Mass Communication sets or perpetuates some gender agendas. Provide links to examples and develop your viewpoints while referring to your weekly learning resources.? B) Ma
Respond to the following prompts by providing examples of each:
A) Mass Communication sets or perpetuates some gender agendas. Provide links to examples and develop your viewpoints while referring to your weekly learning resources.
B) Mass Communication influences attitudes and opinions about gender, race, and sexuality. After reading The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Communication, Chapter 16: "Gender, Race and Media Representation," pose a question or statement in the group discussion that you now have after completing the readings. For example, this could be a statement about how we could start to combat the misrepresentations
5 BUYING AND SELLING GENDER
I n the video called Adventures in the Gender Trade, Kate Bornstein, a transgender performance artist and activist, looks into the camera and says, “Once you buy gender, you’ll buy anything to keep it.” Her observation goes to the heart of deep connections between economic processes and
institutionalized patterns of gender difference, opposition, and inequality in contemporary society. Readings in this chapter examine the ways in which modern marketplace forces such as commercial- ization, commodification, and consumerism exploit and construct gender. However, before we explore the buying and selling of gender, we want to review briefly the major elements of contemporary American economic life—elements that embody corporate capitalism—which form the framework for the packaging and delivery of gender to consumers.
DEFINING CORPORATE CAPITALISM
Corporate capitalism is an economic system in which large, national and transnational corporations are the dominant forces. The basic goal of corporate capitalism is the same as it was when social scientists such as Karl Marx studied early capitalist economies: converting money into more money (Johnson, 2001). Corporate capitalists invest money in the production of all sorts of goods and services for the purpose of selling at a profit. Capitalism, as Gitlin (2001) observes, requires a consumerist way of life.
In today’s society, corporate capitalism affects virtually every aspect of life—most Americans work for a corporate employer, whether a fast food chain or a bank, and virtually everyone buys the prod- ucts and services of capitalist production (Johnson, 2001; Ritzer, 1999). Those goods and services include things we must have in order to live (e.g., food and shelter) and, most important for contem- porary capitalism’s survival and growth, things we have learned to want or desire (e. g., microwave ovens, televisions, cruises, fitness fashions, cosmetic surgery), even though we do not need them in order to live (Ritzer, 1999).
From an economic viewpoint, we are a nation of consumers, people who buy and use a dizzying array of objects and services conceived, designed, and sold to us by corporations. George Ritzer (1999), a leading analyst of consumerism, observes that consumption plays such as big role in the lives of contemporary Americans that it has, in many respects, come to define our society.
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In fact, as Ritzer notes, Americans spend most of their available resources on consumer goods and services. Corporate, consumer capitalism depends on luring people into what he calls the “cathedrals of consumption,” such as book super- stores, shopping malls, theme parks, fast food restaurants, and casinos, where we will spend money to buy an array of goods and services.
Our consumption-driven economy counts on customers whose spending habits are relatively unrestrained and who view shopping as pleasur- able. Indeed, Americans spend much more today than they did just forty years ago (Ritzer, 1999). Most of our available resources go to purchasing and consuming “stuff.” Americans consume more of everything and more varieties of things than people in other nations. We are also more likely to go into debt than Americans of earlier generations and people in other nations today. Some social scientists (e.g, Schor, 1998, p. 2004) use the term hyperconsumption to describe what seems to be a growing American passion for and obsession with consumption.
Gender is a fundamental element of the modern machinery of marketing. It is an obvious resource from which the creators and distributors of goods and services can draw ideas, images, and mes- sages. The imagery of consumer culture thrives on gender difference and asymmetry. For example, consumer emblems of hyperfemininity and hypermasculinity, such as Barbie and GI Joe, stand in stark physical contrast to each other (Schiebinger, 2000). This is not happenstance. Barbie and GI Joe intentionally reinforce beliefs in essential differences between women and men. The exaggerated, gendered appearances of Barbie and GI Joe can be purchased by adult consumers who have the financial resources to pay for new cosmetic surgeries, such as breast and calf implants, that literally inscribe beliefs about physical differences between women and men into their flesh (Sullivan, 2001). As Walters observes (2001), turning difference into “an object of barter is perhaps the quintessentially
American experience” (p. 289). Indeed, virtually every product and service, including the most functional, can be designed and consumed as masculine or feminine (e.g., deodorants, bicycles, greeting cards, wallpaper, cars, and hair styles).
