In the olden days (i.e. the ’90s) I used to love Kinder Eggs. For me, these chocolatey ovules of joy represented the ultimate confectionery treat – I was only ever allowed one very rarely because they were significantly more expensive than your average chocolate bar, but with significantly less chocolate, a factor which really bothered my dad who has always been a huge advocate of value for money. Another reason I wasn’t allowed Kinder Eggs frequently was because they resulted in my house being cluttered up with all kids of crap, but crap I treasured very dearly, like these turtles:
Let’s face it, to a child, what’s the only thing better than chocolate? Chocolate in the shape of an egg. What’s even better than a chocolate egg? A chocolate egg CONTAINING A TOY!!!
However, now I don’t like Kinder Eggs anymore. Because THIS
I know I am usually against gendered products aimed at children, but maybe Kinder have a point here. I mean, I remember being a little girl and being so confused and pissed off when I opened my shell to find a toy that was either a vehicle or – even worse – had to be constructed – ew! In such cases I would cry, throw it to my dad and return to brushing Barbie’s hair, hoping that my next egg would contain something pretty, pink and sparkly to reinforce my princess identity. [Note: Sarcasm intended]
Look, these sorts of products are not harmless. They reinforce and push gender stereotypes onto children and this is damaging. Few things anger me more than overhearing a parent say to their child “you don’t want that, that’s for boys/girls!” What if the kid is attracted to that item? What’s wrong with letting them play with or eat exactly the same things as their opposite-sex counterparts? Boys especially are often mocked or teased by their own families for showing an interest in “female” products – what does that do to their self-esteem, and also to their attitude towards females? I hear boys being bullied for being “girl-like” all the time, reinforcing a view that being a female is a Bad Thing, or at the very least a Not As Good As A Boy Thing. This is dangerous. We should not reinforce this. Especially with f*cking confectionery.
I am a disappointed egg.