A pink lunchbox designed for young girls has sparked fury for one US mum.

Sonni Abatta spotted the lunchbox in a store in the US and says she couldn’t believe her eyes. “I am SICKENED that this phrase is on a lunch box.”

“We scratch our heads when we see our little girls struggle with body image, with self worth, with confidence.

We wonder, “Why do our girls worry so much about their bodies so young?” … “Why does my five year old call herself ‘fat?'” … “Why does my middle schooler stand in front of the mirror and find all her flaws?”

THIS. This is part of the reason why.

Our world is telling our girls that it’s “cheating” if they eat something that’s not 100% fat-free and perfectly healthy. In turn, that tells them that self-control and denying herself is to be valued above all. And that if she dares to step outside of the foods that will keep her perfectly slim and trim, then she is by default “cheating” and needs to feel some sense of remorse.

Look, I’m not saying a diet of strictly sugar and chips is right either; but by God, why would a company ever pile onto our girls’ already-fragile senses of self by making her feel as though she’s “cheating” by eating something that’s–gasp–not made of vegetables and air?

“You’re overreacting!” you might say. To which I say, No. We are not overreacting when we ask more of the world when it comes to how they treat our girls.

Can you imagine a similar message directed toward little boys? For the record, I’d be equally offended… but I haven’t seen anything that is aimed at making our boys feel bad about what they eat, or how they look.

So here’s what I want to say, and what I will tell my girls. Girls–you are not “cheating” when you enjoy good food. You are not “cheating” when you eat pizza. You are not “cheating” when you have a cookie, or two, on occasion. You are not “cheating” when you live in moderation and allow yourself things that make you happy.

Girls–you are MORE than your bodies. More than your faces. More than your complexions. More than the clothes you wear and the things you buys and the other girls you hang out with.

You are beautiful, worthy, intelligent, and whole beings–whole beings who are worthy of so much love and respect, no matter what anyone, or anyTHING, says.

Sonni later updated her post to add: “Some people have written to say they believe the lunch box is made for women, not girls.

Few things:

First, this was surrounded by other lunch boxes and gummy snacks. As you can see, above it is another light pink and small lunch box. To me, that seems like it’s for girls.

Second, it’s pink with gold sequins. Even if the label doesn’t explicitly say “girls,” you’re going to say that this isn’t meant to appeal to them?

And third: Even if it was supposed to be marketed only toward women and the store just decided to place it with other items that seemed very “young girl” in nature, still kinda sucks. So to all my grown-up “girls,” you aren’t cheating either when you enjoy life a little.”

Her post has attracted over 100 shares and many, many comments of agreement.

Share your comments below

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  • Yeah, I don’t think this sends the right message to our girls at all.

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  • I wouldn’t get this at all. It is important to eat what we enjoy in moderation without giving it unnecessary negative connotations.

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  • Not appropriate for kids or teenagers. I might buy it for myself but certainly wouldn’t buy it for my kids.

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  • Really it depends on how old the child is that is using the lunch box. That’s what makes it appropriate or inappropriate in my opinion. So mums take control back of your children. They don’t run your life you run your child’s life.

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  • Kids are smart. They may not only cheat with food.
    I distinctly remember my nieces being told at school within days of starting in Reception/preschool that they had rights and if they didn’t want to do what their parents asked them to do they didn’t have to. Kids soon worked out that parents are adults and so are the teachers. It backfired and some of the kids became uncontrollable in the classroom – then they complained to the parents. They were having the same issues because of the school teacher had taught the kids. It wasn’t funny but it amused me a bit later when I thought about it.

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  • I love the bag but not the saying on it. My first thought was “what are they thinking putting this on a bag that is aimed at females”. It seems these days there’s not much that can be said without offending someone though.

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  • I probably wouldn’t have looked at this twice, so it didn’t offend or warrant any consideration. But I do understand where this Mum is coming from.

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  • I wouldn’t have bought it. I hope to not need to teach my kids about cheat day, I hope to teach them it’s ok to have treats occasionally and its not cheating anything. I always worry about how bad my kids will eat at birthday parties, but so far as soon as the fruit is out, it gets devoured. Don’t get me wrong, they love junk food, but tend to fill up on fruit and yoghurt first.

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  • I wouldn’t feel too offended by seeing a bag I don’t like.

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  • I wouldnt have thought of any of these, but then I wouldn’t have brought it either

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  • There’s no way I’d be promoting that phrase to my daughter.

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  • It’s just a take on the very popular cheat day that lots of people have on diets. Probably not the best lunch box for girls but they are likely to be hearing these phrases anyway.

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  • I’m not sure that I want to explain cheat day to my young kids. However it is a good way to think of healthy eating vs some treats type of day.

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  • I don’t think I would have even noticed it or thought too much about it to be honest. I do agree though that little girls shouldn’t be made to feel like they need to look a certain way body type wise.

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  • Oh well… in my case all those thoughts she had would have never come into my mind. :-)

    Reply

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