Monday, September 16, 2013

On Femininity

I think I'm a Kohl's-aholic.  Every couple of weeks I get a 20% off coupon in my email...and that just so happens to coincide with a weekend when they give Kohl's Cash for spending a certain then I go back the next week to spend the Kohl's Cash...

But it's not my closet that's filling up.  Sure, every now and then I pick up something for Mr. Geek or for the kitchen, but for the most part, I'm raiding the already-discounted racks of Carter's baby clothes for Chief, who has quite the impressive wardrobe building up.

Something I've noticed in my (many) trips to Kohl's is the ridiculous difference between what's labeled as "boy" clothing and what's labeled as "girl" clothing.  Mr. Geek and I tend to be drawn to things with animals on them because what's cuter than pajamas with frogs on the feet?  Only I've noticed that some of the cutest animal-themed clothing hangs on racks labeled "boys."

I'm sorry, but why should pajamas with tiny turtles on them be reserved for boys?  Because they're blue?

I just can't with the cute.  Ohmygoodness.  But seriously- why is this considered only boy clothing?

This is the one that bugged me the most.  There was a display with animal hoodies on either side- one side for girls (panda bears with pink bows) and one side for boys, where I found this lion.  Why do they have to label them at all?

Clearly there's nothing stopping me from buying so-called boy clothes for my baby girl- all the baby clothes are in one compact place and at least some of the outfits are free from slogans involving "little guy" (but many of them do say such things).  It's frustrating, though, that if I want to give my little girl something in a color other than pink, I have to turn to the boys' section.  That frustration drove me on a boycott of sorts against girl clothes- on a couple of shopping trips I grabbed things exclusively from the boy racks.  I read a ton of articles on how you shouldn't tell a little girl she's pretty- you should emphasize everything other than her looks.  I started using the word "gender-neutral" to describe everything I want our daughter to come in contact with- toys, clothes, nursery decor...I had become hostile to the color pink.  I decided that if something was pink or purple it was somehow insulting to my baby girl- that to have her wear it would be labeling her as less than a little boy wearing blue or green.

But then isn't that going overboard, too?  I mean honestly, would there be anything wrong with Chief wearing this?

Should I really prevent her from wearing dresses?  Will looking too much like a girl be a disadvantage to her?

Is it sad that it's very hard to find sports team memorabilia for girls in the actual team colors, as opposed to pink?  Yes.  Do I want Chief to play with LEGOs and building sets?  Yes, but I also want her to play with dolls.  Do I ever want Chief to have to downplay her femininity in favor of a more "gender-neutral" attitude on life?  Absolutely not.

So our Chief will come home to a space-themed nursery with blue walls and Star Wars posters.  She'll wear tiny pink tennis shoes and leggings with ruffles on the butt.  And if every adult in her life buys her pink onesies that say "Daddy's Girl" it's not the end of the world.

So what's your opinion on pink?  (And yes, this post was partially an excuse to post photos of cute baby clothes...)

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*


  1. I didn't buy a single pink thing... and then I got all of my sister's stored baby clothes, and there was pink, and it was pretty cute. And then Matt did his first baby clothes shopping excursion, which started promisingly with a robot t-shirt and a onesie covered in guitars... but then he saw the pink! glittery! superhero shirts!!!

    Looking at her closet now there's a lot more pink than I probably would have picked out on my own, but that's okay. I don't wear pink myself, but it's just another colour. I still pick and choose from both sections of the store, like you do, and some of my favourite stuff is from the 'boy' racks.

    1. Mr. Geek is WAY more excited about baby clothes than either of us expected him to be. I think his favorite thing in her closet so far is that lion hoodie, but he also goes nuts over teeny tiny dainty shoes with glitter and bows. I mean, I do too- I'm obsessed with shoes in general- but I keep trying to remind him (and me) that she won't need shoes before she can walk, she'll only lose them...

      This post wasn't nearly as eloquent as I imagined, but basically I figure raising a kid is all about balance, and this is one of the things to balance.

  2. Honestly....I love little baby dresses. And baby jeans and baby converse sneakers... :P I think femininity is a blessing, and I don't think there's much to be gained in raising a little girl to be so gender-neutral that she can't enjoy girly stuff if she want to. I don't wear much true pink--but I revel in wearing bright fuchsia and purple....and my first word was tractor. I don't think my preference for girly clothes has given me any disadvantage in life. :)

    1. I completely agree with you, Rachel. I've always been a rather girlie-girl, a ballet dancer, and my bedroom was pink growing up- but now I've got an engineering degree and work in a male-dominated field. I hope I can emphasize to Chief to be *herself*, whether that be in jeans or in dresses.