Fisher Price's new 'Mom' figure is painfully stereotypical – but oddly inspiring
Once you analyse it, perhaps 'Time for Yoga and a Smoothie!' is a rather brilliant slogan. It shows the Fisher-Price Mom figure is putting herself first – and who says she is not a Chief Executive?
O for the proper days when Barbie carried a briefcase and wore a navy suit. Or white coat and stethoscope. Or an astronaut’s outfit.
Alright, there are very few female astronauts out there, and the City is still pretty testosterone-crazed, but we 70s children could dream, could we not? Now, alongside a return to grammar schools and Brexit, it seems that even children’s toys have taken a retrograde step to the Bad Old Days.
Is nothing sacred?
Fisher-Price has released a “Mom” figure from its Little People range who apparently drives a car about the place chirruping “time for Yoga and a smoothie!” A picture of this shocker, as spotted in a Maryland branch of Toys R Us, was posted online by one Gina Zuk Gerber, who called Fisher-Price on it, stridently suggesting; “Fisher Price needs to step it the f up (sic) and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles.”
You said it, Gina! I do a mean Downward Dog and I like a smoothie as much as the next harassed mother but honestly, Fisher-Price, are you actually IN the 21st century?
As Gerber correctly states; “This is 2016, people!” And this is America! Here we have an actual Mom doll shouting about yoga and smoothies from a pink car in a place which, unless we have all gone stark staring bonkers, is about to elect its first Mom to the White House.
President Hillary Rodham Clinton, brainbox, former Secretary of State, former First Lady. Killer role model. Now it looks as if she will have to preside over a nation whose toddlers might well be playing with and influenced by divisive, damaging, retrograde toys such as this from the Little People range. All in pink and purple, too.
And yet, hang on. Perhaps Fisher-Price is being a bit counter-intuitive here. A spokesman from the company says they came up with the ball-breaking “Time for Yoga and a Smoothie!” slogan after a raft of Mom focus groups indicated this was their favourite pastime.
Indeed, once you analyse it, perhaps “Time for Yoga and a Smoothie!” is a rather brilliant slogan. It shows the Fisher-Price Mom figure is putting herself first, and who says she is not a Chief Executive? This Mom is a CEO who enjoys group fitness classes, and is a bit more bothered about her inner chakra than any of the other Little People out there. Does she mention anyone else? She does not. She is as selfish as your average City worker, but with a penchant for eating healthily. (We all know that smoothies have far too much sugar, but that is a detail).
Her statement is all about her carving out “me moments” in her day. It displays a penchant for mindfulness, because heaven knows you have to think about what you are doing if you are going to attempt the “crow” posture in your yoga class – you can’t let your attention slip for an instant.
No, this Mom is not behaving like so many Moms around the world do, always worrying about their children and saying things like “put that device away”, “have you done your homework?” or – even worse – “let me help you with your homework.” This Mom is focused on herself, she drives a car in Ironic Pink, she’s concerned with her own wellbeing, she’s happy in her skin, she’s confident, she’s going places. Bad Ass Feminist Fisher-Price Mom, basically.