I have this thing about little girl clothes.
I can’t stand most of them.
This past weekend I went to mecca – Babies R Us – for the first time ever to buy a monitor. I did my tour around the store and saw some cute shirts for little boys with "Surfer" on them. But on the little girl side of the store, the pepto-pink -- God everything there was so pink -- shirts read simply, "Surf Club." The message was subtle but clearly there: as a girl, you are not a surfer. You are just part of the club. On the sidelines.
We’ve all seen Blue Crush, right? We know that girls surf. I have no doubt that my daughter will surf one day.
Apparently the product line managers, graphics designers, merchandisers and buyers who source the little girl stuff are from the backwaters, where girls still sit on the beach and don’t surf. I am ashamed that most of these people in charge now are of my generation (X) and were lucky enough to grow up with Title 9 and everything else that girls can do now.
Same thing goes with the appliqued onesies that read, "Daddy’s Princess," or "American Sweetheart," or "Beauty Queen" (I swear I just saw a shirt like this today in size 0-3 months at Target – sick I tell you!).
You don’t find little boys’ t-shirts that say, "I give out hugs and kisses." In my view, by putting these slogans on a little girl, we are enforcing the stereotype that a female is only valued if she is affectionate. Only if she uses her little body does she gain favor with others.
Using cheesy onesie logic to explain it: if Missy is a princess, that makes me the queen. And the queen says no apparel that subjugates females will be worn in her household.
As such, I have two (!) bags full of onesies, dresses, etc., thoughtfully given to us by well-meaning neighbors and relatives that I simply won’t ever put on my child. They are headed for Goodwill. Tags still on them.
Shame on Babies R Us and Targets of the world for sourcing these stereotypes of little girls. In the meantime, I’ll stick to the consignment stores and boutiques to look for more appropriate clothing for my daughter.
I know I probably shouldn't even be bitching about this. That I should consider myself lucky to have the privilege to buy such clothes. But is this seriously the kind of world we want for our daughters?