Swedish Toys”R”Us Christmas Catalog Challenges Gender Stereotypes
“Christmastime is (almost) here — and with it, Christmas catalogs. This year, a Swedish toy catalog is making headlines for using photographs that challenge traditional gender roles (in contrast to some images used by U.S. retailers).
The catalog in question was created by TOP-TOY, which runs nearly 50 Toys”R”Us retail stores in Northern Europe. It shows “gender neutral” photos, including images of a girl shooting a Nerf gun and a boy playing with a baby doll — as well as pictures of boys and girls using a play kitchen, a mock changing table and a pink Barbie Dreamhouse.
This isn’t the first effort Swedes have made to bash gender stereotyping in toys. Earlier this year, Leklust published a catalog featuring pictures of a girl riding a tractor and a child dressed as Spider-Man pushing a pram.
This time around, the catalog has been well-received. “Santa has already given me what I want,” Sarah Ditum writes in the Guardian, arguing that the catalog is “good news for Swedish kids” in part because “you can’t resist the gender sorting hat for ever, but you can give children a start that shows them the gender sorting hat isn’t a natural and inevitable part of being human.’ “