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At around 10.15 am today, Mark Chenery will hit the streets of Sydney, or more specifically, Pitt St and Myer’s flagship store on the corner of Pitt and Market with the help of Fair Agenda, a new, independent community campaigning organisation focused on fairness and equality for women.
Last month, Mark, a concerned Myer customer, started a petition after spotting “Winx Club dolls” on the shelves of Myer’s toy department.
What’s the big deal about the Winx Club?
Ostensibly, some might say nothing much, but Mark was disturbed by the stick-thin nature of the Winx Club dolls and the message about body image they might send to his daughter and the children of other parents.
Mark contacted Myer with his concerns and after getting no reply, joined forces with Fair Agenda to see how much support he could gather around his cause.
Over the course of a month, the petition against the Winx Club dolls garnered strong support, attracting more than 1,300 signatures and messages of encouragement from a wide cross-section of people, including childhood educators, eating disorder specialists and counsellors.
With Myer still yet to act on Mark’s request, Mark and some other petitioners will deliver the petition.
This kind of campaign is nothing new – it is in fact part of a broader rising tide of consumers holding toy sellers and makers to account for the messages they send to young children. Just last week Lego released a new “research institute” set with all female figures, after a pressure about the gender stereotyping in their toys; and world famous store Harrods has also been pushed to stop arranging toys in “boys and girls” sections after pressure from the public.
Toys are a fundamental component of a child’s development and people like Mark Chenery are determined to ensure they are a positive, rather than negative, part of their children’s lives.
How do you feel about Winx Club dolls?