|Oh, patriarchy. You never change.|
Last month Cravebox offered a Teen Time box with the description: "Being a teen girl can be kinda hard. Finding them cool stuff just got easier. We at Cravebox think girls deserve their own space… and their own stuff. That’s why our creative curators thought “outside the box” to find fun, girl-friendly discoveries to put into a box, just for them."
I don't know why I expected anything other than what arrived. Maybe it was the words "outside the box" or perhaps "girl-friendly" instead of "gender normative mandates". I thought they might have chosen an upcoming young adult fiction title, coupled it with craft or club items. You know, some gender marketing, some "outside the box" acknowledgement that a growing teen girl needs to be shown that she is more than her sexuality. (I must have been drunk. I really have no defense.)
The Teen Time Cravebox arrived with an inspirational card I'm too depressed to quote from. More of the same about unique challenges and adventures. Being a teen sure is hard, but Cravebox is here to help. First up, a razor. Now that you're leaving your prepubescent years behind you'll want to erase as many traces of that as you can. While you're shaving, you can chew gum. Teens chew gum, because food makes you fat. (I actually have no issue with the gum.) Don't blow bubbles! This is chewing gum and your new hot pink Mary Kay gloss might smudge.
Now that you're clean shaven and smacking those pink lips, it's time to address the rest of you! That's right - your hair. With the enclosed moisture mousse you can address all those nasty split ends you might have earned playing sports. Well groomed hair is a must for teen success. It's almost as important as clear skin, which is why Cravebox gives you a bottle of Vitamin E. You might have your skin under control but acne scars reveal a time when you didn't. Scars, burns and blemishes - Vitamin E has you covered. And that's it. Four products reinforcing the media message of your visual inadequacy and a pack of gum to chew your insecurities away. (Give mom a hug!)
Cravebox, they're just a bunch of crazy radicals. Radicals who totally know how to find cool things for teen girls struggling with questions of worth and identity. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to buy mine a gift from Think Geek.