Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Smart Like Mommy, Out of Touch Like Gymboree?

When my twins were born, I sometimes dressed them in matching onesies.  I had boy/girl twins, so sometimes the onesies were slightly different in color or message, but always equally cute.
Imagine my reaction when I saw Gymboree's selection of onesie body suits for boys and girls. While there is a cute onesie for boys that says “Smart Like Daddy,” there is no similar message for girls. Instead, what onesie can we buy for our daughters? One that says, "Pretty Like Mommy."

No “Smart Like Mommy” onesies for boys or girls? Seriously, Gymboree? What's with sticking infants in sexist gender stereotypes?

Join us in telling Gymboree that smart moms and dads don’t dress their kids in onesies that promote ridiculous and harmful gender stereotypes:   http://action.momsrising.org/go/1355?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=5

Ok, I know 1950's-like television shows and fashion are popular right now, but retro gender roles for infants?  No way!

Almost every hour, if not minute, of the day my children are surrounded by "smart like mommy" role models:  The teachers, dentists, coaches, business owners, doctors, journalists, stay-at-home-moms, technicians, and administrators they come into contact with are often women. 

Gymboree designers and executives should know better than to put retro gender roles on onesies for infants. But if they don't, let's tell them! http://action.momsrising.org/go/1355?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=7

Why is this important?

Mainstream media bombards children and adults with overwhelming messages that women should be beautiful, while men should be smart and powerful.  These messages limit children's ideas of what is possible in the world and can have damaging effects on their self-esteem, their choice of school courses (for example, advanced math and science), and their career possibilities. And while infants can't read, other children certainly can.

Gymboree isn’t the only kids’ clothing retailer using gender stereotypes as an accessory. This fall, a JCPenney girls clothing line featured a t-shirt for girls 7-16 that said “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.” [3]  While JCPenney called the shirt “cute and sassy,” I thought it was more “tasteless and degrading.” [4]

Luckily, I wasn't alone: Consumers banded together and got the shirt yanked from stores, and had a similarly offensive "Allergic to Algebra" shirt pulled from Forever 21. [5]  

Let's keep the momentum going and let Gymboree and other companies know that harmful gender stereotypes don’t belong on clothing: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1355?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=9

And don't forget to pass this along to your family and friends--and to post the action link on Facebook!  If the past few months have shown us anything, it's that when we come together, we are a powerful voice for consumers.

Thank you for everything you do!

-Nanette, Claire, Kristin, Ruth, Ashley, and the whole MomsRising team

P.S.  For a great discussion of the impact of gender stereotyping on girls, watch the Miss Representation trailer.http://action.momsrising.org/go/1349?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=11


[1] Smart Like Daddy onesie, Spark Summit: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1350?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=13
[2] Pretty Like Mommy onesie, Spark Summit: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1350?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=15
[3] "JCPenney's 'Too Pretty for Homework' Shirt is a Steal at $9.99," from Jezebel: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1351?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=17
[4]  “JCPenney’s ‘Too Pretty To Do Homework’ Shirt Pulled,” from ABC News: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1352?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=19
[5] "Forever 21 selling 'Allergic to Algebra' shirt (Update)," from the Washington Post: http://action.momsrising.org/go/1353?akid=3014.1923995.JuImRp&t=21



1 comment:

  1. You can find Smart Like Mommy onesies on CafePress!
    http://www.cafepress.com/smartlikemommy

    ReplyDelete

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