I can’t quite explain how angry it makes me going shopping for clothes for Baby Girl. I mean, what on earth is wrong with the world? War, genocide, natural disasters, contagious diseases and premature deaths aside.
Quite obviously, I hate clothes shopping. I hate all shopping. The idea of an afternoon shopping makes me go all clammy.
Hot, sweaty shops, people, money changing hands for fabrics.
I’d much prefer a cup of tea and Storage Wars on repeat. But, I digress.
This week, I realised that Baby Girl owns no long sleeve items of clothing at all. So, being the very attentive mother that I am, I decided that I should buy her some. Also, being the very frugal (ok, tight), mother that I am, I thought a maximum of £10 for 3 or so tops would be a reasonable amount to pay for the 9-12month size range.
I did an internet search first. What I ideally wanted was something like this:
You know, bright, colourful, something that doesn’t scream, “I’M A GIRL AND I LIKE KITTENS WITH BOWS ON THEIR EARS” or “I’M A BOY AND GOD DAMN IT I KNOW A HUGE AMOUNT ABOUT TRACTORS”.
Unfortunately the top above, is from Maxomorra (http://www.maxomorra.com/index.php?lang=en) and whilst their clothing is EXACTLY what I want in terms of colour and style, this one top alone retails from between £14.99 and £20. The same is true of a number of the Scandinavian retailers who seem to produce the most sensible ranges of children’s clothing.
And again, I’m a tight arse. £45 on 3 baby tops would immediately render me unable to remember my pin number. And probably my name.
So, WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY, OH WHY, can the Swedish dress their children but the UK seems to insist on categorising children into pre-defined genders? This isn’t a rant against pink or blue – these are both perfectly respectable colours. On either gender. BUT WE NEED VARIETY. We need colour. We need not to segregate colours into genders.
Christ almighty, we need some vision people.
I managed to go into Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Next, H&M and Matalan (not all this weekend – that would have made me gibber). Not a mean feat for someone who hasn’t bought a new item of clothing for herself for over 3 years.
I summarise my findings below.
2. Light Purple
5. Butterflies / Kittens (with bows on their heads)
6. Some yellow and maybe red (usually accompanied by a kitten)
1. Blue / Light Blue / Bold Colours
5. Farm / Zoo Animals
THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. It’s like someone came down and removed a great proportion of the UK’s collective brain and said, tell you what, that baby over there – it has a bright green top on, HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS, WITH NO IDENTIFICATIONAL KITTEN OR DINOSAUR, WE MUST SEIZE IT, ESTABLISH ITS SEX, AND ASSIGN IT IMMEDIATELY EITHER A BIG BLUE TRACTOR OR A COLLECTION OF YELLOW FLOWERS.
Another difference I have found between girls and boys tops is that a girls top must have a slight ruffle where the sleeve joins the shoulder. This applies even if it’s a plain t-shirt (in pink or purple obviously). Because nothing says ‘I’VE GOT A FANNY IN MY PANTS’ like a small ruffle on the shoulder. Being the boy-girl that I am, I thought the t-shirt had been put together incorrectly when I first saw this. Then I realised. It’s an adornment.
In case you were unaware, having a vagina means that any clothing you buy must have some sort of adornment. A bow perhaps, maybe a flower, a ruffle at the shoulder, a small lacy hem. This is because, dear reader, females are not, of themselves, good enough as they are. To be a female in this country, you must add to yourself. You must wear jewelry, make-up, a bow on your top, a flower in your hair, paint your nails, enhance your boobs, inject your face with poison, and if we start them young enough, they’ll all grow up knowing it.
For as we all know, girls MUST BE PRETTY, and boys MUST BE TOUGH. It is the way of things.
I can only hope Baby Girl grows up to realise that there is no need to wear anything apart from clothes she likes. And that what she likes should be dictated by no-one but herself. Not the “boys” department nor the “girls” department. I do realise how difficult this is with gender brainwashing starting at birth. But I can hope. And pray. And then probably jump off a motorway bridge when she comes home at 4 with a Disney Frozen Princess Dress on her little gingery body.
And I know that this load of bollocks on a stick is perpetuated because those designing the clothes in these shops (and the parents buying) grew up within these same confines and they sadly lack the vision to have a “Children’s Clothes” department with everything all together, the kittens, the lions, the butterflies and the dinosaurs.
I mean, how on earth would parents know what to buy if there wasn’t a sign saying “‘boys” and a sign saying “girls”? To be honest, I do sadly suspect that many would wander around, looking lost and pining for “I’m a cheeky chappy” and “Mummy’s special princess” tops. Then again, these are probably the same people that put baby headbands on their daughters so if natural selection was working correctly, it would have already weeded them out of the gene pool. Let them wander, I say.
So please, please, please, lovely retailers, let’s have some nice, colourful, children’s clothing. PLEASE.