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I Wish More Parents Of Girls Shopped In The Boys Section

June 23, 2016

I am the mother of two amazing girls and I do at least half of my clothing shopping for them in the “boys” section of stores. This is not a confession, it’s just the way it is.

I shop this way because what girls have to choose from 99% of the time is stereotypically pink and pastel, covered in love hearts and unimaginative, boringness  by comparison with all of the awesome high contrast, colorful clothing and character shirts that are available for the opposite sex.

This isn’t always the case, but it is the norm.

You know what my oldest daughter likes? Paw Patrol, Ninja turtles, Lego, trains, monsters, race cars, Adventure Time, Sponge Bob, Super heroes, skeletons, skulls, bugs, and dinosaurs… She also likes My Little Pony, Peppa Pig, Frozen, butterflies, pink fluffy tutus, sparkles, rhinestones and all of the Disney princesses.

You know what my 3 month old daughter likes? Milk, pooping and cuddles, not necessarily in that order… she doesn’t care what I put her in, so I go with whatever is adorable, which today happens to be blue dinosaur footie jammies, and I dare anyone who sees her to say that she isn’t completely rocking them.  

But back to the child who is old enough to have an opinion, most of all she loves ALL COLORS… not just exclusively washed out pastels occasionally combined with all shades of pink, but yes, those TOO.

In addition to a superior color palate, boys get every super hero, plus all sorts of animals and monsters on their t-shirts, and what do girls get? The occasional kitten or bunny and pictures of other little girls, because by my best guess, there is nothing a little girl loves to wear more than a picture of another little girl.. I don’t mean popular TV characters either… I’m talking about little generic cartoon drawings of girls…. usually with flowers and the ever popular love hearts floating around for good measure…. and phrases that involve the words “Love” “Sweet” and “Cute”. … like a doll that lives on a shelf…. collecting dust… Where boys get words like, “Awesome” “Cool” and “Super” representing the bundles of wonderful energy and potential that they are.

I do have my own preferences when it comes to what she wears, but I allow my girl to choose whatever she likes within the boundaries of my budget. I’m not against her wearing “sweet” and “cute” or pink and fluffy. Let me tell you… no one thinks that frilly little girl socks are cuter than I do, but it does say something that these “boy” words are so rarely used in the girls fashion lines, or the fact that if they are, it’s noteworthy.

The last clothing related thing that crawls up my butt sideways is that on the rare occasion that girls do get character shirts marketed toward them, they ONLY feature the females of the tv series, whether it’s bubble guppies, paw patrol or adventure time, the girls get the tiny handful of female characters… and the boys get exclusively the boy characters, as if the other half of the “team” doesn’t exist. What sort of message is that sending to kids?

Even though I realize that the boring styles available for girls are probably put into production because this is the crap that sells, it still makes me livid.  I feel that this is a huge part of the problem where we (as a society) start backing our girls into corners without even realizing what we’re doing in regard to how they should look and what they “should” like… and it starts from infancy.

When I take my daughter into nursery every day I notice that she stands out dramatically because she is the only girl who is not a wash out of pastel. She is bold and bright from head to toe (sometimes blindingly so) and 9 times out of 10 she chose her own outfit which she loves showing off with pride. This makes me happy.

Many people have made reference to my 3 month old as a “he” because she’s wearing blue or her blanket is any color EXCEPT pink, however this does not bother me… and guess what, it doesn’t bother her either! It’s all good. I politely correct them if the conversation turns into more than just an exclamation of how cute she is and maybe they rethink their assumptions in the future, maybe they don’t. No skin off of anyone’s nose.

The other day I was price comparing some Avent pacifiers on Amazon and the comments section confounded me… Basically you purchase the pacifiers and they send you a pack of random two colors… which are clear… but tinted. People were frothing at the mouth, outraged if they were sent a blue pacifier for their girl or a pink one for their boy…. like the thing was poison … as if the screaming baby, in need of the comfort a pacifier provides would surely choke if they were given a color that their parent associated with the gender that was opposite to the child’s… Honestly people… do you not on any level comprehend the audacity of your ranting??? It’s a pacifier… and who cares if some stranger makes an assumption about your child’s gender based on that pacifier… doesn’t it say more about them than it does about the happy, content little bundle of baby?

The pink washing certainly doesn’t stop at clothes and accessories either. For example, the girls options for popular toys are a joke. Baby toys are meant to be high contrast, because countless studies suggest very strongly that this is what holds the attention of infants… it’s what their developing little brains like… but there is usually a boy version and a girl version of toys… often the boy version is also the gender neutral version but the girl version is almost always pink and purple… pastel, not high contrast or bold at all… who is this toy for exactly? The baby, who will learn and grow with it or the parent who is afraid that their little girl will spontaneously drop a couple of testicles if she’s given the “boy” version.

My oldest has plenty of “boy” toys as well, including a really cool Little People Batman set that I wrote a review on based on it being played with by a little girl. I won $100 for that review, it was a good day.

I’d like to think that if I’d had a boy I would be as flexible with him as I am with the girls. In all seriousness, what is the problem if a boy likes “girl” colors, or female characters or dolls? You know what dolls do for a boy? They provide him with as much entertainment as those very same toys would provide for any child… because they’re TOYS and calling dolls action figures doesn’t make them not dolls. Just recently the character, Rey from The Force Awakens was left out of the big set of Star Wars action figures because some ill informed douche decided that a boy wouldn’t want to play with the female action figure, ignoring the fact that she is the main character of the film… and shame on Hasbro for trying to claim that excluding her was to not give away plot secrets… she’s front and center on the damned movie posters, dipshits.

I could go on for days about this topic but I somehow doubt anyone would want to read anything that long…

The bottom line is, my daughter likes what she likes… and I really do wish… that more parents would be more open minded … or even just MINDFUL when it comes to their children’s clothing and toys. None of this idiot indignation at blue and pink being applied to the “wrong” gender or at Target stores for their progressive thinking in putting a stop to gender labeling toys. Just let kids choose what they enjoy and let them be proud and satisfied in those decisions.

Imagine what sort of world could exist if we just let people be who they are from the beginning…. you know, excluding the ones who are born murderous psychopaths.

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From → Mommy-ness

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