I love to rant, because I’m incredibly opinionated and there are a whole bunch of things that piss me off. I don’t have any plans to get overly political on this blog, so for the moment I shall stick to the social stuff. And for my first subject, the magnificently awful way the images of girls and boys are colour-coded
I really, really hate the whole blue/pink thing. I hate that there is so much stuff for kids which is made in two versions, a blue and a pink. I hate that so many girl’s clothes are in pastels with pictures of princesses on them, and the boys get the superheros and monster trucks. I hate that kids’ clothes are separated into the sexes at all.
Now before you assume I’m one of these crazy people that think children should be raised gender-neutral, I don’t think that at all. In fact I think it’s crazy. But I don’t think that their stuff should be divided because their tastes vary so much. I don’t think it’s fair or kind of a girl to have to search for a Batman t-shirt in the ‘boy’ section, or a boy who might quite like to rock a unicorn design has to go to a separate section essentially labelled ‘not for you’.
Bollocks to that.
Anyway, these arguments have been rehearsed endlessly by much better and more thoughtful writers than I, so I’m going to get to the specific thing I wanted to rant about.
I follow a couple of cool organizations on Facebook, Pink Stinks and Let Toys Be Toys. And I saw they had posted a link to the following site:
You can check out their site yourself, but until you do, I’ll tell you what they sell.
High-heeled soft shoes. For babies age 0 – 6 months. Yes, high heels for actual babies.
OK, got my voice back now. So seriously, what the hell is that? Where do I begin with how astoundingly awful and inappropriate these are?
According to the site, they are aimed at moms who love to dress up their baby in bows and cute outfits. OK, well my personal taste does not run that way. When my daughter was a baby she was dressed in babygros and basic tops and leggings. She looked cute, but not ‘cute’. And I never put a damn bow on her because she hardly had any hair and she’s not a lapdog and I didn’t give a shit that some people thought she was a boy because I didn’t dress her in a pink tutu. I can understand that some people might like to make their kid look like a doll. OK, I can’t understand why in the slightest, but some people do. But what in holy hell would ever inspire a woman with the most revoltingly beruffled and beribboned baby that high heels, an item of clothing which has seriously adult connotations, would be appropriate for their baby?
Some examples of of the Pee Wee Pumps products:
‘Wild Child’ (leopard print with red lining); ‘Sassy’ (red with leopard print lining); ‘Swanky’ (zebra pattern with pink lining); and ‘Diva’ (black satin with white-spotted lining).
Perhaps it’s just me, but ‘sassy’ and ‘diva’ are words I would hope never to be associated with an infant. For a creature that shits its pants on a regular basis, ‘swanky’ seems inappropriate. And as for ‘Wild Child’, do they want their kid to be emulating the adolescent Drew Barrymore before she even hits preschool?
I know, how about cosmetics for little kids? Bras? Thongs?
Oh wait, you can get those things already. So I guess this is the logical progression of children imitating adults.
It’s remarkable, given society’s obsession with the sexualization of children, that anyone could come up with this concept, and then think it was a great idea. It’s even more remarkable that people buy these things. ‘Glamour’ is such an adult notion, and heavily tied into human sexuality and adulthood. Women wear high heels because they make them walk with a wiggle, lengthen their legs, and they feel they add to their attractiveness. They like makeup to make their features stand out and to make them feel like they look nicer. This is totally fine, because, you know, they’re adults. They like to look nice.
(I almost never wear high heels because I find them horribly uncomfortable, I can’t walk very well in them, they hurt my feet, and they would look dumb with the kind of clothes I usually wear.)
But my god, a baby has no concept of itself in that way (or at that age at all). For parents (or more likely mothers) to project their own aesthetic desires onto their children like this is disturbing. Your kid is not an accessory, and your self-image should not require you to treat her like a doll. It certainly says something about the egos of some mothers. Maybe they didn’t have enough Barbies as a kid. Or maybe they had too many.