It’s Not All Mary Poppins

They know not what they do

I think.

It has been hot this week. How and unspeakably humid, which is how we do hot in Southern and Eastern Ontario. An air temperature of 28 – 34C, but with the humidity factored in, feels like 40 – 44.

That is HOT.

We’d sought air conditioning daily — Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Dairy Queen — but I was beginning to feel that the walk to and from negated any benefit of being cool for half an hour. So one evening I took myself down to Zellers in pursuit of a wading pool, where I found two styles of inflatable pool. Zellers being Zellers, they were of course emblazoned with licensed figures.

So our choices were bubblegum pink Disney Princess, and baby blue Action Heroes. Because, you know, it’s important to start your gender stereotyping early.

Now, Disney Princesses make me gag, and since the “Action Heroes” were the far more innocuous Buzz Lightyear and Woody, I opted for them. Even though it’s a “boy” pool.

And when I got it home and inflated it?

Boy, it is a BOY pool. Just take a gander at this:

Holy Hannah. Can you say “phallic”, boys and girls?

And just picture Mary, blowing up the pool — which Emma and I did by mouth, given that our foot pump has gone AWOL — blowing up the pool and having THAT thing arise from the depths.

Wow. Don’t know my own strength.

And what, you ask, IS that thing? Apart from the, ahem, obvious? (The very, very obvious?) I wondered the same thing, but an investigation of the remainder of the contents of the box proved that it’s a MAST.

But of course!!! See the sail ? And a very masterful mast it is, all manly and upright.

The manly mast got me thinking about the other pool, the vulvabubblegum-pink Disney Princess one. Which had, not a phallus mast, but a canopy. A canopy, which not only shields the children from the sun, but makes a sort of a … cave. A nice, wet, pink cave.

People, people, people. This borders on OBSCENE. And you have to wonder… do the makers of these things know what they’re creating? Is this some sort of insidious, subliminal marketing ploy? Or is it simply an inadvertent expression of the designer’s subconscious?

But really. How could they not?

It is possible?

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July 9, 2010 - Posted by | Mischief, sex | , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Wow!
    And yet, yes, they have to know. I’ve had many a similar thought over the years (for better or worse, we’ve owned far too many Disney products and movies). Most of the movies I love–in general–but there is a part (or character) in every one that makes me say “Really? Really?”

    Btw, I love that you have so many, umm, specific tags for your posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Some of the Disney characters I quite like. I”m very partial to Ursula the sea witch, so brazenly sexy in her badness, while the indisputably sexy and petulant Ariel, I just want to smack. SUCH a spoiled brat. I like Belle, the intelligent reader, though, really?, Stockholm syndrome much? (That, of course, is not Disney’s fault. They’re just being true to the storyline of the original folk tale.) Woody and Buzz, of course, are not Disney. But that mast is phallic, Disney or not.

    The tags? Well, yes. The more and the more varied, the better. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by LoryKC | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. HAHAHAHA that’s awesome!!

    Yup, it made me laugh. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

    Comment by Bridgett | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  3. I viewed this post on my iPhone, so the pic wasn’t visible at first. I had to scroll through the text, and then that impressive object began to rise, head first, from the bottom of the screen.

    Experiencing it that way made your point emerge quite graphically.

    Also: I loved that paragraph about inflating it by mouth. But perhaps I shouldn’t call your readers’ attention on that part.

    “Rise, head first, from the bottom of the screen.” Snort. What an image that conveys!

    I’m not surprised that you liked that paragraph best, my love. I rather think I do know my own strength, at least where you’re concerned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by Stephen | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  4. Great stuff! Can’t start your subliminal sex messages early enough.

    I HATE that everything these days has to be boy/girl. It’s so hard to avoid! Can you believe they now do a PINK Fisher Price plane? Because of course girls couldn’t play with a white plane. Insanity!

    It is! And the stupid thing is that parents buy into it. They wouldn’t make’em if they couldn’t sell’em. Of course, if there had been a nice little pool with NO licensed cartoon characters on it, I’d have bought it. There wasn’t. The only pools on offer were sexist all the way. Serves me right for shopping for toys at Zellers…

    The best way around the sexism of toys, of course, is to avoid mainstream toy companies and seek out smaller, quirkier, creative toy manufacturers. They do tend to be more expensive. Quality has that tendency. I don’t begrudge the extra money… but that doesn’t mean I necessarily have it to spend! Sigh…

    I also prefer wood and cloth to plastic. (Though of course my home is rife with plastic toys and blocks, I do avoid the stuff when I can.)

    Comment by Mwa | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  5. Oh, they know. Exactly– how could they not know? They not only know, but I bet they laugh their asses off, too.

    My thoughts exactly. I know too many creative designer types to think that they didn’t know, and aren’t enjoying the joke immensely.

    Comment by jen | July 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. […] course they do! On considering yesterday’s post, I realize my thoughts have clarified further. It was an email conversation with a friend, with the […]

    Pingback by Of course they do! « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | July 10, 2010 | Reply

  7. I was in Dollarama yesterday and they had these boy swords with red tips on the ends… red, caplike tips… it looks so phallic I was greatly amused.

    Comment by IfByYes | July 10, 2010 | Reply

  8. HAHAHAHAHA….yeah, they know alright! They have to give the adults some enjoyment out of these obnoxious items…and why did no one pick up on how appropriate the character is? “Woody”?? That jumped out at me (cackle cackle) immediately.

    p.s. I’d like to see a wooden or cloth paddling pool; that would be cool! You’re the best! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Comment by GWLZ | July 16, 2010 | Reply


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