Valentine’s Day Gifts Speak To The Infantilization Of Women

But beware…. this bear might just steal your woman!

Are you a man who wants to “measure up” when getting your romantic partner a Valentine’s gift?  If so, check out this ad for the “perfect” gift that every grown woman wants – a gigantic teddy bear.

A recent Forbes op-ed described how this Valentine’s Day ad that “creates girls out of women .”  In addition, the ad certainly plays on the gendered theme of men being valued for being sexual, as described in Gendered Lives. The ad proclaims ““It’s a great gift for her, and it’s sure to pay off for you,” as a man winks and hugs his girlfriend who is ecstatically happy over her giant bear gift!

Check out the ad for yourselves!  The comments below the video are hilarious too.




11 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Gifts Speak To The Infantilization Of Women

  1. If I would have watched this video a couple months ago before taking my Gender Communication class, I would probably laugh and think nothing of it. Now that I’ve been educated on the different ways media sexualizes and advertises woman, I can see the different ways women are negatively portrayed. In addition, after hearing and seeing the evidence on woman in advertising from Jean Kilbourne’s video, Killing Us Softly, I can no longer ignore the way woman are being portrayed in the media.

    A couple of things I noticed were that the women were all beautiful, tall, slender, and white. This is the typical way in which the media defines what is considered beautiful. Another part of this commercial that stood out to me was that the women were always waiting around for the men. The woman were seen in bed wearing lingerie where the commentator announced that the teddy bear would keep them company when they are lonely and waiting for their man. Also, the woman were seen waiting in the kitchen doing other “womanly” and “wifely” duties. The whole video reinforced the rolls we have created for woman through society which say that we should stay at home, look like a model, and make our husbands happy in any way that we can. Overall, this video looked at woman as a sexualized object and as someone who would do anything for their man if they got that teddy bear.

  2. At first glace I thought this could have been an ad from a web page such as think geek but then I watched it. I quickly saw that it is far from it. I couldn’t help but think the narrator was just telling the male view just how much the would get from his woman after getting her this. The theme of sexuality was unmistakable to me through out this entire video but as stated in the blog getting women such gifts makes girls out of women cause some conflict in the messages. If you are getting this to make her more girlish shouldn’t you not be thinking of her in such an explicit way? Then again with our society’s focus on having a young beautiful woman I can see where they are going. While I can see the humor in this I also am abit disturbed by it. Though I did find humor in the “Am I fat?!” comment about chocolate. The best part of all of this to me is that I know my girlfriend would just laugh at me if I bought her this bear.

  3. I found this advertisement to being entertaining. For starters, it’s funny that they are trying to advertise a teddy bear, which is usually thought of as a toy for children, as a Valentine’s Day gift for grown women. That goes along with the statement, “creates girls out of women.” I wonder why an advertisement company would want to play on an adult male wanting his female significant other to become a girl? Usually when the term girl is used a child comes to mind. Personally, I think it is a little silly to buy a teddy bear for almost one hundred dollars. I also think that buying a stuffed animal because you think it will help you to “get lucky” is pretty silly as well. One aspect of this ad that I particularly didn’t like is the misrepresentation of women. All of the women on the commercial look like models. It would be nice to see a better representation.

  4. I equally found this ad to be quite funny. My roommate a friend, and I were actually talking about the huge teddy bears around Valentine’s Day and how on our friend’s first Valentines Day with her boyfriend, he got her one of those bears. At the time she had known her boyfriend as a friend for a few years previously, so she had no problem saying something like,” Why in the world would you think I would want something like this? I can’t use it, it’s just going to take up space, and you really spent $40-ish dollars on a useless bear when we could have done something totally fun.” Harsh, yes, but in her boyfriend’s mind (just like in the video) he thought the bigger and more extravagant the gift, the bigger the reward would be from her. Handing something like a giant teddy bear to someone would be extremely exciting ,for a toddler, but not so much for a grown woman and I believe the men who are even considering giving their significant other one should think about that.

