Are shops guilty of gender stereotyping kids?

I have yet again been amazed at how ridiculous the big shops are. You may ask why so I shall explain to you how disappointed I am in their attitude towards gender and clothes for our children.

 

We went to ASDA  on Saturday because I needed a pair of cheap jeans for my work. While we were there we decided to have a quick look at the summer clothes for our fast approaching holiday.
The girls needed flip flops and maybe a pair of crocs for the beach and around the pool. My disgust at the ridiculous behaviour in having boys and girls section. M quite happily picked pink sparkly jelly shoes, whereas R wanted a blue pair (she loves the colour blue) so we had to go to boys section!
All the large supermarkets and clothing shops just don’t seem to understand that not all girls like pink and princesses, the same as some boys quite like the colour pink. So when are they just going to start putting everything together to stop people feeling uncomfortable whilst shopping. I decided to take a few photos of the boys and girls section. Blue could be found in the girls section but it was denim. In the boys section there was no colour other than the standard blue, black, grey etc.

 

R one of our four year old twins loves anything and everything superhero, but of course all of that type of footwear or clothing is only found in the boys section. It’s absurd and very old fashioned that large corporations are trying to dictate to us what is acceptable for girls to wear and boys to wear.
We need to break down the barriers of gender stereotyping and insist on the shops to have a children sections where all designs are available no matter what the sex of your child. Without being labelled boys or girls.
Seriously how do you tell your four year old daughter that we will just look in the boys section for her, because unfortunately that’s where all the superhero products are. This is incredibly insensitive and completely wrong. She is more than aware that she is a girl, but she loves superheroes and I do not want her growing up thinking it’s boys only that can wear a Spider-Man t-shirt or Superman sandals because it’s not.The detrimental effect this could have on development and growth is enormous. It could easily hold back their ambitions and dreams to be their own person. I want my children of either sex to grow up embracing what makes them happy and to be true to themselves not turned into one of society’s norm’s because there is no such thing as a norm. We are what we want to be.

 

So through my little tiny corner on the internet I am calling upon all major clothing retailers and supermarkets to do away with boys and girls sections and make it a large children’s unisex section so all of our children can pick what they want. Gender stereotyping is now out of control. I cannot believe in the 21st century we are still being controlled by large corporations what is socially acceptable for our children.
I believe if we want our children to be leaders of the future we need to change our attitude towards gender stereotyping and allow them to live their lives exactly as they want.

 

Society is to blame, but a huge part of our society is clothes retailers are determined to persuade and coerce us into thinking that little girls must be princesses and little boys are all superheroes.I also believe that it is a breeding ground for sexism as we try to mould little girls into a particular style that it acceptable to society, meaning that they carry this into adulthood instead of being allowed to express their personalities and characters and be themselves without limitations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

19 thoughts on “Are shops guilty of gender stereotyping kids?

  1. Yes I completely agree that both girls and boys should be able to play with anything they want and dress in anything they want. Sometimes it is the parents too that are still guilty of buying certain things for the correct gender for example, when it should be all about what the child wants #bestandworst

  2. I totally agree – my daughter is girly and does like Princess stuff but I have bought her blue PJs and comic style ones – all from the boys section. I found this annoying. There is always going to be a dress section but everything else really should be put together. Lets just hope most parents give their children free choice as we do!! Great post and thanks for sharinf with #bestandworst x

  3. This is so true … The Tubblet didn't like pink much either and trying to find non-pink, not very frilly clothes was a real challenge. I don't remember it being quite so bad when I was growing up.

  4. I don't agree with putting everything together as there are also a lot of people out there who like having the boy section seperate from the girls section and if it were put together would the same then be done with men's and women's clothing? Or underwear?

    I do agree though that they need to provide more colour choices for both genders rather than just sticking to blue for boys and pink for girls

  5. Completely and utterly agree. I'm not a parent yet (expecting my first) but I have been working with children for the past 9 years, this stereotypical bollocks doesn't come from them. The 3yo I care for is just as likely to be found 'playing' make up with her older sister and she is to be making hot wheels tracks and shooting them off down the the stairs with her older brother. She started nursery fairly recently and it's only since she's started that she's started to label things as "girls" or "boys".

    I'm getting increasingly frustrated by it recently as I'm buying for my first child. We don't know what sex it will be but trying to buy things that are gender neutral is really difficult. I had a gander at Asda's selection a few weeks ago and it was literally a row of pink and a row of blue, nothing in between. There's no need for it! Why can't clothes for kids be in all colours, where's the red, orange, yellow, purple & green?

    You may have heard of it but there's an action group called Let Clothes be Clothes on facebook, it's an off shot of a similar community called Let Toys be Toys, but you may find it interesting.

  6. Agreed!

    My four year old girl has already been put off dinosaurs on clothes due to them only being in boys sections. Then today she spotted some Paw Patrol pyjamas (she's a fan, I am not – another show with a token pink girl) only to discover that Skye had been left off and that they were meant for boys. Gah.

    It's harmful to boys too of course. They get the message about girls loud and clear – avoid at all costs, they're not as good as boys.

    Ridiculous.

  7. Yes, I completely agree!! There should be equal colour clothing, and dressing up clothing for boys and girls, and not separated!! I noticed this in toys r us yesterday too-one section was all cars/trucks/superhero figures, and another section was a sea of pink-dolls, trolleys, toy shop/kitchen food items-if that's not enforcing gender stereotype roles I don't know what is!! Another great post I read expressed annoyance at the slogans found on girls clothing as well, like 'I'm so cute,' and 'mummy's princess,' the author said that we shouldn't be actively encouraging girls to have to be 'cute.' This is a great post, with an issue well worth highlighting!!
    #bigpinklink

  8. Agreed!

    My four year old girl has already been put off dinosaurs on clothes due to them only being in boys sections. Then today she spotted some Paw Patrol pyjamas (she's a fan, I am not – another show with a token pink girl) only to discover that Skye had been left off and that they were meant for boys. Gah.

    It's harmful to boys too of course. They get the message about girls loud and clear – avoid at all costs, they're not as good as boys.

    Ridiculous.

  9. Have you seen the Let Toys Be Toys campaign? They were cover clothes too and apply pressure to stores to stop arbitrarily dividing toys and clothes into getting gender categories.

    Sometimes I think people misundertand why we get so annoyed about this. It's not about forcing kids into a certain route it's as you say about promoting choice rather than limitations.

    #BestAndWorst

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