Gender Neutral Packaging
The goal of many popular retailers today is to be rid of previously constricting gender stereotyping in the toy, clothing, and food industries. In the past, colors like blue and pink were associated with boys and girls, respectively. Young boys would wear jeans and t-shirts while girls were often put into cute dresses with glittery shoes to match. Labeling such items as being for “boys” or for “girls” is now a thing of the past thanks to these forward-thinking retailers.
Beloved by many as the store that will eat up your paycheck thanks to its fun and quirky stock, Target announced in 2015 that it would begin moving toward changing some of the wording and advertising that in the past may have promoted gender stereotyping. While Target reminds customers that gender-identifiers can be helpful for things like clothing measurements, other items will do well to have more gender neutral packaging. Target stated in an August 2015 press release that the store will phase out labelling items in Entertainment, Toys, and Home Goods sections as being recommended for boys or for girls. Instead, Target promote gender neutral packaging and verbiage – i.e. the kids’ bedding section.
Mattel is a well-known toy manufacturing company whose largest claim to fame is the Barbie doll empire. Looked upon for years as the quintessential toy for little girls, Barbie is getting a makeover (no pun intended) this coming year as Mattel looks to promote gender neutral packaging in the future. In an ad done in conjunction with fashion designer Moschino, Barbie is displayed as being played with by a young boy, who is also enjoying his collection of racially and ethnically diverse Barbie dolls. Barbie herself has changed, too. Instead of the unrealistically skinny and busty lady of the past, Barbie today strives to replicate healthy and realistic bodily proportions.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer is a British toy company that offers a wide spread of products ranging from dolls to model airplanes. However, the company came under fire a couple years ago for blatantly promoting gender stereotypes. Toys were separated into “boys” and “girls” categories, and some of the toys labelled for boys even encouraged the thought that boys may be smarter than girls. In response to criticism, Marks & Spencer now promotes gender neutral packaging on all of its products.
Covergirl has been a pillar of excellence in the beauty industry for decades. Its tagline of “Easy, breezy, beautiful – Covergirl,” is one of the most iconic sayings in the advertising world today. In the past, makeup has been looked as a product exclusively for women and a few male actors. Covergirl dispelled this notion in 2015 when the company employed its first ever male spokesperson, James Charles, and consequently began shaping all advertisements and products around the idea of gender neutral packaging. This quality makeup conglomerate embraces the idea of gender neutral packaging and wants everyone to feel beautiful in the skin they’re in.