boys huh !

Anya Sun 15-Mar-15 09:16:36

Gilly I think the answer is commercially produced dressing up clothes. Yes, we probably all dressed up as children, but we made do with cast off lace curtains for princess cloaks for example. I seem to remember a few 'bought' cowboy and Indian (sorry if not PC ought to gave said Native American) outfits but that was it.

Now my GC have various bought costumes and usually go down the princess or superhero line.

It doesn't bother me too much as long as there are still unisex toys and I like that the princesses also wield swords, albeit pink.

What would really bother me though would be a subject divide, such as maths and science being encouraged more in boys and literature and the arts being seen as girls subjects.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 09:02:20

It is very new - girls are now directed to pretty gardens and boys don't want it because it is 'for girls'. Lego was always for both.

Iam64 Sun 15-Mar-15 08:52:55

Leticia - I don't know the exact answer to you original question but the card issue reflects the absolute division between the pink princesses and super hero's in every department, whether its clothes or toys. I'm with you on the lego front, it does "say it all". I can see the problem grin

thatbags Sun 15-Mar-15 08:50:58

Pink lego bricks (there weren't any thirty years ago, just bright and common primary colours) and pink everything else: backlash against feminism?

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:45:34

Not sure what you mean by "that says it all" Leticia?

So a little boy wants to play with a superhero and a little girl wants to play at princesses. What's new? Am I missing something? Hasn't this almost always been the way? Yes occasionally they do swap roles but almost always gravitate back towards what they like best. I really can't see the problem.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:33:02

Has anyone got the answer to my original question? When did it happen? It wasn't like that when my youngest was 3 yrs old, 21 yrs ago.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:31:12

That says it all!
Boys - super heroes
Girls- pretty gardens.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:30:02

I don't mind for myself. But I object to the fact that I am buying for little 3 yr olds and I can't just get 2 similar cards in bright primary colours- they are very different and it takes a huge effort to not get a pink card or a blue card.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:29:10

The Lego is part of the new "Lego Friends" collection Leticia and is based around little girl figures in a pretty garden etc. DGS likes his superhero Lego but it all ends mixed together in a big tub.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:25:43

I will be happy to get any card of any colour tbh. It really doesn't bother me at all. Just another day. Things to do, people to visit etc. probably won't see DD or DS at all. [poor me emoticon] smile

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:24:39

I wouldn't mind if it had always happened, but card shops simply were not like that 20 yrs ago. I wanted to know when it changed.
No wonder they get that idea gillybob when girls can't even be thought to want lego unless it is pink.
I had this argument with a 4 yr old. He said that blue was for boys and pink for girls. I said 'but I am wearing a blue jumper. Blue is my favourite colour'.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:22:55

Oooops iPad going a bit crazy this morning !

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:21:07

It doesn

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:20:04

Slightly off topic but my 5 year old grandson refused to have pink Lego bricks as part of the roof of a garage we were building the other day informing me that "this is not a "dirls" darage drandma (he still can't do G's). The same little boy loves to wear a pink polo tee shirt and thinks nothing of it as it's the same as daddies. confused