"Oh. she's soo gender neutral" says parent of girl climbing a tree. 'Really?' (my pal says) maybe she's just a girl who likes climbing trees'. ... World. Gone. Mad. Why can't you be a girl that makes mud pies in the garden in a pretty dress, or a boy who likes a bubble bath after his rugby match? The uber trend for gender neutral parenting can sometimes seem ridiculas. Can't our kids just be girls and boys with wide and varied interests, talents and tastes, do we need to start labelling them gender neutral?
The retail industry has very much made up their mind as to how our children should think, feel and behave based on their gender. The majority of the girls loot seems to be sugary pink with an emphasis on kittens, ponies and unicorns. The boys on the other hand get vehicles, dinosaurs and sometimes some rather macho slogans, apparently all boys and girls love these things... At the other end of the spectrum we have the teeny tiny gender neutral selection; mainly beige, yellow, brown, cream and nondescript. After some extensive market research (chin-wagging in the playground) I think what parents really want out there, is more choice for our children. C'mon retail land give us a pink T-rex, a skateboarding unicorn or sparkly digger, I dare you!
I may be wrong but it seems that within the girls retail section there seems to be a greater range these days. Whether this or not this is just a bigger selection of the sugary stuff I don't know. However on my last high street shopping spree, I was phenomenally underwhelmed by the khaki, grey and heavily branded micro- range for the chaps. For me colour is a wonderful, joyful thing. Why would we deny our boys this? Lets face it, life can be grim enough sometimes.
I know that this is a very first-world rant and I am grateful that my boys are warm and loved. But for those of you seeking fabulous and vibrant threads for your kids, check out the brands below. They are small independents leading the way in fun clothes for all.
Stay colourful this January.
PS Check out Poppy and Honesty new zingy kids range coming soon.