From Sacramento Bee: Gina Zuk Gerber did not like what she saw recently when she was shopping in the toy aisle. She shared her displeasure on Facebook, and now toy giant Fisher-Price has apologized to the Baltimore mom, promising to fix the “girl” toy that caused her displeasure.
“My son’s favorite toys growing up were Little People. I always just grabbed the fire truck or barn and didn’t think much about it. Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the ‘girl’ versions of Little People,” Gerber recently wrote on her Facebook page.
“The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the ‘home,’ and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the ‘boys’ toys had.”
But this is what really set her off: a plastic SUV with a mom doll. “Please note tagline ‘time for yoga and a smoothie.’” Gerber wrote. “It’s 2016 people. Fisher Price needs to step … up and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles.”
Gerber’s post quickly went viral among other moms who felt the same way. “Because all women do is yoga and sip smoothies,” one woman wrote. “Oh Fisher Price you screwed up big time!”
Redbook magazine took a swipe at the toymaker, too, writing that girls can be “more than just SUV-driving stay-at-home-moms.”
“Sure, the dutiful stay-at-home mom breaking a sweat from cooking some fatty meat has ‘progressed,’ for lack of a better word, to a health-conscious mom who cavorts about town in a care-free manner, scheduling workout classes and sucking down smoothies to better herself rather than please someone else,” the magazine noted.
“But it’s still representative of one kind of mom: a stay-at-home mom, which, while fine to be, shouldn’t be the only possibility illustrated to young girls. After all, they can be much, much more.”
The company told ABC News that “as a result of Ms. Gina Gerber’s advocacy, we are planning to make a running change to both the package and audio chip.”
Fisher-Price also sent Gerber a direct message on Twitter, The New York Daily News reports. “You’re absolutely right; we could have done a better job,” the company wrote to her. “You’ve inspired us to change the phrase the toy says, and also the words we call out on the package. . . We’re getting to work on that now!”
The company also reiterated its commitment to breaking down stereotypes in its toys. “You can find a female Little People firefighter, dentist, mail carrier, farmer, and in 2017 you’ll see our Little People friends branch out even more with both female and male characters in professional and community service roles such as servicemen and women, doctors and dentists, athletes, construction workers and others,” the company told Gerber.
A male writer at Heatstreet.com took Gerber to task for making much ado about nothing, “bullying” the company into making an unnecessary change and for taking her case “to the only place that would care if a dumb toy was offensive, Facebook of course.”
Gerber told ABC she doesn’t have anything against yoga, but was still offended by the insinuation that yoga and smoothies are a big part of motherhood. “Maybe it’s one relaxing moment in a day, but it’s definitely not representative of being a mom,” she told ABC.