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Noted: Gendered Advertising Remixer

Mar 21, 2011

by Michelle Traub

Don’t get me wrong, I was a devoted caretaker to my Polly-Pocket-Barbie-American-Girl community of plastic, but there was the occasional rainy afternoon when I’d surreptitiously watch cartoons and wonder why G.I. Joe and all his ammo was missing in my life. Dad blogger Caleb Gardner points out that children in the U.S. are exposed to 25,000 television commercials a year. Despite increasingly diverse households and a socially-conscious education system, what are these ads teaching the next generation about gender roles? To their rescue, Caleb found the Gendered Advertising Remixer. It’s never been easier to mix video of My Little Pony with audio of Nerf Stampede. Though truth be told, I always knew that glittery little tail was capable of auto-blasting.

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  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 6 years ago

    interesting insight!

  • hemingwayfun

    hemingwayfun said 6 years ago


  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    To be honest I was never satisfied with girls toys much they lacked personality. I always preferred much more creative endeavours, typical eh!

  • ThePoetOrTheMuse

    ThePoetOrTheMuse said 6 years ago

    I had Barbie and GI Joe. I made them go on adventures together. I made Ken the bad guy because I just never liked him, and Barbie and Joe would kick Ken's butt and run away together! I was subjected to alot of romantic adventure/Romancing the Stone-type movies as a child.

  • DejaVuExperience

    DejaVuExperience said 6 years ago

    digging that Barbietron!

  • TheBigForest

    TheBigForest said 6 years ago

    Very cool :)

  • diasyflores

    diasyflores said 6 years ago


  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    Hey my childhood was alot like yours ( the poet and the muse) . The GI joes were my brother's. I would just steal them when he was gone.

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    WoW... dont mess with that barbie!

  • Mistresswolff

    Mistresswolff said 6 years ago

    Yeah, my brother used to bomb my Barbie house, then steal the Corvette. Of course, then my giant-sized Barbies would turn all Godzilla on him!

  • SugarBellies

    SugarBellies said 6 years ago

    That Barbie scares me, lol.

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine said 6 years ago

    That Barbie reminds me of those spider-doll head creations from the evil kid next door in Toy Story. My Ken came with sticky beards and mustaches, I'd put Barbie in a karate outfit, add a beard, and have her kick Ken's butt.

  • lisssajane

    lisssajane said 6 years ago

    love it! I have a crisis of faith every time I walk into a toy store for a last minute child's gift or a toy to be donated - it can be difficult or nearly impossible to find toys that encourage creative play that aren't explicitly gendered or perpetuating dated gender roles. It is interesting on both fronts (i.e., marketing & merchants) that given progress in other realms, mainstream consumerism continues to support this. Great post!

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 6 years ago

    This is such an important and relevant topic.. I have had so many negative comments while out with my toddler aged son pushing his toy pushchair and doll, just because he's a boy. Unbelievable that this is still an issue in this day and age!

  • IrelandsOwn

    IrelandsOwn said 6 years ago

    Wow, what a creation! I love it!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 6 years ago are the kids of today going to turn out???? I am definitely old school. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • f2images

    f2images said 6 years ago

    That is very interesting. I love the mix, which that image exemplifies....awesome!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    Very cool!!!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Interesting !

  • notchiemama

    notchiemama said 6 years ago

    Kick a** Barbie! I love it that my 4 year-old often times prefers her Buzz Lightyear action figure to a Barbie or some other "girly" thing.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 6 years ago

    Very interesting...

  • jungledread

    jungledread said 6 years ago

    wierd and wonderful!

  • PamelaLynnDesigns

    PamelaLynnDesigns said 6 years ago

    I LOVE it!

  • WellCriated

    WellCriated said 6 years ago

    Haha!! Awesome!

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 6 years ago

    That is just the raddest thing!

  • LoveYourBling

    LoveYourBling said 6 years ago


  • Numbers14

    Numbers14 said 6 years ago

    too true! :~)

  • worldpeaceandgoods

    worldpeaceandgoods said 6 years ago

    well it sees very violent (the toy in the pic), I don't think any child would need that. Though I agree that children should play with any toy they wish to play with regardless of the gender it was marketed for.

  • kustomkitsch

    kustomkitsch said 6 years ago

    Everybody's in on gender stereotyping, even at MacDonalds they'll ask you "is the happy meal for a boy or a girl?" instead of just asking which toy you'd like. So, the 27 woman who wants the happy meal with the hot wheels car (aka me) has to lie and say it's for a boy or else she gets stuck with a mini barbie doll.

  • iheartnorwegianwood

    iheartnorwegianwood said 6 years ago

    Everyone should play with crayons and lego! Maybe not at the same time though...

  • Steampunkitis

    Steampunkitis said 6 years ago


  • lanene

    lanene said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the post and the link.

