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Pretty in Pink, a Boy in Blue?

Pretty in Pink, a Boy in Blue?

I have a confession to make.  My daughter may love the boys.  She and Oliver have been the best of friends since they were one.  She used to boss Tanner around and make him get her coat for her, or pick up her things when she left them on the floor.    Zachary worships the ground she walks on, and I am told they all fight to sit next to her at meal time.

However, under no circumstances is she borrowing their pants.  That is, unless she has an accident.

She is only two, after all.

I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry at this Feministing post:

I got this email from a friend of mine, and I just had to share.

At lunch I ducked into Baby Gap to find my 2 year old some new jeans, as she’s torn holes in or outgrown her others. Leafing through the sales rack I found that Gap does actually make one style that is not (a) sparkled or pink, (b) embossed with flowers [nothing wrong w/that, but we have several and kid needs a little variety] or (c) “skinny” (yes, they do make those for toddlers…). But what do they call these unadorned items of toddler fashion? Boyfriend Jeans!! Yes, that’s right, if my 2 year old daughter actually wants to wear comfortable jeans with nothing on them but denim, she must have borrowed them from her BOYFRIEND.

I’ve never much cared about how we dressed my daughter so far.  As a baby, we just put her in whatever we had lying around clean, a feat in itself since she spit up every hour or so.  Once she was around five months, we never bothered with dresses because she was already trying to crawl.  Skirts seemed ridiculous for a child intent on walking, then running, far before she ever really learned good balance.  And now, as a two year old, the amount of time she spends trying to climb, jump and flip herself over means that jeans and sweatpants are her uniform of choice.  Some clothes are pink, some are blue, some are purple, some are brown.  In general, I enjoy the fact that it’s too early for her to be conscious of what she has on.

But it is already difficult to buy her plain clothing, minus the flowers, ribbons, sparkles or hearts.  To call those simple, plain, normal pieces of clothing “boyfriend jeans” shows how hard the industry is already trying to market my child into believing simple is for boys, and girls can only have it if the boys give their permission.  And the idea of borrowing these pants from the “boyfriend” is one that is being used at least one decade too soon. 

Next, maybe the Gap will try marketing some letterman’s jackets for the preschool crowd.  Or perhaps a new line of promise rings for those budding would-be second grade Romeos?

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Me (the baby dressed in baseballs at 5 months)

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106 comments

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10:31PM PST on Feb 9, 2010

Thanks for the article, Robin. Definitely not enough plain clothes for girls of any age; shoes were also a big problem.

6:32AM PST on Feb 8, 2010

I think that part of the reason my galpals love pink and flowers so much is because when they wore them as children they were given a lot of attention. They became comfortable in that uniform and with that attention. They were molded. Friends who grew up wearing whatever color or clothing they wanted don't seem to have the same issue or feel compelled to comment on my clothing as much. Just an observation. Let them wear whatever is available, much bigger issues lie ahead.

7:02PM PST on Jan 20, 2010

To be honest, I never really paid attention since I handed down the still-wearable clothing from my son (the oldest) to my daughters and then supplemented from there. I tended to pick up jeans and pants from the boys section anyway because they're generally tougher, not as prone to torn knees, etc. That would actually be my chief complaint - put as many embellishments as you want on the girls' clothes, but don't assume they're just sitting on the sidelines not risking getting them torn and dirty.

8:26AM PST on Jan 19, 2010

Interesting read- but I still think Pink is a super cute color

8:08PM PST on Jan 18, 2010

I live in Indonesia, and it seems extra difficult here to get simple clothes for my girls. Almost everything is covered in pink hearts, flowers or glitter. And now, that my girls (8 and 6 years old) wear their hair short, people refer to them as boys! They're so annoyed by that! Fortunately they both continue following their own taste, unlike other girls from their age who (whether or not taught by their mums) are Brittney Spears or Disney princess look-a-likes. I'm grateful they're independent spirits who don't follow the crowd.

7:11PM PST on Jan 18, 2010

I hate pink

8:46PM PST on Jan 16, 2010

Shoping at thrift stores are the best place to find normal clothing.

1:15AM PST on Jan 14, 2010

i had a yellow/brown nappy ugh

2:16PM PST on Jan 11, 2010

Shop at thrift stores to avoid all the labeled nonsense.

4:44AM PST on Jan 11, 2010

The pink/blue division is arbitrary and ridiculous, of coure - but why doso many people keep buying into it? It wouldn't exist without their active "help"!

And there are very many colors that are "unisex" even now: yellow, green, white, red (why not?)

Most importantly, though, is that clothes should be safe and easy for the child to MOVE in. And they absolutely should allowthe child to get "dirty", as children should!
Very loose denim clothes are a very good option for that.


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