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Inappropriate and stereotypical children's clothing

November 29, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
What kind of parents would put their daughter in a onesie that reads "I'm too sexy for my diaper"?

This was the most horrible of several stomach-churning T-shirts/onesies I saw at one of those kiosks while Christmas shopping at the mall this weekend. If I'd seen an actual child wearing it, I would have considered the mother guilty of bad taste bordering on child abuse and seriously considered calling Social Services. I've often thought the same thing when I see elementary school age girls wearing sweatpants with the word "Juicy" across the bottom.

As a woman without kids, I suppose I'm out of touch when it comes to the latest fashion trends for children, but it can't just be my imagination that the clothing available for little girls is often mind-bogglingly inappropriate. I also had a hard time seeing anything for little girls that wasn't pink or purple, ruffled or scattered with sparkles or decorated with saccharine Disney princesses.

The clothing I was looking at for my young nephews seemed to have more variety, though there were an awful lot of T-shirts and pajamas with cars or cartoon super heroes on them. When my brother and I were kids, I think there were more neutral colors available in children's clothing. We both wore long-sleeved striped T-shirts and high-waisted jeans. Where is the clothing for girls who aren't Disney princess fanatics and boys who aren't planning to become NASCAR drivers or super heroes?

I'm not even going to talk about the toys. My nephew will probably like the pottery wheel that he's getting for Christmas even though the pottery wheel has a prominent picture of a little girl in pink princess gear on the box. But the advertisers' clear message is that only girls are expected to enjoy that type of play.

Retailers are making it pretty hard for parents (and aunts buying Christmas presents) who would like to avoid stereotyping kids or seeing them grow up too fast.


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