I was poking through my junk mail, which has multiplied with the advent of the Season of Consumerism. And I thought I’d share some tidbits.
Dick Smith: anyone for “massage”? I’m guessing this is even legal in Texas!
“Rechargable Hydra Massager HG10. Great for when you’re on the go and need an invigorating massage experience.” “Heated massager HG20. Powerful massage action with Hydragel Dampening System that transfers the energy to the massage head, not the handle.”
House: The unbearable pinkness of “breast cancer awareness”.
You, too, can always be reminded of breasts as you’re slicing up your love apples and pork buns with this pink-handled Kyocera Santoku knife.
The soon-to-be defunct or Mattelified ubiquitous Bratz dolls. These are on sale, presumable to clear the shelves before the recall. Yasmin has mauve lacey lingerie! A mirrored vanity with pink stool! Mirrored wardrobes! What more could our little girls aspire to?
Toy catalogue summary: I rate KMart the worst this year for toy-catalogue genderisation. In good news, the other cheap department stores are actually not as bad this year as they were last year.
The “boys” clothes at Big W are actually a welcome relief from the past few years of skulls, grunge, and “Here Comes Trouble!” This year, we’re looking at stripes ‘n’ brights ‘n’ florals ‘n’ animal prints. Hallelujah. There is, of course, no reason any of these clothes couldn’t be unisex. Hey, I said it was better than last year, not that things were perfect.
In the WHO Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes stakes: Things are not looking so good. Chemist Warehouse, Wizard Warehouse, and Toys R Us are all in on the breaches, advertising infant formula discounts and bottles and formula containers in their glossies. For a primer on the Code and what it means, just search my previous posts on the issue, and check out IBFAN.
But wait – there’s more! Via a friend in NZ, Oxfam Unwrapped, a charity-gift organisation, was openly advertising a “Baby emergency health kit” – containing a feeding bottle. This is completely against not just the Code but also best practice emergency feeding guidelines. As well as the problems with undermining breastfeeding, bottles kill babies, regardless of the contents of the bottle. If an infant cannot be breastfed in a disaster, feeding from a clean cup is recommended.
After receiving complaints, Oxfam have changed the wording on the website to “sipper cup” (if lidded/spouted, this really is no better than a bottle), but there is no word on whether they’ve actually changed the contents of their kits.
Some Oxfam orgs do have aid guidelines congruent with the World Health Organisation/Emergency Nutrition Network feeding guidelines, but their reputation is spotty at best. Previous Oxfam issues have included reports that they were distributing “milk powder” in China after the earthquakes; milk powder should always be combined with a milled grain in emergency food distribution situations, outside of specific therapeutic feeding centres. In addition, Oxfam has unapologetically used a celebrity-endorsed Iconic Bottle image as a “symbol of motherhood” in their “In My Name” advertising.