Gender-coding of products and services is a common strategy employed by capitalist organi- zations to sell their wares. It is also integral to the processes by which gender is constructed, because it frames and structures gender prac- tices. Let’s look at the gender-coding of clothing to illustrate how consumer culture participates in the construction of gender through ordinary material forms. As the gender archeologist Sorenson (2000) observes, clothing is an ideal medium for the expression of a culture’s gender beliefs because it is an extension of the body and an important element in identity and commu- nication. No wonder corporate capitalists have cashed in on the business of fabricating gender through dress (Sorenson, 2000). Sorenson (2000) notes that simple observation of the cloth- ing habits of people reveals a powerful pattern of “dressing gender” (p. 124). Throughout life, she argues, the gender-coding of colors, patterns, decorations, fabrics, fastenings, trimmings, and other aspects of dress create and maintain differ- ences between boys and girls and men and women. Even when clothing designers and man- ufacturers create what appear to be “unisex” fashions (e.g., tuxedos for women), they incorpo- rate just enough gendered elements (e.g., lacy trim or a revealing neckline) to insure that the culturally created gender categories—feminine and masculine—are not completely erased. Consider the lengths to which the fashion indus- try has gone to create dress that conveys a “seri- ous yet feminine” business appearance for the increasing number of women in management and executive levels of the corporate world (Kimle & Damhorst, 1997). Contemplate the ferocity of the taboo against boys and men wear- ing skirts and dresses. Breaking the taboo (except on a few occasions such as Halloween) typically results in negative sanctions. The read- ing in this chapter by Adie Nelson examines the extent to which even fantasy dress for children ends up conforming to gender stereotypes.
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Gender-coded clothing is one example of cor- porate exploitation of gender to sell all kinds of goods and services, including gender itself. Have we arrived at a moment in history when identi- ties, including gender identity, are largely shaped within the dynamics of consumerism? Will we, as Bornstein observes, buy anything to keep up gender appearances? The readings in this chapter help us to answer these questions. They illumi- nate some of the key ways in which capitalist, consumer culture makes use of cultural defini- tions and stereotypes of gender to produce and sell goods and services.
In our “consumers’ republic” (Cohen, 2003), the mass media (e.g., television and magazines) play a central role in delivering potential con- sumers to advertisers whose job it is to persuade us to buy particular products and services (Kilbourne, 1999; Ritzer, 1999). The advertising industry devotes itself to creating and keeping consumers in the marketplace, and it is very good at what it does. Today’s advertisers use sophisticated strategies for hooking consumers. The strategies work because they link our deep- est emotions and most beloved ideals to products and services by persuading us that identity and self-worth can be fashioned out of the things we buy (Featherstone, 1991; Zukin, 2004)). Advertisers transform gender into a commodity, and convince consumers that we can transform ourselves into more masculine men and more feminine women by buying particular products and services. Men are lured into buying cars that will make them feel like hypermasculine machines, and women are sold a wondrous array of cosmetic products and procedures that are supposed to turn them into drop-dead beauties.
Jacqueline Urla and Alan Swedlund’s article explores the story that Barbie, a well advertised and wildly popular toy turned icon, tells about femininity in consumer culture. They note that although Barbie’s long, thin body and big breasts are remarkably unnatural, she stands as an ideal that has played itself out in the real body trends of Playboy magazine centerfolds and Miss America contestants. The authors provide evi- dence that between 1959 and 1978, the average weight and hip size for women centerfolds and
beauty contestants decreased steadily. A follow- up study for 1979–88 found the acceleration of this trend with “approximately 69 percent of Playboy centerfolds and 60 percent of Miss America contestants weighing in at 15 percent or more below their expected age and height cate- gory” (p. 298). One lesson we might glean from this story is that a toy (Barbie) and real women (centerfolds and beauty contestants) are converg- ing in a culture in which the bonds of beauty norms are narrowing and tightening their grip on both products and persons (Sullivan, 2001). To illustrate the extent of media’s influence even further, Kirsten Firminger’s piece on represen- tations of males in teenage girls’ magazines demonstrates the power of print media to guide readers not only toward consumption of gen- dered products and services but also toward con- sumption of (stereo)types of people who are packaged much like other gendered products.
