There's probably nothing more fun than shopping for baby clothes. Whether you have a new little one on the way or are shopping for someone else, who can resist the rows of tiny, cute items on offer? There are surely no down sides to this. Or maybe there is, especially when buying small baby clothes, like newborn. It is the lack of choice. This is a problem can be found in pretty much any store that sells baby items - apart from neutral white, you will often find two aisles, one pink and one blue.
I don't have a problem with the colours pink and blue specifically, I like to wear both of these colours. My little boy wear's all sorts of colours as would any daughters that I have. And this is the way it should be - a whole range of colours and styles for a whole range of personalities. So why are many children's clothes divided by colour so much? The same goes for toys, when you go into a toy shop there is very often the pink Barbie aisle and the blue car aisle. This bothers me particularly as I loved to play with both dolls and cars as a child, but if a little boy played with a doll it would be frowned upon. My friends have told me stories of being frowned upon in shops when they have bought something for their son that is considered 'feminine' such as a toy iron, or something pink.
I think it is time to bring some common sense into the picture and let toys be toys and clothes be clothes. If a little girl wants to wear blue, only dress in pants and play with toy cars, then they should be allowed to do this without being labelled. The same goes for if a little boy wants to play with a doll and wear a pink t-shirt. This is all they are, toys and clothes. Just pieces of plastic and cloth. They should not slap a big label on the person wearing them and a person should not be ridiculed for their choices, regardless of their age. As parents, we should be able to bring our children up to be whoever they want to be and give them the option to wear any style of clothing they want, of any colour they choose and play with any toy they like. As adults we too should be free to make our own choices and be who we want, without labels (unless we would like a label, and that's ok too.)
It is with some relief that I have found that there are common sense campaigners and companies in the world. I was delighted to recently discover Gender Free World, where you can buy a great range of clothing items that are gender neutral in colour and style. (I am particularly looking forward to trying the underwear, as I am personally not a fan of frilly knickers, but that's just me.) They have recently brought out a range of kids clothes, from baby vests to cute t-shirts, all of which can be worn by boys and girls and that all have a cool attitude. You can check out their new children's range here. They have also only used one type of buttoning for their shirts - apparently there is a different style of buttoning to men's and women's shirts (I had no idea!) They have chosen one and stuck with it across their range. It is the little details like this that help companies like GFW in removing gender stereotyping and I look forward to seeing what they will do next. The more common sense campaigning there is, the better and the sooner we can stop companies trying to label our children. Let's allow our children to be whoever they want to be, without the fear of how they will be labelled in the world.