Sunday, 20 October 2013

Week 111- gender specific clothes, pink feathers and red Y-fronts...

Nancy and I had an important trip into town the other day with only one thing on the shopping list.

Nancy was going to choose some big girls pants before we begin the challenging process of potty training. (WHY didn’t we start this in the summer when it’s standard to run round the garden with no clothes on, instead of watching endless episodes of Peppa Pig freezing your bits off sat on a potty during winter...)

Nancy was very clear about what she wanted. Yellow, green and red pants.
My sister had given her some vouchers for GAP so I thought that would be a good place to start.
Her first pair of pants would cost the same as the autumn coat I’d just bought on E-bay.

And then she’d be in Asda pants like the rest of her family.
Now, I wasn’t expecting to be overwhelmed with choice.

But for about the millionth time since having Nancy, we’re faced with yet another example of gender specific clothes.
Nancy is two years old.

She fluctuates on a daily basis from describing herself as a little girl to a big boy. She thinks the only difference between mummy and daddy is that daddy’s got a ‘tail.’
She does NOT need her first pair of pants to say petit princess on the front.

The only GAP kids shop in Brighton had a small but insulting range of pastel coloured underwear plastered with pictures of ballet dancers, sparkles, or princess related paraphernalia.

Whereas for the boys, there were bold coloured (yellow, green and red, as requested by Nancy) underwear with the days of the week written on the bum.
Fun clothes. Durable clothes.

Things that gave the message that you can get grubby in them. You can play.
Not that you’re a precious, fragile creature who needs to keep clean and wear glitter.
If Nancy wants to dress head-to-toe in pink feathers and sparkles. Fine. Absolutely fine.

But give her a choice. It’s that simple. Choice.

Don’t make me as her mother have to make a pitiful decision between violet or dusty pink.
Her clothes only get filthy within moments of stepping outside.

I don’t know whether such a company exists but I think a manufacturer somewhere must be producing clothes that are non-gender specific for under 3’s that don't cost the earth.
If not, there is a clear gap in the market.

In fact, I feel so strongly about this that if there aren’t companies producing fun clothes which can be worn by young children of both sexes then a campaign should be started.

I want Nancy to have choice. A proper choice.
Not just in what she wears, but in every aspect for of her life.
But for now, I will start with her choice to wear yellow, green and red pants from a mainstream high street shop that aren’t a pair of bloody Y-fronts.

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