Sunday, January 12, 2014

Babes in Toyland

Christmas has a way of reverberating into the New Year and beyond. Much to my dismay, I will surely be confronting pine needles in the nooks and crannies of my home long after the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along. Much to my dismay, I will continue to relive the moment during this holiday season when a beloved childhood memory of mine was crushed.

It all began as innocently as childhood itself. George and Claire were ripping the paper off a Christmas gift with great anticipation. My daughter excitedly pulls a box from its wrapping and George says, “Oh, cool! Candy Land!”

I’m flooded -- not with distinct memories, but with the intense but inchoate images and feelings of a young child. I don’t remember the game’s specifics or its characters. I feel happiness about winding along a path of friendly colors through a swirling world of sweet fancy.

I lean in to look at the box with Claire…

Candy Land's gotten a sexy makeover.


I'm flooded again. This time with rage, helplessness and disappointment along with a barrage of thoughts:

“Ah, not my Candy Land! Is nothing sacred? My Candy Land didn't have creepy bimbettes posing around the board! This game’s supposed to be for little kids! Can’t we just wait a few years?... Oh, shit, get over yourself, Rachel. You are such a control freak. You can’t shield Claire from everything in this world. There are so many other things to worry about than the sexualization of a dumb board game. She can still enjoy the game… Maybe, I’m just pissed I can't recreate my own past through my daughter. Or, maybe, I’m becoming one of those ‘things aren’t the way they used to be’ kind of cliches.”

As the wheels in my head spin, Claire and George open the box and look at the pieces. Another newly-opened game sits on the table next to Candy Land. Claire points to Chutes and Ladders, the green and blue board filled with children of diverse racial backgrounds playing actively, absorbed and engaged -- how I would like Claire to imagine herself in her world. She looks at Candyland…

“Mama, Candy Land is for girls and Chutes and Ladders is for boys,” she says.

The screaming in my head comes to a screeching halt. Claire cuts through my bullshit every time. Out of the mouths of babes is how the saying goes.


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CHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S FAB FEATURES: 
MY SKEWED VIEW, HE SAID WHAT?

The Tao of Poop 



20 comments:

  1. Ok that candy land box is creepy. We have that game and that is NOT the box we have. So much to think about with raising littles these days...

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  2. This is the first I've seen of that game. What the heck?!

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  3. Oh for fuck's sake! You can't get away. You just can't. get. away. I'm sorry. :(

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  4. That box is hideous! It makes me so angry too, although like you sometimes I wonder if I am overreacting. But we're not - it's righteous rage!!

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  5. This is just what Stephanie said earlier in the week, about how the music undermines us when we don't even realize it. That is horrible, just horrible that at such a young age our girls are getting minimized.

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  6. We got the same game this Christmas…

    I was frustrated with it, too… and on top of that, I was weirdly annoyed that "Queen Frostine" was demoted to a Princess… so there is no Queen, just two bimbo princess and the fat and happy and full-of-himself King.

    AND, I hate when they spell it wrong… so even though it is Candy land, he is King Kandy. Like we won't get the alliteration if they spell it the right way…

    My small joy at the game was that my almost 2-and-a-half year old daughter hated playing, just wanted to spin the spinner and lick the candy pictures on the board. So no damage done here, yet, really…. =D

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  7. Shut. Up. We have an old version of CandyLand, and I had no idea the board was such an atrocity now. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I too am disgusted. I feel your pain and helplessness. I also love the feminism theme our little group inadvertently has going for us this week. ;) xo

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  8. HOLY CRAP!!! Candy Land is for girls?? Also Claire's language is amazing. Every time you tell me what she's saying for her age, I'm blown away. Big blown away.

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  9. And Tucker was just not (like totally not) playing Candy Land in class recently. I didn't see the box but if it was like yours, I'd have been freaking PISSED.

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  10. This absolutely drives me crazy! I'm in the middle of helping raise eight little girls, ranging in age from 1 to 11. Halloween costumes, swimsuits, advertising. Everything is geared to promoting the female 'sexy' image. What happened to innocence? What happened to seeing girls for their intelligence. For their inner potential and beauty? I got all bent when the powers that be 'sexified' the Merida doll from 'Brave'. Grrr.

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  11. I can't believe this. Just maddening. Seriously something must be done about that.

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  12. That's not the Candy Land I remember either, lol. At least they're covered head to toe w/clothes. The last time we went grocery shopping my son asked me why the girls on the magazines had hardly any clothes on. "You can almost see their boobs!" *sigh* He's 6.

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  13. That must be a pretty recent version. Ours is different from the one I had as a child but no sexiness. It's like the Bratz have just taken over the world, huh?

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  14. I read Deb's comment and I second that. It's obvious that even when we avoid the pink and purple everything it still seeps in, along with the weird sexy candy land ladies. We received CandyLand before it had the sexy makeover. Thankfully.

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  15. Dude. That is just creepy. They do realize that this is a game for preschoolers... right? Also, my son said the same thing about the two board games! We play Chutes and Ladders all the time but he has not even wanted to open his (non-sexy) Candy Land game. Disappointing, because that was one of my favorite games growing up, as well. Maybe I should send that one to you. :)

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  16. When the heck did THAT happen?? I bought the "normal" one for Bug just three years ago (although it MAY have been tagged as "classic" Candyland). Are you sure you didn't pick up Strip Candyland by mistake?? :)

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  17. Totally awesome Clare has a mom that notices and can talk to her about it. If we had more people like you, the marketers would have to take notice. I have 2 boys but I will definitely be working with them so that they know women are more than eye candy!

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  18. Dude! I was likewise disgusted when I saw that box this year. Isaiah got his about 5 years ago when it was still the old packaging, but this year my sister wanted to get it for her daughter and I saw the box and was like what??!!! It is just soooo wrong. I also wanted Isaiah to watch Super Friends, but accidentally turned on The Justice League (which I thought was the same) and you should have seen the sexy lowcut outfit cartoon Wonder Woman was wearing, and the curves! Also Lois Lane and Superman kissed! WHAT?! So that was the end of that.
    Can we not just preserve their innocence for a little while? Is that too much to ask?
    Great great post. That needs to be out there and you need to send it to those creeps at MB games!

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  19. what is up with that revisionist candyland?! it's awful!

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