I just spent an hour listening to my oldest daughter complain that she has nothing to wear. Rather than go the usual route of showing her all that she has, I listened and sure enough, she’d outgrown everything in her closet. So … we went on line to shop. As the father of two girls with very different tastes, I would like to send a message to the people creating clothes for young ladies.
Get a clue!
First: Not all girls like pink and purple. Pastels are another myth. Some girls like bright greens and blues, grays and blacks. Abercrombie & Fitch gets this … but all of their clothing costs three times as much as Target. I mean, $35 for a t-shirt she’ll wear for 3 months and then grow out of? Ain’t gonna happen.
Second: Not all girls wear Mary Janes. As I was thumbing through the water shoe pages of the new Land’s End catalogue, I was struck by the fact that they appear to be of the opinion that all little girls should wear Mary Jane style water shoes in pastels. Seriously? My oldest just asked me to by her the boys shoes.
Third: Not all girls like Hello Kitty, unicorns and butterflies. Just sifted through about 150 prints on Old Navy’s Web site with my oldest and they’re all frilly patterns with puppies, kittens, flowers and such which is fine for many … but not all. And giving her an NFL or MLB t-shirt option isn’t the answer either. As my daughter so eloquently pointed out, “they’re either too far one way or too far the other.”
The more subtle issue to me is the message we’re sending little girls. Boys are bold, tough and sporty lads who love sharks and soccer; girls are soft and frilly creatures who love kittens and want to be cheerleaders. Nonsense I say! At the very least give girls the option to choose something other than a lavender, lace covered, t-shirt with a dalmatian puppy on the front. Let her know it’s o.k for a little girl to wear a navy blue t-shirt with some rocks on it that says “Yeah … I can throw it farther than you!”
As we started our search, my daughter’s complaint was validated. It just blows my mind that our society continues to send kids messages of what they’re supposed to be. According to who? I’ll keep looking and will pass along information as we find it. In the mean time, if anyone can suggest a Web site that offers little girls an option other than panda bears and rainbows please by all means pass it along. I’m sure I’m not the only dad with this dilemma.
As for my younger daughter; pink t’s with the Eiffel Tower on the front will work just fine.