  • annaviva

    annaviva said 6 years ago


  • BlackFridayStudios

    BlackFridayStudios said 6 years ago

    My daughter taught me this lesson. I bought her frilly dresses, she'd rip the lace off, lol.

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 6 years ago

    bah hah hah hilarious! as the only girl with three brothers, i was definitely exposed to some great "boy" play, though i never realized it at the time. i'm so glad my girls now have a little brother so we can balance out the polly pockets, barbies and dress up clothes!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 6 years ago

    Michelle is cute

  • dirtygirlclean

    dirtygirlclean said 6 years ago

    very lady gaga-esq.

  • SailThouForth

    SailThouForth said 6 years ago

    I was really into Barbies as a kid, but I also loved to build stuff with my brother's Lincoln Logs, play architect by drawing elaborate house plans, and battle invisible aliens with a plastic sword. I think kids should be able to play with whatever stimulates their imagination... if a girl wants to play with the girly dolls, go for it - but if she wants to play with GI Joe, that's cool, too! One "toy" I think kids need a lot less of... video games.

  • Tiffabulous

    Tiffabulous said 6 years ago

    I used to play with boy toys frequently. My younger brother was my best playmate. And I never thought Ken was good enough for my Barbie dolls. G.I Joe was much cooler, and he won the girl every time. :)

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 6 years ago

    My daughter used a red glossy vintage purse to carry her cars in! I thought we had embraced both worlds. I loved barbie's for the dressess, Ken for the adventures. Of course his heads always had cracks in it!

  • SuperGozi

    SuperGozi said 6 years ago

    reminds me of SID in!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    I always wanted Action Man (GI Joe in the US) but my mother thought they were too violent with too many weapons. Most of the other adults in my life thought I should be playing with Barbie, but I hated her! Eventually, my mother found me a cowboy & indian with horses, so they had lots of Tonto/Lone Ranger-type adventures... but I think I liked Lego best of all as there were no limitations.

  • withlovemandy

    withlovemandy said 6 years ago

    I second lisssajane - I think a lot of us creative types tend to be more conscientious with our choices, so things get complex when faced with an industry that thrives on pushing simple(yet possibly harmful) stereotypes that are easy for a child's mind to grasp.

  • HisBlessings

    HisBlessings said 6 years ago

    I could have taken out a lot of my brothers army men with that Barbie! Way too cool!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Everything is a bit more interesting when you give them a little twist! I like it!

  • GrammaGrammie

    GrammaGrammie said 6 years ago

    Discovered a fascinatingly bizarre fact when researching an article for a college paper years ago. This Barbie Fighting Vehicle oddity is strangely fitting. You see, Barbie was invented by Jack Ryan, not Ruth Handler. Jack was an engineer. He designed missiles. And Barbie. Read into that what you will.

  • retromanvintage

    retromanvintage said 6 years ago


  • Phantasmagoricum

    Phantasmagoricum said 6 years ago

    I wonder if I would have been as obsessed with action figures as a young girl if the commercials had barbie audio... interesting idea.

  • EglantineHouse

    EglantineHouse said 6 years ago

    That is hilarious. Love the My Little Pony mixed with Iron Man. It's like a snap shot of me!!! :)

  • lovepray

    lovepray said 6 years ago

    lovely article... so true

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    Ahahah, awesome! I had a brother. Many times Barbies wandered into 'enemy territory' and got taken out by GI Joe, kids are so amazingly imaginative, anything goes!

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    SAWEET! ♥

  • 0min

    0min said 6 years ago

    yey! it's really fun. interesting idea.

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage said 6 years ago

    Brilliant. Even as babies gender is still very much divided yet fused together. Boys baby toys are supposed to remain unisex instead of completely male and girls items are nothing but pink, yellow, and occasionally red and its just now you are going to be able to find a black shirt for a little girl that is actually cute.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 6 years ago

    Wow! What a combination!

  • magnoliasboutique

    magnoliasboutique said 6 years ago

    Guess I'm too old school for all the gender blender stuff.

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    Very clever ideas

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts said 6 years ago


  • Avramova

    Avramova said 6 years ago

    I just LOVE it! So much motion int he legs... As for the toy separation bu children's sex... it does not work for me. I have a brother, we use to play with dolls and weapons together... sometimes with dolls and weapons in a single play ;) We use to save the world and build houses... And now my 3.5 y.o. son loves his guns as much as he loves his pans and spoons... But above all he loves the crochet stuffed monkey I made for him. Which is to say that a child's love for a toy is more connected - or should be - to the parent's opinion, attitude and - most of all - involvement wit the toy and play, than to tv and so on commercials. No toy will ever be as loved by a child as a toy the parent loves and treasures.

  • afterdarkafterall

    afterdarkafterall said 6 years ago

    That is the scariest Barbie doll I have ever seen!

