I saw this commercial on television a while ago and it lit a fire of fury inside of me. I’ll link to it on youtube for the tech-savvy among us,
but I can summarize it pretty well. Play House for girls. Lots of pink. Jingle sings about girls’ dreams coming true. Meanwhile, a toddler is doing the dishes and putting in a load of wash at her dream Rose Petal Cottage.
The lyrics and the spliced in dialogue are almost unbelievable. If you didn’t know better, it could be on Onion Radio. (Before you read on, try to get a high-pitched singy song in your head.)
SONG: “A place where her dreams have room to grow….
where she can entertain her imagination.”
LITTLE GIRL’S VOICE: “Lets do laundry!”
What is imaginative about laundry? What is dreamy about laundry? What little girl dreams of growing up and doing laundry and washing the dishes? Find me her, so I can offer her to let her dreams come true over in my kitchen, free of charge.
What exactly is Hasbro selling here? The idea that domestic servitude is not only in the future for little girls, but that they want and dream about it! What’s next, a Dream Hunting Shack with little boys holding plastic rifles and growing their imagination by killing stuff? “Lets gut it now!” voices over in a deep masculine voice.
After I yelled at my unresponsive television set and scared Diene out of the tv room with my loud ranting and raving, I tried to quiet the fury. Its actually pretty funny. Lets get real, Hasbro. I don’t know what kind of mothers, wives, or daughters you have, but all the girls and women I know have dreams that go light years beyond laundry. (Laundry!). My friends and I used to talk about becoming astronauts, scientists, President, lawyers, entrepreneurs, nobel laureates. I am not buying it – not the stupid Rose Petal Cottage or the idea that being female limits me to changing the world through clean clothes or clean dishes.
Today, I am grateful for all of the girls and women I know who dream big. I am grateful for the fact that all my girlfriends I told about this stupid commercial found it as ludicrous as I did. I am grateful for feminism, because before it this might not have been mistaken for satire. Mostly, I am grateful to live in a place that allows me, a woman, to believe that I can do whatever I want, as long as I am willing to work for my dreams. And to mock such a stupid commercial.