Are Disney princesses evil? Maybe not, but absurdly retro-gendered toy commercials might be. When boys’ toy ads promote battle and girls’ toy ads convey the importance of appearance, it’s small wonder that even kids raised in neutral homes buy into gender-appropriate colors and behaviors.
Political remix artist Jonathan McIntosh created the “Gendered Advertising Remixer” to make the divergent messaging so obvious that kids can see through it themselves:
Young people in the United States are subjected to an average of 25,000 TV commercials every year. Embedded in those advertisements are a very regressive and stereotypical set of social values about gender roles for boys and girls. So how can kids push back against a multibillion dollar corporate marketing machine? The goal of this project is to help empower youth of all genders to better understand, deconstruct and creatively take control of the highly gendered messages emanating from their television sets.
Want to give it a try below? Just swap out the audio with a track from an ad intended for the other gender. (My favorite combo so far is the 4 Ever Kidz Fashion Pets video, mixed with the Kung Zhu Battle Hamster audio track).
And if you haven’t seen it already, McIntosh’s previous work mashing up old Donald Duck cartoons with Glenn Beck is also worth a gander.