  • MadNessie

    MadNessie said 6 years ago

    Any attempts to barbie girl my childhood ended in failure. I destroyed dolls (to see how they were put together) and begged for Ninja Turtles. Kids have a lot more free will than most people give 'em credit for.

  • Jamhony

    Jamhony said 6 years ago

    Mmmm this reminds me toy story :/

  • GrimmSister

    GrimmSister said 6 years ago

    I was a tom boy, but I still had my barbies. And Breyer Horses, man I had a collection of those.

  • cynthiacallan

    cynthiacallan said 6 years ago


  • RivahHippys

    RivahHippys said 6 years ago

    I remember the xmas I got a barbie and my brother got a dirtbike ,I cryed alll day and the next day my granddad appalled the family by taking me shopping for toys I really wanted .lol I came home with a chemistry set,a microscope and a bb gun,barbie was given to a neighbor girl who loved her !No one liked graddad for weeks as my "experiments" stunk up the house .

  • GusVintage

    GusVintage said 6 years ago

    I don't see the big deal. Kids are going to play with what they want. My parents and grandparents never just went and bought me stuff they saw on tv. They asked me what I wanted. I had a dirtbike and an American Girl Doll. No harm was done to me by watching girl toy commercials on tv. People are now taking it to the other extreme and MAKING their daughters play with trucks and sons play with barbies. Every child is different but stereotypes come from some where and most boys want GI Joe and most girls want dolls. Toy companies are marketing to the norm. Why is it so hard to ask your kid what they want to play with, then give it to them?

  • tanyabond

    tanyabond said 6 years ago

    I like everthying but the bleeding Barbie...

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 6 years ago

    I grew up with three brothers so barbie and G.I. Joe were always at war together. We grew up playing with female and male gendered toys and never really gave it second thought back then. But, I love bringing it up in conversation with my brothers now...they always deny it. Ha! Thanks for the interesting story!

  • prillarguri1976

    prillarguri1976 said 6 years ago

    Oh I loved my barbie dolls, so much fun giving them crew cuts and tribal tattoos with sharpies.

  • terrihvaught

    terrihvaught said 6 years ago

    I loved my matchbox collection as much as my barbies!!!

  • olivehuedesigns

    olivehuedesigns said 6 years ago

    Awesome. I have a male friend whose sister got everything she wanted. He wanted GI Joe. Mom said no. So he took one of his sister's Barbie dolls, cut her hair off and painted her green. Kids will get creative, regardless of the toys they are given. I secretly always coveted my brother's Lego's so I was thrilled when my little brother was born 12 years later and he always wanted help with his Star Wars Lego's. I still love 'em.


    HEMPBYJLEE said 6 years ago

    Are you sure your not my missing sister

  • BooPatch

    BooPatch said 6 years ago

    My husband does most of the cooking in my house (he's way better at it! and Yes I know I'm blessed) and when my son wanted to pretend cook in his own kitchen we had a hard time finding one that was transgenger and not all frilly lacy and "girlie". he pretend cooked steaks and eggs for many years. side note ~ this toy was would come on and talk all by itself in the middle of the night. "you're coming for a tea party? Fantastic!!" weird....

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 6 years ago

    Super cool!!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    ok - that site is fun stuff. That's 15 minutes I'll never get back. Back to work.

  • flabbergastbanana

    flabbergastbanana said 6 years ago

    my fave toy as a young girl was my Misfits doll - forgot her name but she was the leader, with fluorescent yellow hair. she was rad! and usually naked. hmm.

  • ChloeCalypsoCreation

    ChloeCalypsoCreation said 6 years ago

    Fantastic!!!! I was never much of a Barbie and Ken kind of little girl... I liked to play with MUD!!!! But i did also love my polly pockets for playing on-the-go!

  • KrystalRingKreations

    KrystalRingKreations said 6 years ago

    That is my style of Barbie! My mom bought me some barbies once and once she realized that I had removed all their heads she gladly bought me any hot-wheels , or "boy toys" that I wanted! She just looked so fake I hated it and I refuse to buy them for my daughter, she does have 2 dolls but she also has hot-wheels and a bunch of gender neutral toys!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Yea go Barbie!

  • TamsyTrends

    TamsyTrends said 6 years ago

    Love it!

  • Witchey

    Witchey said 6 years ago

    i'm about as feminist as it gets, so i'm all for gender neutral toys. Barbie has always been my enemy, so i wasn't surprised to see guns strapped to her "perfectly plastic" arms. every since i was little, even before i ever even heard the word feminist, i despised everything about Barbie's fake plastic grin. She looked pretty, but mean. so, i'm totally loving this idea of gender-mixing advertisement.

  • PirateWenchTreasures

    PirateWenchTreasures said 6 years ago

    Wicked wicked kewl!!!

  • TeresaJanuary

    TeresaJanuary said 6 years ago

    sad and true

  • gemstonesinapaperbag

    gemstonesinapaperbag said 5 years ago

    Very creative. :)

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