Careers for Girls According To Felicity Wishes

Felicity Wishes is a British children’s book series created by Emma Thomson. The main character Felicity, is a fairy who “makes friends with lots of people wherever she goes”. She is blonde and her favourite colour is pink. She always wears a lot of pink and her signature is her pink and white stripy tights. Felicity wants to be a “Friendship Fairy” when she is older.

Surprisingly, Felicity has turned out to be quite popular. I say ‘surprisingly’ because after reading her description I already want to throttle her. Sadly, her popularity has led to the launch of a magazine series.

And here, my friends, is where this whole depressing mess reaches new levels of facepalm. The magazine encourages little girls to dream about their future lives. “Every issue I try out a new job, from cake-maker to nurse, to popstar!” Felicity squeals. “Part 1 comes with a cute Felicity Wishes doll and with every issue there’s a sparkly new outfit to dress her in!” If you like smacking yourself in the face, you can view the TV ad here.

It would seem that besides aspiring to be a “Friendship Fairy”, Felicity also fancies herself as a careers advisor. Unfortunately I’ve had the unpleasant task of sifting through the magazines, an experience which has scarred me for life, and I can quite confidently say that Felicity should stick to her day job. The occupations she recommends for girls include (in alphabetical order)…

‘Actress’
‘Ballerina’
‘Beautician’
‘Beekeeper’
‘Butterfly House Attendant’ (WTF?!)
‘Cake-maker’
‘Cheerleader’
‘Circus Clown’
‘Decorator’
‘Fashion designer’
‘Flight Attendant’
‘Flower girl’ (is that even a career?)
‘Hairdresser’
‘Hat maker’
‘Ice-skater’
‘Jewellery Maker’
‘Journalist’
‘Lifeguard’
‘Make-up Artist’
‘Model’
‘Nurse’
‘Party Planner’
‘Perfume Designer’
‘Popstar’
‘Shopkeeper’
‘Ski Instructor’
‘Stylist’
‘TV Presenter’
‘Teacher’s help’ (not even a teacher FFS!)
‘Tour Guide’
‘Waitress’
‘Weather girl’

Woah thanks Felicity for inspiring the next generation of trolly dollies, butterfly feeders, and clowns. “Felicity does not come with an astronaut’s costume or a train driver’s hat, and seems to want little girls to grow up to be homemakers and pop tarts and use too many exclamation marks” commented The Independent.

The majority of careers promoted by Felicity are low paid, a significant number involve servicing people (not like that), and 91% require no higher education. Why not go the whole way and have Felicity Lap dancer, Felicity Dinner Lady, Felicity Surrogate Mother, and Felicity Chip Shop Worker.

Here’s an example of the magazine’s contents, taken from the “Beautician” issue:

“You’ll need to look perfect”. “Not a hair out of place and a BIG smile”. Translation: you must be visually presentable and a perfectionist. You are expected to be nice and sweet, to make other people feel comfortable, to be a people-pleaser.
As this magazine is aimed at girls aged 3-6, isn’t their skin ‘silky-smooth’ enough?
The magazine is an example of how girls are socialised to be *prepared* to accept their place in the sexual division of labour. That is, to aspire to jobs which are less skilled, lower paid, and often part time. This Capitalist Patriarchal setup keeps females as cheap, unorganised labour which can be called upon to supplement the workforce in times of economic upturn, and discarded in times of recession. *and breathe*
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I first gained a GNVQ in Health and Social Care, then a BTEC National Diploma in Nursery Nursing. After that I went to university and got a first class hons degree in Early Childhood Studies. Then changed unis and got another first class hons degree, this time in Law.