On my mind... "unisex"

Our little shopping incident reminded me of an anecdote told by a friend of a friend a few months ago.

She was shopping with her three year old daughter who needed new sandals. She was pressed for time and the daughter really wanted Thomas the Tank Engine sandals. She thought to herself "do I care if she wears boys shoes? what harm will it do? do I care more about having a happy child or having a girly girl to dress up in pretty pink things?" So rather than having that particular battle she bought the Thomas shoes.

When I heard the anecdote I thought her decision was fair enough. I really couldn't see anything wrong with Thomas shoes for a girl. However, when I was placed in the same situation I couldn't bring myself to buy girls shoes for my boy.

On the same shopping trip the Little Person made a beeline for a coral hoodie. I wondered if it was too feminine, but it was in the boys section so I got it for him. When he wore it for the first time I was still a little uncomfortable with it, but he was very proud. 

It made me think of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's daughter Shiloh who likes to wear boys clothes. Again, I don't see any problem with that. She should wear what makes her happy and I think its great her parents embrace that.

Am I a total hypocrite? Or is it a societal thing that its acceptable for girls to push the gender boundaries, but not boys?


NK said...

for some reason I feel more comfortable with a girl in boy's clothes than the other way around! Speaking of this, past weekend went shopping for Baby C and got half her clothes in the boys' section. I mean, there were no practical fall/winter girl clothes. Period.
And to your last post - the Ecco shoes are blue with a little bit of red. They are technically "boys' ", but I prefer to think of them as unisex :)

Bron @ Baby Space said...

Kimma, I could not agree with you more. I think it is 100% fine for children to wear clothes meant for the other gender.Who is it hurting? Why is it wrong? There is no fundamental reason why it should be a problem.

Having said that, when my boy toddler admired a pair of fuzzy pink boots yesterday I didn't buy them for him because I knew OTHER people would comment negatively.

I went on to buy him shoes from the girls' section that were a neutral khaki colour.

I actually have strong opinions about this...but they are much too much to put in a post comment! LOL!

Bron @ Baby Space said...

Actually upon rereading your post I understand that the comment you're making is that it is more acceptable for girls to wear boys things that the other way around?

I agree this is a societal thing and I tend to believe that it is based on strong, persistent underlying attitudes that still favour a traditionally male way of being but consider a traditionally female way of being to be less-than or shameful.

Why is it ok for women to wear pants like a man, but not for men to wear a skirt? They would sadly be laughed at. And make-up. It's ok for women NOT to wear make-up like a man but if a man wears make-up...

Ok, so...turns out I couldn't help myself! Hope you don't mind my little rant too much. It's not meant to offend at all.

Have a great weekend and thanks for bringing up this interesting topic :)

Kim@Living with Little People said...

Thanks for your comments Bron. You're spot on in what you've said - it is all about the fear of being judged by others. His daddy is definitely metro-sexual with his "man bag" and a counter full of skin lotions. He is jokingly referred to as Princess and BGV (big gay V__) by his mates which he takes in good humour but it wears thin after a while.

I think that attitudes are slowly changing, though. I have friends whose teenage sons shop the girls section for skinny jeans and it is very common in our area for boys to shave their legs.

Hopefully by the time the Little Person hits puberty his choices (whatever they may be) will be accepted without question.

Bron @ Baby Space said...

Hear, hear! Let's hope so :)

Have a great weekend!