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Posted By Michelle Greysen

 The news was not good this past week for those of us who cling to the past and curse technology. The Easy Bake Oven, an icon since 1963, has had to get into the new millennium of change due to the ban on 100-watt incandescent light bulbs in 2012. Hasbro, with a promise of being on the edge of the hottest trends for today have launched the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven.
The announcement prompted me to resurrect an article I wrote back in the 90’s on life and the impact of the easy bake oven. A sort of tongue-in-cheek comparison to modern women and stereotype limitations and so appropriate that it was originally printed in Modern Woman Magazine in the fall of 1997. I was going to update the references to the ‘90s but decided to leave it intact. The message is as relevant today as it was when I wrote this piece over a decade ago – enjoy!

     “Even though it’s the ‘90’s Christmas season remains pretty much the same, year after year, with a few subtle differences. We now eat lighter food and some even cook the stuffing butter-free in the crock-pot instead of the bird. We drink lite, enjoy our scotch with bottled water and might even pass on dessert. We hope we are a more socially conscious generation, not just at Christmas but year round, all aspiring for better times ahead for our children. When we were kids, we were given sketchbooks, toboggans, board games, building sets and models. The trend has now switched to gifts that entertain our children – video games, movies, CDs, gifts that entertain instead of stimulate curious minds.
I was party to an interesting gift discussion this holiday season. It seemed to be a simple open and shut decision for the mother denying the request, but it spoke volumes about the family of the ‘90’s. The mother was in a dilemma over her six-year-old daughter who wanted nothing more for Christmas than to have her very own Easy Bake Oven – every very young girl’s dream! For the mother, this girly kitchen gift went totally against the modern-woman daughter she was trying to raise. The implication being the Easy Bake Oven somehow represented years of women’s oppression.
 The whole discussion really came to a head during a holiday gathering of friends at her home. The women were all in the kitchen, as usual, and the heated debate was over the pros and cons of the Easy Bake Oven. To me, the bottom line was the little girl just wanted a play oven, not unlike a young boy who wants tools. Would the ‘90s father worry about his son’s future if he bought him workshop toy tools, troubling that his son may become a tradesman instead of a lawyer?
The culturally oppressing oven concept and the heated debate continued until thankfully it came to an end as dinner was ready. As I was slicing the homemade bread, fresh from the unconvinced mother’s new bread-maker, the discussion around the kitchen quickly took on a new light. The topic went from whole-grains to self-timers as the women in the room were now excitedly comparing their various bread-makers and recipes. How ironic that these ‘90s women were raised by mothers who did everything they could to change the world for their daughters, yet they really hadn’t changed things that much after all.

Are you one of those women who secretly wished you had had an Easy Bake Oven when you were a young girl? Or are you one of the ‘90s mothers who couldn’t bring yourself to buy one for your young daughter? It’s not too late! Go out today and buy yourself, and your daughter, a bread maker. It’s the same feeling – those secret repressed desires will at last be fulfilled. The wanting will finally go away! Even better, the bread-maker, unlike the Easy Bake Oven, doesn’t require any light bulbs to be changed, other than the one in your way of thinking!”

 

 

 
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