Discussions,  Toddler

Clothes shopping for Spike – Bending the gender stereotype rules

We delved into the deepest darkest part of town last weekend, Primark! I say this because our local Primark is like a jumble sale. Its horrible, with clothes thrown everywhere and people getting in your way constantly.

We got round this a little by visiting between 10:30 and 11am on a Sunday morning – when you can’t even buy anything. It helped. There were far fewer people in there than there normally are and Spike was still happy at that time of the day.

We hit the grown up section first, with me grabbing new leggings and a skirt as quickly as I could before she started moaning. I picked up a pinafore I liked, but was told that it was disgusting. That’s when I decided shopping for me was over.

gender separation

Obviously Primark is not as with the times as some of the awesome online shops, and WAHMs I buy from a lot and the kids section is split by girls and boys. We headed to the ‘girls’ 1.5-4yr old section first and I had a look round. Spike barely picked up anything and didn’t seem interested at all. The two genders merged at the pjs, which is what we went in for and thats the point she got interested. She liked the Batman ones, the Tinkerbell ones, the dinosaur ones and the minnie mouse ones. I told her she could choose one ad she chose Minnie mouse.

Mario

We then headed to the ‘boys’ 1.5-4yr old section and she spotted Mario joggers. She loved them, grabbing them and shouting ‘Mario!’ Next she saw a Spiderman hoodie and wanted to take that home. We made it out of that section with only a ‘Select Player’ tee which has a load of Mario and Luigi characters on it, that she cuddled and wouldn’t let go of. We then headed into the ‘baby’ section.

Baby brights

The ‘girls’ section of the baby clothes were a bit better, with bright pinks, rather than pale or sparkly things found in the older girl section. The baby section goes to age 3 so we can still get away with shopping in it. The fact there were fewer pale things for babies kinda surprised me. I grabbed her a pretty cool ‘I believe in Unicorns and Fairies’ top which is bright pink, and a set of 3 unicorn themed short sleeve tops… I love the style of them as they are bit more fun than what I could find elsewhere and she was happy because ‘ukeycorns!’ They are tradition pastel colours, but still none of the pale pink that makes me wanna throw up.

making me happy again

After my trip round Primark, we headed up to boots to look at ‘girls’ clothes that weren’t all pink and sparkly! I fell in love a with a tunic dress in their 2 for £9 range which has umbrellas and rain on it so grabbed it with some standard pink leggings. Again these are bright pink, and not the pale putrid pink that is so commonly associated with little girls. Spike was more than happy about those purchases – though did wander around the shop with George Pig underpants from the ‘boys’ section for some time… I would have got her them if she needed some but we have underwear coming out of our ears now!

Listening to my child

I really enjoyed shopping with Spike as she got involved in picking her own clothes out and I saw that she loved what she loved. Sometimes I think that maybe its my influence that makes her choose what to like, but she likes unicorns by her own merit and Mario because she’s seen him on our TV. She likes bright, fun colours which is why she liked the umbrella tunic and the bright pink leggings, and she wants to wear things that make her feel comfortable. I still think that gender separation is awful, as I know I am going to struggle to get her to believe she should have what she likes from the ‘boys’ section in the future, but at least its not got to her completely yet!