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Sugar’s The Target


Girls-Pretend-Play-Aisle

Target, the retailer, announced that it would remove signage that has long communicated separate aisles for boys and girls. Boys’ aisle had toys and action figures, girls’ had dolls and costumes.

Reactions came pouring in post the announcement and were divided among the shoppers. Some complained that the removal of signage was preposterous: that boys and girls would always be boys and girls. I too thought the signage was necessary as it carried forward a long-held tradition, also saving shoppers their time. But, when some shoppers welcomed the announcement and I understood why they did, I scrapped my deep-seated rationale and appreciated Target’s move wholeheartedly.

The belief that boys can’t wear pink or girls can’t play with action figures is a fundamental mistake. If a boy wants to play with a barbie doll or a girl wishes to imitate a superman figure, let them. Let us not decide what they should have or which aisle they must avoid. When we make these decisions we apparently are limiting their evolving worldviews. What let-them-be will do is that when they grow up, they may be far more schooled about gender diversity and complexity.

If a girl loves action figures, her inclination to take up a sport or join the military in the future may be natural. Similarly, a boy’s fascination for dolls may, in later years, put him at ease when caring for a baby as a father. Being natural is effective.

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Sugared drink manufacturers will go to any length to make consumers sip Coke, Pepsi and other sodas. They were covertly funding some scientists to come up with findings that a good exercise could offset a bad diet.

There hasn’t been a single evidence to prove that if we exercise every day, we can eat anything. When food enters our system, it causes metabolic and hormonal changes, and exercise can only do so much. Science says that the more sugar we consume the more pressure we put on the insulin to process it; insulin will gradually lose its power and make way for diabetes and other diseases.

Isn’t this shocking enough that a can of sugared drink has 15-18 teaspoons of sugar?

People drink their coffees and teas without sugar, leading by example of how much they value their health, only to drink a can of sugared soda.

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Categories: Culture, History, PersonalTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

25 comments

  1. Interesting points here… particularly when it comes to the last question in the ending paragraph!… I don´t use sugar in tea, coffe and drink diet soda… But I like sweet tidbits and cakes and eat then without guilt!— I guess each individual sets his own rules as to this topic. 🙂
    All my best wishes! Aquileana ⭐

  2. I like Target’s initiative. If I were in US, I will be one of supporters. Gender bias in raising kids has been topic for decades and yet it still existed these days.
    About sugars.. I did not use sugar in tea nor coffee and I don’t like the taste of soda drinks in general. However somehow i like the coke zero! While it has no sugar but that chemical thingie inside it is not natural.
    Great post Mahesh – and I love the title, it’s catchy!

    • Thanks Indah so much. Appreciate your time and comment 🙂 Glad you like Target’s initiative. I too have a liking for Coke Zero but it has phosphoric acid which is used to break down rust; also, it may be responsible for removing calcium from our body. Besides, it has Aspartame artificial sweetener: though FDA approved it, there’s a strong belief that Aspartame causes cancer. But when you hear that Warren Buffett has been drinking soda (zero or sugared) for decades and is still healthy, you put those facts to rest. Perhaps certain body type can endure it more? Take care, my friend.

  3. As a child, I was a tomboy and hated girly things. No dolls or frilly dresses for me. Funnily enough, I liked the fact that boys’ things were separated from girls’ things in shops, so I could go straight to the boys’ part of the store! That being said, my son used to enjoy having tea parties for dolls and bears in his Wendy House and I never discouraged this. He also went to ballet classes but, in the end, he got teased by the boys in his peer group so stopped his classes. At the end of the day, it’s extremely hard to undo attitudes of gender stereotyping ingrained into people, but I guess there’s no harm in trying.

    Re sugary drinks — I hate them. Can’t imagine why people want that horrid sticky taste in their mouths, but the consumption of them is an addition fuelled by big business and advertising.

    • Thanks Sarah for your time and comment.

      You’re right that it’s hard to undo attitudes of gender stereotyping ingrained into people. We may not want to stereotype but we do. We’ve been conditioned to behave in a certain society-will-approve way which is not always right. It was very brave of you to follow your instinct and let your son be himself.

      I was reading Joel Stein’s column in Time. The topic was how good or bad ‘shaming someone publicly’ is. The someone in question was the American dentist who killed Cecil the Lion; people trolled him for days. A psychology professor says in the column: “Moral psychology has a very sinister property. The dangers of in-group/out-group psychology is that it allows us to gang up on people different than us. Moral psychology allows us to gang up on people who are even like us.” This perhaps relates to the act of stereotyping. I may not be wrong that some of the boys who teased your son secretly liked what he was doing, but the pressure of the group made them be politically correct.

      Have you watched “Two Days, One Night” a French movie? I saw it yesterday. It’s a film about a woman who has to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so she keeps her job. The first question most colleagues ask her when she goes to them is whether the other person agreed 😉

      Thanks once again.

      • I’m quite uncomfortable with this shaming of someone in public. Trial by Social Media has much in common with the behaviour of a lynch mob but one that hides behind a computer screen or mobile, or whatever. Yes, some people might take the moral high ground because they genuinely feel aggrieved and would never, themselves, do whatever reprehensible thing they’re protesting against, but there are also lots of hangers-on who couldn’t care a toss but are just looking for an excuse to jeer and vent their spleens.
        I haven’t watched the French movie you’ve mentioned. Will put it on my “to-watch” list, as I love French films.

  4. Right on about the effects of sugar on our metabolism, Mahesh. People just don’t get it. Having said that, I have a terrible ‘sweet tooth,’ that I fight constantly, knowing the dangers of type 2 diabetes. Same complications as type 1. Not fun. Interesting facts about Target. I had no idea. Great post. 🙂

  5. Really interesting article, you have one more follower 😉
    OiB.

  6. Why can’t girls play with action figures. Of course they can. In fact now a days action figure itself include girls like wonder woman. But the truth is that girls mostly attracted towards dolls and costumes even after playing with action figures 😂 😀

  7. Thank you for dropping by my blog.!

  8. I get a kick out of my Mormon relatives – they refuse to drink coffee or tea because of the caffeine. But whoah, the Mountain Dew and Pepsi! I would rather drink black tea all day long as compared to that!

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