  5. Valentines Day was a bit different compared to last year’s holiday. Last year, Valentines Day landed on a Thursday where as this year it was on a Friday. Another big difference from this year compared to last year was the fact that we were swamped with snow which limited the traditional Valentines Day dinners. A lot of restaurants were impacted by the storm by not allowing them to open for one of the biggest nights of the year. I had a lot of guy friends that were pumped that they didn’t have to fork out the cash for the expensive date. Although my friends and their dates didn’t go out to dinner, they felt as if they were forced into buying more gifts and extending Valentines day on through the entire weekend. On Sunday after my guy friends had their romantic weekends with their dates, almost all of them said they ended up spending more money than they would have by just enjoying the holiday on Friday. Sme of the couples that I heard about, still went on their nice dinner date and exchanged a few romantic gifts, the weather did not play a role on making their spouses happy. The gendered traditions still continued.

    Here is a blog I found about a cop who tried to cancel the holiday for men in his surrounding area so they could potentially get out of buying all of the cheesy gifts that are expected.

  6. I thought this ad was hilarious. It was degrading, but I also didn’t take it seriously because I recognized the humor in it. It is degrading in the way that it is depicting the woman by showing their audience that if they receive the Vermont Teddy Bear, they will immediately have sex with the man. This commercial gives the idea that adult women continue to want to receive stuffed animals, and while I still love them, I don’t think I will be wanting whoever my future spouse to get me a 4 foot tall teddy bear. It’s oversexualizing this traditional childs toy for adult women, which is disturbing on so many levels.

  7. This honestly seems like something right out of a SNL skit. The longer the commercial went, the funnier it became. I personally laughed at the “go big and go home happy” slogan and the emphasis on “4 ½ foot tall pile of awesomeness.” I’m sure this made quite the selling point for these men. However, this advertisement raises some interesting questions. For instance, if the woman gets the teddy bear for Valentine’s Day, what does the man receive? The ad makes it pretty obvious: SEX. Also, what grown woman would be that excited over a stuffed animal? Even more importantly, what woman would actually consider it a replacement for their man when they are away like the ad suggests? This commercial was obviously intended to poke fun at the holiday, but it does so in a way that is slightly degrading to women. It makes women come off as materialistic bimbos and depicts the men as sex-crazed teenagers.

  8. I have to admit that this ad did make me laugh and yet I was also grossed out at the same time. First off what grown woman wants a giant teddy bear for Valentine’s Day! She would then have to find a place for it and well honestly I would just take it to the dumpster. It is amazing how this Vermont Teddy Bear Company actually – See more at:

  9. Hahahahahaha! I found this absolutely hilarious! I honestly think the commercial is supposed to come off somewhat sarcastic. I mean, come on, the wink at the end? Not to mention it was a full two minutes long! It was like an overly dramatized ad for gendered norms on Valentine’s day. It definitely played into the sex theme you mentioned when the narrater says, “this valentines day, size DOES matter!” How punny. Not gonna lie though, if someone presented me with that big fluffy bear I might react in a similar manner.

    Check out this SNL skit making fun of Valentine’s gifts! It’s equally silly.

  10. Valentine’s Day brings an added stress of trying to find the best gift. Many guys can only give flowers and jewelry so many times. This advertisement made me think, if I were to get the four foot teddy bear would I be happy? I would love anything that my significant other gave me but this teddy bear brings so many different emotions after watching the advertisement. This advertisement sells the idea of sex and that if you get this Teddy Bear for your girlfriend that you will get what you want, which is sex. Based on this commercial the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is appealing to guys because they want to show him that it will make girls give in to their wants. Portraying the image that girls become submissive when showered with some of their favorite gifts like a Teddy Bear.

  11. I have to admit that this ad did make me laugh and yet I was also grossed out at the same time. First off what grown woman wants a giant teddy bear for Valentine’s Day! She would then have to find a place for it and well honestly I would just take it to the dumpster. It is amazing how this Vermont Teddy Bear Company actually tries to make women seem like as soon as you get them a toy then they will give a man whatever sexual desires he pleases. This is just kind of sick and makes me wonder how these people even think this way. If my 22 year old boyfriend gave me a child’s toy for Valentine’s Day I’m pretty sure I would laugh in his face. Realistically grown women do not want giant teddy bears for Valentine’s Day, and this certainly would not turn them into their childish selves who want to give their men sex, that is pretty perverted. The next time this Vermont Teddy Bear Company wants to sell an idea they may start trying to not have grown women appearing to become young girls who only want sex, because that is disturbing on many levels. This advertisement was very degrading towards women, even though it was hard not to laugh the underlying message was very offensive and all advertisements should be aware of this.

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