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March 31, 2012
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Picture this, egg, bacon, sausage, or how about two fresh hamburger bun with fresh lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, and a slice of American cheese cook up to eat. Sound good right? However, all this is play food, it’s fake. One toy a semiotician would look at is the play kitchen and how it is only of young girls. Young boys would never be allowed to play with the kitchen.

Let’s take a look at how the kitchen is designed. It is made with mostly pink and purple. Sometimes the kitchen is also made with bright colors. This is made for young girls because certain colors speak to girls. The kitchenette is made as a little verse of an adult kitchen. The kitchen’s has a stove, an over, a sink, a microwave, and a refrigerator, making this a smaller version so young girls can like their moms and cook food for people. Most play sets come with a little amount of fake food. Parents can buy more later on.

Next let’s look at how the play kitchen is displayed to kids. It is usually shown on Saturday mornings. This is prime time for young children to be watching television. Most companies do this, so kids can bug the parent into buying the toy or item. The commercials have mostly young girls playing with the kitchen. These young girls are playing “house.” Hardly ever do one sees young boys in these commercial. If you do, they are usually sitting at the table eating the fake food.

Resulting in this publicized version of the play kitchen young children is learning their gender roles by unconsciously seeing the roles on television. The gender roles they are learning are that women are to stay at home and clean the house, take care of the children, and cook for the man of the house. The men are to be the ones who make the money. This is eventually shown though the playing of “house.” In the game the young girls clean and cook for the boys who are at “work.” In the older society, like the 1960s, women were taught to stay at home or get female jobs, like a teacher or a nurse, so having this toy is just showing the girls what real life was going to be. Another thing is if a guy was to “cook” with the toy back in the old days, he was to be not straight. Back then it was not as acceptable for guys to want to cook and stay at home. In other words parent do not want to risk making the young boy not straight by letting him play with the kitchen or play “house,” where he stayed at home and the woman work.

Today a guy can become a cooks and stay at home. This is not as weird not. The way society is moving it’s becoming more and more acceptable for men to become chef. For examples chef Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay are famous male chefs. These two men show that one can be a guy who is a cook and straight. Yet, young boys still can’t play the woman’s role in “house.” With the way things are today more and more women are going out and have the same jobs as men. Still, the commercials, for this toy, are unmoving illustrating mostly young girls rather than young boys playing with the kitchen. Why is that? That is because it’s still not seen as a thing for boys to do when they are young.

Another way to look at the kitchen is can symbolize the “American Dream.” No matter how the times change people still want the “American Dream”. This toy was based on the ideals of just that. As the United States of America as a whole, when things get hard we look for simpler times. Now, most of the times the United States of America has been in a war, but those are not the times people think of. People want to think about the times when people had jobs, places to live, a wife or a husband, and 2.5 kids with family dog and house with the white fence all a way around it. These were the ideal of the play kitchen.

It’s weird to think a toy I loved to play with, has so much meaning behind it. On the other hand the way one choice to play with it is up to them. Also the path one picks to take likes staying at home cooking and cleaning or going out and getting having a career. It’s funny to reason with the notion that everything, not matter how small has meaning behind it. That is without a doubt is completely true.

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