Gymboree’s Gender Gaffe
Kids clothing retailer Gymboree recently came under fire by activist moms for selling onesies that say, “Smart Like Dad,” without also selling onesies that say “Smart Like Mom.” Instead, the equivalent onesie for girls says, “Pretty Like Mommy.” In isolation, none of these messages are bad, but they reflect a decidedly sexist attitude toward gender: if you’re a girl, then it doesn’t matter if you’re smart (just make sure that you’re pretty!). Although it’s true that we’re all getting worked up about baby clothes, these kinds of messages have real consequences for children as they grow up. This kind of messaging about gender roles is why generations of fathers have been uncomfortable experiencing and expressing their emotions and why many women gravitate toward education and career paths that are less math-intensive.
Remember those angry mommies that I mentioned before? Well, it’s not the 1960’s and this is not an episode of Mad Men, so they started a campaign to give Gymboree a piece of their mind. The result? Gymboree pulled the clothes from both physical and online stores.
Let’s face it. Everyone likes to stick their kids in clothes that say cute things. But it’s best for everyone if we stick to neutral messages like “Bananas over mommy” (appropriately accompanied by happy baby monkeys) or Un-BEAR-ably cute” (with, you guessed it, bears).
Note: For their organization in giving Gymboree the business, the sauce goes to…