BOSTON, Dec. 5, 2016 – Horrified by the thought of girls as young as age three wearing makeup which could hurt their skin, members of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have selected Lulu’s 11-Piece Makeup Set by Pink Fizz as winner of this year’s TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year.
Pink Fizz, listed as appropriate for ages 3+, is marketed with the tagline “the ultimate glam makeup collection in a box” at Toys R Us and online stores. The “glam” cartoon of an older teen model on the box and in ads exploits the aspirations of young girls, encouraging them to use the makeup as a way to be more grown up. Videos on YouTube show very young girls “playing” delightedly with the kit.
“It takes a toxic mix of unsafe ingredients and promoting precocious sexuality to stand out as the worst of the worst,” said CCFC’s Executive Director Josh Golin. “Congratulations, Pink Fizz – you’re the 2016 TOADY Winner!”
Pink Fizz’s sexualized imagery and age shrink—the recommended age on Toys R Us’s website is 3-20—pushes girls to act older than they are, and teaches that being a girl means focusing on your appearance. Research shows that when girls are preoccupied with how they look to others, they’re more likely to develop eating disorders, experience body dissatisfaction, and do worse in school. And to make matters worse, Lulu’s Makeup Set lists eight ingredients, including propylparaben and titanium dioxide, known to be harmful or carcinogenic according to a 2016 report by the Breast Cancer Fund.
Nancy Gruver, Founder of New Moon Girls, which nominated Pink Fizz makeup for the TOADY, said: “As though the sexualized packaging and looks-based play weren’t bad enough, Pink Fizz also poses a health risk. The ingredients in Pink Fizz’s ‘play makeup’ should be banned from any product for children. Unsuspecting parents buy the kits in toy stores thinking they’re supporting imaginative play. But when children actually play with the makeup they’re putting endocrine-disrupting chemicals on their tender skin. The manufacturing and marketing of this product is beyond unethical!”
From the universe of 2016 toys promoting precocious sexuality, gender stereotypes, violence, and branded entertainment at the expense of children’s privacy and creativity, CCFC enlisted the help of six non-profit organizations to select the most “exceptional” as TOADY Award nominees.
The final results of the online TOADY balloting were:
- Lulu’s Makeup Set, nominated by New Moon Girls: 33%
- Game of Life: Empire, nominated by Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert: 17%
- View-Master Batman: The Animated Series Virtual Reality Pack, nominated by Families Managing Media: 16%
- Shopkins Tall Mall Playset, nominated by The Story of Stuff: 16%
- Pokemon GO, nominated by EPIC Privacy: 15%
- Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man, nominated by TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment): 2%
Kaylan Crowther of San Antonio, TX was one of the voters who lifted Lulu’s Makeup Set to victory in the TOADY balloting. Crowther said: “Pink Fizz Lulu’s Makeup Set deserves the 2016 TOADY. Ages 3 – 20? Hey, you know what your beautiful toddler face needs? MAKEUP. Start having insecurities about your looks already! Need to sexualize your preschooler? Look no further! But wait, there’s more! Because this makeup set doesn’t just contain subtle misogyny, it also has flammable and carcinogenic ingredients!”
The TOADY Awards were created in response to the Toy Industry Association of America’s annual TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. Last year, Hello Barbie won the dreaded TOADY. Other past winners include the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie (2009), Nickelodeon’s AddictingGames.com (2010), the Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet(2011), the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Monkey (2012), the iPotty (2013), and the Baby First U-verse app by AT&T (2014).