Gendered stickers

Delivered in the mail yesterday, two big books of stickers from the Melissa and Doug company (I use a lot of stickers on the postcards I send out and on the collages I make): the Pink Collection and the Blue Collection, intended for girls and boys (ages 3+), respectively. Each has ten themed pages, with themes mirroring gender stereotypes for kids.

The Pink Collection themes: Princess, Tea Party, On the Farm, Fairy, Fashion, Horse Show, Ballet, Pets, Magical Garden, Zoo Animals

The Blue Collection themes: Dinosaurs, Construction, Racing Vehicles, Outer Space, Pirates, Sports, Rescue, Knights, Zoo Animals, Gross Stuff

The only shared theme is Zoo Animals — and, even there, the two sets of stickers are not the same. Both have penguins, but Pink has lots of other birds (and some butterflies), which Blue lacks. Where Blue has two pandas, Pink has a camel and a llama. Pink has monkeys, Blue has extra bears instead. And so on.

Some of the Pink themes would certainly appeal to my grand-daughter Opal (age 9) — Pets in particuar — but so would several of the Blue themes: Dinosaurs, Pirates, and Gross Stuff. Opal is into princesses, but on her own terms; in her world, princesses wield serious weaponry and protect the weak and vulnerable from threats.

For her birthday this year, Opal got some Princeless comics. Yes, Princeless, not Princess. From the Action Lab Entertainment site:

Still waiting for your prince to come? Tired of spending night after night locked in a secluded tower? Ready for your own adventure? So are we.

Princeless is the story of Princess Adrienne, one princess who’s tired of waiting to be rescued. Join Adrienne and her guardian dragon, Sparky, as they begin their own quest in an all-ages action adventure designed specifically for those who are tired of waiting to be rescued… and who are ready to save themselves.

From a 1/7/13 posting “Princeless rips the cover off comics covers” by Brigid Alverson:

Let me start with a confession: I have never understood why comics covers are so different from the interiors. In every other part of publishing, editors try to make their covers broadcast the contents inside, but with comics it’s somehow OK to have the interior done by one artist and the cover by another, often with wildly varying styles.

Writer Jeremy Whitley and artist Emily Martin take on that issue head-on with the cover of Issue 2 of the second arc of Princeless. Written for children (but witty enough for adults), Princeless is the story of a princess who refuses to go along with the standard paradigm of being locked in a tower and waiting for a knight to come along and slay her dragon so he can marry her.

Whitley and Martin apparently aren’t going along with the standard paradigm, either. Their cover challenges a couple of comics conventions, both making the characters extra-sexy and having a cover image that has nothing to do with the story inside.

Metacomics are everywhere.

One Response to “Gendered stickers”

  1. Chris Says:

    (I may have to eat, shoot and leave here)

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