Buy girly products? I'd rather eat glass

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The Independent Online

Oh, it is hard to write a column on this massive keyboard. My poor tiny hands can barely make it from A to P. The horrid black colour is failing to make me think of dancing woodland creatures in gingham smocks, or kittens, or babies. If only someone would make it dinkier and, while they're at it, a prettier colour. And as for my mouse, wouldn't it be cute if it actually had a tail and ears? With little crystals for eyes?

While my office equipment isn't as dainty as it could be, at least now I can have a bike that's fit for a princess, thanks to the fairy godmothers at Halfords, who have announced, with the help of cycling's queen of hearts, Victoria Pendleton, pictured, a new range of ladies' bikes. In baby blue, plum or snow white, the bikes, which go on sale in March, are lightweight and at least one is, according to its promotional information, "perfect for shopping trips", thanks to the darling little wicker basket at the front.

I can also rest easy that after decades where children played with boring old genderless Lego, where bricks could be made into spaceships, shops or – if you squinted – even shoes, now there's Lego Friends, a series of sets that feature bows, puppies, bunnies and female figurines with swooshy plastic hair and moulded mini skirts. Now my stepdaughter can finally step away from that reconstruction of a Nasa shuttle expedition and play at boutiques with a dedicated Butterfly Beauty Shop set instead. And the pair of us can put aside our boring old white Nintendo 3DS consoles in favour of the girly new coral pink version. Perhaps our custom will help the games company, which has just forecast that it will post an annual loss of £370m after poor sales. Or perhaps not.

After all, while Nintendo is starting to flounder slightly, Apple last week reported record profits. Who would have thought it? The mega-selling iPhone 4S isn't pastel blue or peach or violet-coloured.

The company hasn't released a special, slimmed-down version that won't snap the wrists of the fairer sex. Preposterously, it seems to think that clean lines and top-notch functionality in someway make up for the fact it hasn't been prettified to make it more palatable for girls.

Still, things are definitely looking rosy for products that have been given fairytale makeovers by kindly wizards (aka, the magical marketing folk). Shame it's so bloody depressing for women interested in good design and who would rather eat glass than buy patronising, sexist and lazily conceived consumer goods.