Any analysis of the marketing of femininity and masculinity has to take into account the ways in which the gendering of products and services is tightly linked to prisms of difference and inequality such as sexuality, race, age, and ability/disability. Consumer culture thrives, for example, on heterosexuality, whiteness, and youthfulness. Automobile advertisers market cars made for heterosexual romance and mar- riage. Liquor ads feature men and women in love (Kilbourne, 1999). Recent research on race and gender imagery in the most popular advertising medium, television, confirms the continuing dominance of images of White, affluent, young adults. “Virtually all forms of television market- ing perpetuate images of White hegemonic masculinity and White feminine romantic fulfill- ment” (Coltrane & Messineo, 2000, p. 386). In spite of what is called niche marketing or mar- keting to special audiences such as Latinos, gay men, and older Americans, commercial televi- sion imagery continues to rely on stereotypes of race, gender, age, and the like (Coltrane & Messineo, 2000). Stereotypes sell.
Two readings in this chapter address intersec- tions of prisms of difference and inequality in consumer culture. The first, by Toni Calasanti and Neal King, offers detailed insight into the
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mass-marketing of “successful aging” products, services, and activities to old men. They highlight the fact that marketing that targets old people plays upon the stigma of aging in American cul- ture and, in the case of men, the often desperate attempts of aging men to hang onto youthful manliness. The second, by Minjeong Kim and Angie Chung, is a close analysis of multicultural advertising strategies that rely on racialized, sex- ualized, and gendered stereotypes of Asian American women as the “Other” not only to sell products but also to sell Orientalism itself.
CAN YOU BUY IN WITHOUT SELLING OUT?
The tension between creativity, resistance, and rebellion, on the one hand; and the lure and power of commercialization on the other, is a focus of much research on consumerism and consumer cul- ture (Quart, 2003; Schor, 2004). Can we produce and consume the gendered products and services of corporate capitalism without wanting and trying to be just like Barbie or Madonna, the Marlboro Man or Brad Pitt? Does corporate, commercial cul- ture consume everything and everyone in its path, including the creators of countercultural forms?
The latter question is important. Consider the fact that “grunge,” which began as antiestablish- ment fashion, became a national trend when companies such as Diesel and Urban Outfitters coopted and commercialized it (O’Brien, 1999). Then contemplate how commercial culture has cleverly exploited the women’s movement by associating serious social issues and problems with trivial or dangerous products. “New Freedom” is a maxipad. “ERA” is a laundry detergent. Cigarette ads often portray smoking as a symbol of women’s liberation (Kilbourne, 1999). Commercial culture is quite successful in entic- ing artists of all sorts to “sell out.” For example, Madonna began her career as a rebel who dared to display a rounded belly. But, over time, she has been “normalized,” as reflected in the transformation of her body to better fit celebrity appearance norms (Bordo, 1997).
The culture of the commodity is also success- ful in mainstreaming the unconventional by
turning nonconformity into obedience that answers to Madison Avenue (Harris, 2000). Analysts of the commodification of gayness have been especially sensitive to the potential prob- lems posed by advertising’s recent creation of a largely fictional identity of gay as “wealthy White man” with a lifestyle defined by hip fashion (Walters, 2001). What will happen if lesbian and gay male styles are increasingly drawn into mass- mediated, consumer culture? Will those modes of rebellion against the dominance of heterosexism lose their political clout? Will they become mere “symbolic forms of resistance, ineffectual strate- gies of rebellion” (Harris, 2000, p. xxiii)?
THE GLOBAL REACH OF AMERICAN GENDER IMAGES AND IDEALS
The global reach of American culture is yet another concern of consumer culture researchers. Transnational corporations are selling American popular culture and consumerism as a way of life in countries around the world (Kilbourne, 1999; Ritzer, 1999). People across the globe are now regularly exposed to American images, icons, and ideals. For example, Baywatch, with its array of perfect (albeit cosmetically enhanced) male and female bodies, has been seen by more people in the world than any other television show (Kilbourne, 1999). American popular music and film celebrities dominate the world scene. Everyone knows Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts.
