Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Rant About Clothes for Women and Girls

Why can I buy a Rey costume at the Disney store, but no Rey t-shirts at Target?
My husband and I recently went to target to buy clothes for my sweet little girl, who is just about to turn three. As a nearly three-year-old, she's endlessly curious about everything, and has already learned to love many of the things I did at that age, including dinosaurs (doesn't everyone love dinosaurs?). We have dinosaur books, small plastic dinosaurs and large stuffed ones, and have watched plenty of dinosaurs in the movies and on TV. And yet, despite my daughter's love of dinosaurs, the one place we can never find them is the clothing aisle. There are girl's t-shirts with every princess in the Disney canon, as well as unicorns, frogs, brightly colored birds, and flowers galore, but not one dinosaur. For that, we have to cross over to the boy's section, where dinosaurs are de rigor.

My question is--when did dinosaurs become a "boy" thing, one that girls are subtly excluded from so far as clothing manufacturers and stores are concerned? Of course, it's not just dinosaurs. It's also Star Wars, dragons, and other fun, geeky things that many people, male and female, love. I have plenty of Star Wars and Game of Thrones t-shirts, all of which I bought for myself in the men's clothing section. I know other geeky/nerdy women who do the same thing (I've even seen other ladies wearing my same shirt at events). If on the off chance there is a Star Wars shirt in the women's section, it's of course in the same wretched thin, flimsy material they make all women's clothes out of these days. You know, the stuff ends up practically see-through after a couple of washes. What I wouldn't give for a geeky women's shirt made from real t-shirt material! And some dinosaur-themed girls t-shirts!
She loves Star Wars, too!
It's not that I don't like Rainbow Dash, or other "girl" characters. I do--I think Rainbow Dash is spunky and adventurous, a fun and interesting character for my daughter to enjoy. I'm even okay with Disney princesses, though I think they're over-saturated and dull. It's that it frustrates and annoys me that marketers seem to draw such harsh lines around what girls and women can/should like/buy. Especially when those lines make science topics like dinosaurs seem like "boy" things, even when tons of girls love them.

Until children's clothing designers and stores get a clue and make dinosaur shirts for girls and Game of Thrones shirts for women, it looks like my daughter and I will be crossing the aisle (or buying t-shirt from Amazon, who seems happy to carry dinosaur shirts for girls). I want my daughter to grow up knowing that dinosaurs and Star Wars are hers, and she can wear them on her shirts if she wants, no matter what some idiot executive thinks little girls like.

4 comments:

  1. I have a t-shirt w/ a Tyrannosaurus Rex and underneath the word, "Carnivore." It's my favorite t-shirt. I like that it's vague. Does it mean the dinosaur is a carnivore or that I am a carnivore? LOL. Visiting from #archiveday on twitter. Maui Jungalow

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  2. I totally agree with this - from your stand point with a daughter and mine with a son. Girls clothes have 'love' 'peace' 'happy' written all over them and boys predominantly have 'cheeky monkey' or rough and tumble / fighting / defence slogans. It drives me mad as my son likes rainbows and colours too and I'd rather promote love and peace to him than 'it's all about me' and being physical.

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    1. So true! It's sad that we also make peace and happiness "girly." What a terrible lesson for young boys!

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