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Is It Real or A Saturday Night Live Skit?

by Michele Yulo

Someone sent me this video. It's a Saturday Night Live skit from 1997 doing what it does best--parody something that is utterly ridiculous and inane. In this case, it is making fun of the way that little girls are marketed to. 


The girled-up chess set has pieces that are adorned in gowns (that open up to reveal a bathing suit for those quick trips to the beach!), the queen has a long, blond, braided ponytail and, of course, there is an abundance of accessories including a van and a baby. As I sat there howling, my daughter, who was also watching, seemed confused. She asked, very seriously, "is it real?" Well...















Unfortunately, the hilarity of the sketch does not outweigh the sad truth, which is that companies think girls cannot be interested in a toy, game, or doll unless it is pinkified, glitzed, coated with sparkles, and entails puppies, cupcakes, or princesses. The SNL sketch was from 1997--perhaps they didn't know how bad things would be in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a chess set like this on the market at some point. Oops...

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