Just a toy? No.

How many times have I read an article criticizing stereotyped toys and toy marketing followed by a bunch of comments to the effect that "Relax, it's just a toy." What these misguided commenters fail to understand is the importance of play to … [Read more...]

Online roundup: Disney critique, food marketing, modeling bad taste, women (not) on big screen, stereotypes hurt boys

Every week I read compelling stories online that I usually find via Twitter and then share via Twitter. To make sure my precious blog readers don't miss these great pieces, I'm going to try to post excerpts from the best more frequently. Modern … [Read more...]

More on rape culture

After Steubenville, there is a petition to ask the National Federation of High School Associations, which offers annual required trainings for coaches in order for them to remain accredited, to partner with nationally recognized activist … [Read more...]

What can I do to help protect all children from harmful media messages?

I spent last weekend at a conference full of energetic and committed people working to protect children from corporate marketing practices that harm children’s health and well-being for profit.  It was the 8th international Consuming Kids Summit in … [Read more...]

Art inspired by marketers who unfairly target children

A special treat today. Works of art, one a poem and one a mixed-media drawing/collage, that draw inspiration from a sense that children are unfairly targeted by marketers in our society. This is a work by Massachusetts mixed-media artist Edward … [Read more...]

M-rated video games cross-promoted with children’s building toys

If Halo is rated M for mature game players only, then why the cross-promotion with Megabloks, intended for ages "8 and up"? Please watch this promotional video (or see screenshots below). Please note that the video includes the Xbox logo. How … [Read more...]

Future Zone: media, corporations, government, privacy

For the new year, a few from the future shock files that are good for parents and everyone to be aware of. Will your device spy on you while you watch TV? All I can say is, if you’re not freaked out yet, you’re not paying attention. Verizon … [Read more...]

Vote today in the bad toy contest

It’s the TOADY. I do enjoy this annual contest, to select the worst toy of the year, as a counterpoint to the Toy of the Year award – the TOTY – which is sponsored by the toy industry. Sometimes the choices in both contests are strikingly … [Read more...]

Tobacco industry marketing practices target youth

This is the first of a two part series on smoking, media and youth. Part II here. I finally slogged through the 2012 Surgeon Generals’ report, “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults”  section on tobacco industry marketing practices. … [Read more...]

A photo essay: What can a girl be?

I took a stroll through the toy aisles of a major retailer with my camera. The aisles with toys for girls are conveniently color coded with pink. The boys' aisles are blue, of course. This helps you find the correct and proper toy for your children. … [Read more...]