You might ask, and quite legitimately, so what? The answer to that question is not a simple one, in part because cultural import-export relations are intricate. As Gitlin (2001) observes, “the cultural gates . . . swing both ways. For example, American rhythm and blues influenced Jamaican ska, which evolved into reggae, which in turn was imported to the United States via Britain” (p. 188). However, researchers have been able to document some trou- bling consequences of the global advantage of American commercial, consumer culture for the lifeways of people outside the United States. Thus, social scientists (e.g., Connell, 1999; Herdt, 1997) are tracing how American categories of sexual
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orientation are altering the modes of organization and perception of same-gender relations in some non-Western societies that have traditionally been more fluid and tolerant of sexual diversity than the United States.
Scientists are also documenting the impact of American mass media images of femininity and masculinity on consumers in far corners of the world. The island country of Fiji is one such place. Researchers have discovered that as the young women of Fiji consume American televi- sion on a regular basis, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa are being recorded for the first time. The ultra-thin images of girls and women that populate U.S. TV shows and TV ads have become the measuring stick of femininity in a culture in which, previously, an ample, full body was the norm for women and men (Goode, 1999). The troubling consequences of the global- ization of American consumer culture do not end with these examples. Consider the potential neg- ative impact of idealized images of whiteness in a world in which most people are brown. Or how about the impact of America’s negative images of older women and men on the people of cul- tures in which the elderly are revered?
Although corporate, capitalist economies pro- vide many people with all the creature comforts they need and more, as well as making consump- tion entertaining and more accessible, there is a price to pay (Ritzer, 1999). This chapter explores one troubling aspect of corporate, consumer cul- ture—the commodification and commercializa- tion of gender.
A few final questions emerge from our analy- sis of patterns of gender in relationship to con- sumer capitalism. How can the individual develop an identity and self-worth that are not contingent upon and defined by a whirlwind of products and services? How do we avoid devolving into carica- tures of stereotyped images of femininity and masculinity, whose needs and desires can only be met by gendered commodities? Is Kate Bornstein correct when she states that “Once you buy gen- der, you’ll buy anything to keep it?” Or can we create and preserve alternative ways of life, even ways of life that undermine the oppression of dominant images and representations?
Bordo, S. (1997). Material girl: The effacements of postmodern culture. In R. Lancaster & M. di Leonardo (Eds.), The gender/sexuality reader (pp. 335—358). New York: Routledge.
Coltrane, S., & Messineo, M. (2000). The perpetuation of subtle prejudice: Race and gender imagery in 1990s television advertising. Sex roles, (42), 363–389.
Cohen, L. (2003). A consumers’ republic: The politics of mass consumption in postwar America. New York: Vintage Books
Connell, R. W. (1999). Making gendered people: Bodies, identities, sexualities. In M. Ferree, J. Lorber & B. Hess (Eds.), Revisioning gender (pp. 449–471). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Featherstone, M. (1991). The body in consumer cul- ture. In Featherstone, Hepworth, & Turner (Eds.), The body: Social process and cultural theory (pp. 170—196). London: Sage.
Gitlin, T. (2001). Media unlimited: How the torrent of images and sounds overwhelms our lives. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Goode, E. (1999). Study finds TV alters Fiji girls’ view of body. New York Times, May 20, p. A17.
Harris, D. (2000). Cute, quaint, hungry and romantic: The aesthetics of consumerism. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Herdt, G. (1997). Same sex, different cultures. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Johnson, A. (2001). Privilege, power, and difference. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Kilbourne, J. (1999). Can’t buy my love. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Kimle, P. A., & Damhorst, M. L. (1997). A grounded theory model of the ideal business image for women. Symbolic Interaction, 20 (1), 45–68.
Marenco, S., with Bornstein, K. (1993). Adventures in the gender trade: A case for diversity. Filmakers Library.
O’Brien, J. (1999). Social prisms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.
Quart, A. (2003). Branded: The buying and selling of teenagers. New York: Basic Books.
Ritzer, G. (1999). Enchanting a disenchanted world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.
Schiebinger, L. (2000). Introduction. In L. Schiebinger (Ed)., Feminism and the body (pp. 1–21). New York: Oxford University Press.
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Schor, J. (1998). The overspent American. New York: Basic Books.
Schor, J. (2004). Born to buy. New York: Scribner. Sorenson, M. L. Stig. (2000). Gender archaeology.
Cambridge, England: Polity Press. Sullivan, D. A. (2001). Cosmetic surgery: The cut-
ting edge of commercial medicine in America.
