The Student News Site of Wheeling Park High School

The Park Press

The Park Press

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The Student News Site of Wheeling Park High School

The Park Press

A Progressive Change

“I’m a child of the 80s… Looking back in [my] childhood, they did have Ken dolls with Barbie dolls, and those, typically, were more expensive because they call them collector’s items,” Mrs. Seals, an English teacher at Wheeling Park, said. “Were they just discouraging girls from buying Kens, or boys from wanting a doll? I don’t know… Not a fan of that.”

She believes that there’s been a shift in gendered advertising over the past 10 to 15 years. 

“When my oldest child was born, it was still very gendered. My son always wanted dinosaurs or Thomas the Train or airplanes, stuff like that. But my younger son, who’s five years younger, I think by that point, it had started shifting. My younger son often wanted pretty princess items. He loves the Tony Awards. He wants to watch Broadway. He would dress in dress-up at daycare. And that was embraced.” 

Freshman, Erin Elswick, encounters gendered advertising “probably every day… there’s a bunch of different soaps that are directed towards the different types of smells like more masculine and feminine.”

As a kid, she also received gendered presents such as dolls, but she personally wanted them.

“Sometimes I think it’s okay. If you’re advertising toys for Christmas or something, they’re just kids and they probably don’t know everything yet. But other times, if you’re a teenager or an adult and they’re advertising feminine or masculine soap, I don’t really think that’s okay because it’s just soap, everyone can use different soaps.”

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A Progressive Change