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#225 Independence and critical thinking in a tiny package

By Cathryn Wellner / December 26, 2011

Whether she ends up preferring princesses or superheroes hardly matters. At a very tender age, Riley is learning to question the status quo.

In the video, a very pissed-off Riley is standing among all the pink boxes of princesses and baby dolls that are marketed to girls. I’m quite sure I was older than Riley before it occurred to me that, as she insists, marketers “try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of stuff that boys want to buy.”

Her dad says boys can buy either if they want to, but Riley is not about to back down. She sees through the pressure to conform.

“But why do all the girls have to buy princesses?” she asks. “Some girls like superheroes. Some girls like princesses. Some boys like superheroes. Some boys like princesses. Why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and all the boys have to buy different-colour stuff?”

Your dad is right, “It’s a good question, Riley.” Keep asking those questions. We need independent thinkers.


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