My daughters appeared at my side this week, excitedly clutching a tablet (computer, not aspirin), to show me an advert for Rebelle.
This is a new range of child weaponry brought to the market in pink, with angel-winged decoration, by Nerf.
The girls were particularly pleased with the bow and arrow set, enchantingly titled Heartbreaker.
Not heart-piercer, or eye taker-outer or even lung-deflater, you’ll note. No, it’s Heartbreaker, which has all sorts of other implications such as buy this bow and arrow and not only will you be able to go to war, all the boys will fall in love with you while you do it.
Aarrrrgh. Can you hear me screaming from here?
Let’s start with the name of the bow and arrow set – Rebelle. If Nerf feels the need to arm ladies, why can’t we just be plain rebels?
After all, a rebel is defined as a person who rises in opposition, not a man or – heavens forbid – a female.
Nerf seems to think girls need a softer side to rebellion, so they’ve stuck an extra ‘l’ and an ‘e’ on the end of the word to make it all okay.
And then they’ve surrounded that word with other vocab designed to appeal to our girly mentality when fighting, such as a ‘feminine look that’s just right for glamorous girls like you.’
That’s right – when I’m fighting for my life I’ll stop and check that my hair has just the right amount of bounce to shoot someone before girlishly twirling it through my fingers and gushing ‘oops’.
And why has Nerf provided pink trim on the weaponry? Surely the point of the weapon is twofold, for defence and offence. What difference does the colour make to the end purpose?
Until now the company’s range has been mainly yellow, a neutral colour although also the colour of construction (so okay with the boys then).
This new range is thinly based around the Hunger Games and I can only imagine the fictional Katniss’s reaction to a pink bow and arrow.
In the story she was forced to kill to stay alive. I hardly think she would approve of the prettification of her chosen weapon to amuse the masses.