New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Walters, S. D. (2001). All the rage: The story of gay visibility in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Zukin, S. (2004). Point of purchase: How shopping changed American culture. New York: Routledge.
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From Nelson, Adie. 2000. “The pink dragon is female: Halloween costumes and gender markers” Psychology of Women Quarterly 24.
Introduction to Reading 21
Adie Nelson’s article offers a marvelously detailed analysis of one way in which the modern mar- ketplace reinforces gender stereotypes—the gender coding of children’s Halloween costumes. Nelson describes the research process she employed to label costumes as masculine, feminine, or neutral. She provides extensive information about how manufacturers and advertisers use gen- der markers to steer buyers, in this case parents, toward “gender-appropriate” costume choices for their children. Overall, Nelson’s research indicates that gender-neutral costumes, whether they are ready-to-wear or sewing patterns, are a tiny minority of all the costumes on the market.
1. Many perceive Halloween costumes as encouraging children to engage in fantasy play. How does Nelson’s research call this notion into question?
2. Describe some of the key strategies employed by manufacturers to “gender” children’s costumes.
3. How do Halloween costumes help to reproduce an active-masculine/passive-feminine dichotomy?
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HALLOWEEN COSTUMES AND GENDER MARKERS
Adie Nelson * * *
T he celebration of Halloween has become, in contemporary times a socially orches- trated secular event that brings buyers and
sellers into the marketplace for the sale and pur- chase of treats, ornaments, decorations, and fan- ciful costumes. Within this setting, the wearing of fancy dress costumes has such a prominent role
that it is common, especially within large cities, for major department stores and large, specialty toy stores to begin displaying their selection of Halloween costumes by mid-August if not earlier. It is also evident that the range of masks and cos- tumes available has broadened greatly beyond those identified by McNeill (1970), and that both
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children and adults may now select from a wide assortment of readymade costumes depicting, among other things, animals, objects, super- heroes, villains, and celebrities. In addition, major suppliers of commercially available sewing patterns, such as Simplicity and McCall’s, now routinely include an assortment of Halloween costumes in their fall catalogues. Within such catalogues, a variety of costumes designed for infants, toddlers, children, adults, and, not infre- quently, pampered dogs are featured.
On the surface, the selection and purchase of Halloween costumes for use by children may simply appear to facilitate their participation in the world of fantasy play. At least in theory, ask- ing children what they wish to wear or what they would like to be for Halloween may be seen to encourage them to use their imagination and to engage in the role-taking stage that Mead (1934) identified as play. Yet, it is clear that the commer- cial marketplace plays a major role in giving expression to children’s imagination in their Halloween costuming. Moreover, although it might be facilely assumed that the occasion of Halloween provides a cultural “time out” in which women and men as well as girls and boys have tacit permission to transcend the gendered rules that mark the donning of apparel in every- day life, the androgyny of Halloween costumes may be more apparent than real. If, as our folk wisdom proclaims, “clothes make the man” (or woman), it would be presumptuous to suppose that commercially available children’s Halloween costumes and sewing patterns do not reflect both the gendered nature of dress (Eicher & Roach- Higgens, 1992) and the symbolic world of heroes, villains, and fools (Klapp, 1962, 1964). Indeed, the donning of Halloween costumes may demonstrate a “gender display” (Goffman, 1966, p. 250) that is dependent on decisions made by brokering agents to the extent that it is the after- math of a series of decisions made by commercial firms that market ready-made costumes and sewing patterns that, in turn, are purchased, rented, or sewn by parents or others. . . .
Building on Barnes and Eicher’s (1992, p. 1) observation that “dress is one of the most
significant markers of gender identity,” an exam- ination of children’s Halloween costumes pro- vides a unique opportunity to explore the extent to which gender markers are also evident within the fantasy costumes available for Halloween. To the best of my knowledge, no previous research has attempted to analyze these costumes nor to examine the ways in which the imaginary vistas explored in children’s fantasy dress reproduce and reiterate more conventional messages about gender.
