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Oh that’s adorable

Via @EverydaySexism via @Cheesyhel – a cheery little birthday card for a girl turning 13

Embedded image permalink

 Update – the good news is that it’s apparently old stock. The bad news is that Cheesyhel just saw it in a local newsagents in her town.

Update 2 –

The image is a card, with “You’re 13 today!” at the top and a cartoon picture of a girl beaming with surprise and pleasure at a box with a ring in it. In smaller writing that winds down the page it says

If you had a rich  boyfriend

he’d give you diamonds and rubies

Well maybe next year you will  -

when you’ve bigger boobies!

Comments

  1. Beatrice says

    Not fair. When I read the title, I was hoping for cat pictures or something else actually adorable.

  2. Beatrice says

    Sarcastic-adorable caught me unprepared.

    It’s really disheartening to see things like this targeting young girls. And this one really manages to get some punches from all sides : there’s body image, there’s desirability to men as something a girl must strive for, then there’s the whole fact that we’re talking about thirteen-year-olds getting diamonds from… men? I mean, I haven’t known any boys rich enough to gift someone diamonds, but it’s generally considered an adult gift.

    Yeah, I know I’ve gone too deep into this, but there are lots of unfortunate implications in this.

  3. says

    No, not too deep. That’s the whole point of Everyday Sexism – that all this “superficial” ordinary daily stuff is acid drip drip dripping away, and we need to go deep.

  4. Ms. Anthrope says

    Don’t even get me started on toys. My amazon search for gifts to give a 9-year old girl yielded tons of “bracelet/jewellery making” and “my first cosmetics”-type kits. Searching on electronics was no better: a tablet dedicated to makeovers. Much as I would hope this is due to stupidity on the part of the marketing division of major toy companies, the fact that these products showed up in the first page of the search results tells me that it is demand that is driving the design of these toys for girls.

  5. Sastra says

    I know it’s easy to say “that’s gotta be a satire” — but the reference to “boobies” makes me doubt that this thing came from Hallmark, or was intended to be taken seriously. They would not put out a legitimate birthday card for a minor with such explicit sexual content. It looks to me more like something from the Onion or one of those clever and archly ironic places where they use stock vintage images and have housewives taking pies out of the oven and drawling “fuck this shit” or what have you. Even local newsagents might carry those. They’re making fun OF sexism, not actually being sexist.

    I could be wrong, of course.

  6. says

    Hmm. That reminds me of Orwell’s essay on postcards – the crude nudge-nudge sexy postcards that were commonplace in Britain in the 30s. Maybe this is part of that tradition.

    Or, or or-and, maybe it’s like the difference in what’s acceptable on tv in Britain v the US. The two versions of The Office for example.

  7. Nathair says

    They’re making fun OF sexism, not actually being sexist.

    On a 13 year old’s birthday card? Colour me skeptical.

  8. Sastra says

    Nathair #8 wrote:

    On a 13 year old’s birthday card? Colour me skeptical.

    No, I’m being skeptical that it IS a 13-year-old’s birthday card. Would a standard greeting card company put out an actual card which is supposed to be bought for that audience which mentions getting “boobies?” Or marriage, for that matter? It looks more like it’s meant to be an adult joke marketed to adults and deliberately over the top.

    Or, of course, as Ophelia suggests, it might just be … “British.”

  9. fwtbc says

    Ophelia, could you please add either appropriate alt text to the image, or a written description of the image to the post? Without this, I have absolutely no idea what the card depicts or why it’s objectionable.

    Thanks in advance!

  10. Beatrice says

    fwtbc,

    Red card with the title: You’re 13 today!
    Text:
    If you had a rich boyfriend
    he’d give you diamonds and rubies
    Well, maybe next
    year you
    will-
    when
    you’ve
    bigger
    boobies!
    On the right side there is a drawing of a girl holding a box with a ring.

  11. Nathair says

    It looks more like it’s meant to be an adult joke marketed to adults and deliberately over the top.

    You know, in keeping with the nature of the blog maybe you should follow the actual story and get the actual facts (including Hallmark’s response) rather than just creating some fantasy scenario to explain this away. Just a thought.

  12. Sastra says

    Nathair #12 wrote:

    You know, in keeping with the nature of the blog maybe you should follow the actual story and get the actual facts (including Hallmark’s response) rather than just creating some fantasy scenario to explain this away. Just a thought.

    Ah, sorry. I read one of the links but missed the others in front. Apparently some card company called “Arnold Barton” put the card out 15 years ago and has since been bought by Hallmark, who claim it must have “slipped through their (Barton’s?) approval process.” So it may have indeed been intended to be bought by funny relatives and given to actual 13-year-old girls. I don’t know anything about the Barton label (did they put out satire or just ‘cheeky’ stuff?), but if Hallmark bought it, it probably wasn’t too off-the-wall.

    Very bizarre. Wonder if the sexism or the sex bothered Hallmark more.

  13. says

    Hi Ophelia

    As you point out in your update, the card was actually produced by a company called Arnold Barton before it became part of our subsidiary group, Hambledon Studios.

    We are as surprised and horrified as anyone else to have discovered that there are still copies in circulation.

    The card has not been produced for over 15 years and would never pass our own strict guidelines of taste and appropriateness.

    We can only apologise for any offence caused and would like to assure you that we will do everything in our power to track down remaining copies.

    The Hallmark UK & Ireland team

  14. iknklast says

    Why do people always assume no one would buy such a card for a 13-year-old? Clearly they didn’t grow up in the same white trash world I grew up in. For some reason, these people think “boobies” is a respectable word, and “breasts” is not. They also reject “penis” in favor of “thingy” or “pee pee”. And if I had received this card as a 13-year-old, my family probably would have added to it that “not that you’ll ever have big boobies, you flat-chested smart thing”.

    There are MANY people I know that would consider this quite funny, and totally appropriate for a 13-year-old. Fortunately, it appears Hallmark is not one of them, which is good to know.

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