Discussions

My thoughts on baby clothing

I am a feminist. I can’t deny this fact. For years I didn’t declare myself one but last year I finally relented and agreed that I am. This could open up a whole other blog post about the fact that this means I am a someone who campaigns for gender equality and not a man-hating b*tch which is often associated with the term, but I digress.

The reason I bring this up is because a lot of what I stand for has to do with stereotypes and how certain things are seen as ‘girly’ and ‘boyish’ and I have a major problem with this because it reinforces the idea that there is something wrong with a person if they don’t conform to their gender stereotypes.

This brings me to the whole pink and blue thing…. I don’t know if you’ve been in a children’s clothing department lately but if you have you will have probably noticed that things are often pink for girls and blue for boys. The colour representation of gender bugs me no end and finding that its reinforced even for toys winds me up.

Thankfully I think most people I know know me well enough not to make the connections between the colours. When I announced my pregnancy on Facebook I didn’t get any ‘pink or blue’ comments or anything like that, which actually shocked me but maybe its because I already put it out there that I don’t agree with that crap.

Anyway, I know about 6 other people due around the same time as me and one of them shared that she’s having a girl too the other day and got a comment about how easy it is to shop for girls clothes and it got me thinking about the whole pink thing again.

Baby DressBecause, honestly… its NOT easy. When buying newborn clothes neither sex is easy to buy for if you don’t like powder pink or blue, which I don’t, especially if you are trying not to spend a fortune! My sister in law is gutted that I don’t want to dress my little girl in pink ‘girly’ clothes but thats just my preference, I don’t want people to assume she is all ‘puppy dog tails’ when I doubt she will be, especially if she takes after me! I was a massive tomboy growing up and it pee’d me off no end when my mum put me in girly clothes and skirts and dresses so I refuse to do it to my kid. Sure when she’s old enough to chose her own clothes if thats what she wants, thats what I’ll get her but until then she’s going in bright, funky coloured clothing and dresses with as little pink on them as I can find (which is a task in itself…. even the really cute dress I bought the other day, pictured, has a bit of pink on it!)

What bugs me the most is stuff with ‘daddy’s little princess’  on for girls and ‘mummy’s little monster’ on for boys… automatically assuming that a girl is sweet and loving whereas a boy is a little terror that tears around the house ripping things apart. You very rarely find this type of clothing which doesn’t reinforce that kind of stereotype and I really hate it because of it.

I think my major issue is that these clothes are obviously around to tell other people about the baby they are looking at. Its helping out the sweet little old woman in the shop work out what sex that bald two week old baby is so that she can reinforce “awwww isn’t she such a little sweetie, she’s going to break hearts when she’s older” or ” aww he’s a little cutie, I bet he’s a little monster when he won’t sleep though!” and thats not fair. I don’t want my kids labelled from the start, I want them to have the chance to make up their own mind, be their own person and not feel wrong if they aren’t how they are ‘meant’ to be.

So yes… basically what I wanted to say in this rambling blog post is that buying baby clothes isn’t easy… its stupidly hard to find stuff thats gender neutral, especially when you’re on a budget, I don’t mind a bit of pink or a bit of blue but I don’t want to exclusively have those colours!

I have had a bit of luck and come across some really nice sites, like Frugi and Pumpkin Patch which seem to have quite an array of clothing in different colours and style for boys and girls but they are a little out of my budget so I’m going to have to shop there sparingly! Please let me know of any other places that aren’t stupidly expensive but seem to have a good range of non pink and blue stuff!