In undertaking this research, my expectations were based on certain assumptions about the per- spectives of merchandisers of Halloween costumes for children. It was expected that commercially available costumes and costume patterns would reiterate and reinforce traditional gender stereo- types. Attempting to adopt the marketing perspec- tive of merchandisers, it was anticipated that the target audience would be parents concerned with creating memorable childhood experiences for their children, envisioning them dressed up as archetypal fantasy characters. In the case of sewing patterns, it was expected that the target audience would be primarily mothers who possessed what manufacturers might imagine to be the sewing skills of the traditional homemaker. However, these assumptions about merchandisers are not the subject of the present inquiry. Rather, the present study offers an examination of the potential contri- bution of marketing to the maintenance of gender stereotypes. In this article, the focus is on the cos- tumes available in the marketplace; elsewhere I examine the interactions between children and their parents in the selection, modification, and wearing of Halloween costumes (Nelson, 1999).
The present research was based on a content analysis of 469 unique children’s Halloween ready-made costumes and sewing patterns exam- ined from August 1996 to November 1997 at craft stores, department stores, specialty toy stores, costume rental stores, and fabric stores containing catalogues of sewing patterns. Within
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retail stores, racks of children’s Halloween costumes typically appeared in August and remained in evidence, albeit in dwindling numbers, until early November each year. In department stores, a subsection of the area gen- erally devoted to toys featured such garments; in craft stores and/or toy stores, children’s Halloween costumes were typically positioned on long racks in the center of a section devoted to the commercial paraphernalia now associated with the celebration of Halloween (e.g., card- board witches, “Spook trees,” plastic pumpkin containers). Costumes were not segregated by gender within the stores (i.e., there were no separate aisles or sections for boys’ and girls’ costumes); however, children’s costumes were typically positioned separately from those designed for adults. . . .
All costumes were initially coded as (a) mas- culine, (b) feminine, or (c) neutral depending on whether boys, girls, or both were featured as the models on the packaging that accompanied a ready-to-wear costume or were used to illustrate the completed costume on the cover of a sewing pattern. . . . The pictures accompanying cos- tumes may act as safekeeping devices, which discourage parents from buying “wrong”-sexed costumes. The process of labeling costumes as masculine, feminine, or neutral was facilitated by the fact that these public pictures (Goffman, 1979) commonly employed recognizable gen- derisms. For example, a full-body costume of a box of crayons could be identified as feminine by the long curled hair of the model and the black patent leather pumps with ribbons she wore. In like fashion, a photograph depicting the finished version of a sewing pattern for a teapot featured the puckish styling of the model in a variant of what Goffman (1979, p. 45) termed “the bashful knee bend” and augmented this sub- tle cue by having the model wear white panty- hose and Mary-Jane shoes with rosettes at the base of the toes. Although the sex of the model could have been rendered invisible, such femi- nine gender markers as pointy-toed footwear, party shoes of white and black patent leather, frilly socks. makeup and nail polish, jewelry, and
elaborately curled (and typically long and blonde) hair adorned with bows/barrettes/ hairbands facilitated this initial stage of costume placement. By and large, female models used to illustrate Halloween costumes conformed to the ideal image of the “Little Miss” beauty pageant winner; they were almost overwhelmingly White, slim, delicate-boned blondes who did not wear glasses. Although male child models were also overwhelmingly White, they were more het- erogeneous in height and weight and were more likely to wear glasses or to smile out from the photograph in a bucktooth grin. At the same time, however, masculine gender markers were apparent. Male models were almost uniformly shod in either well-worn running shoes or sturdy-looking brogues, while their hair showed little variation from the traditional little boy cut of short back and sides.
The use of gender-specific common and proper nouns to designate costumes (e.g., Medieval Maiden, Majorette, Prairie Girl) or gender-associated adjectives that formed part of the costume title (e.g., Tiny Tikes Beauty, Pretty Witch, Beautiful Babe, Pretty Pumpkin Pie) also served to identify feminine costumes. Similarly, the use of the terms “boy,” “man,” or “male” in the advertised name of the costume (e.g., Pirate Boy, Native American Boy, Dragon Boy) or the noted inclusion of advertising copy that announced “Cool dudes costumes are for boys in sizes” was used to identify masculine costumes. Costumes designated as neutral were those in which both boys and girls were featured in the illustration or photograph that accompanied the costume or sewing pattern or in which it was impossible to detect the sex of the wearer. By and large, illustrations for gender-neutral ads featured boys and girls identically clad and depicted as a twinned couple or, alternatively, showed a single
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