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Sexist Shirts are so Last Year

We are always told, “listen to your elders,” but a new viral video is proving that we should be listening to eight year olds too. This video was posted by Viral Thread to Facebook. It follows a young girl who is shopping with a woman who is assumed to be her mother. After noticing the stark differences between the messages printed on the boys and girls graphic T-shirts, the girl decided to take a stand and express her opinions. “Well,” she said, “the girl’s clothes say, ‘Hey beautiful,’ [and] ‘I feel fabulous.’ The boy’s [shirts say] ‘desert adventure awaits,’ ‘think outside the box,’ [and] ‘hero.’ It’s unfair because everyone thinks that girls should just be pretty and boys should just be adventurous.” “Look,” she continued, “boys get ‘think outside the box,’ which means [to] be adventurous and [to] go for your dreams, you know. And ‘hey,’” she said, walking back over to the girl’s clothing, “what does that mean? What does it inspire you to do?” For years, the differences between girls and boys children clothing have been extremely apparent. While shirts for boys have inspiring messages about being strong and adventurous, the shirts for girls usually spread messages of beauty or the importance of “sassiness.” At one point in the video, the girl says, “I think [it’s] wrong because, why should boys and girls clothes even be separated? Because we’re just as good as each other.” While it is true that girls are just as good as boys, it is problematic to believe that the only solution to this problem is to make children’s clothing strictly gender neutral. One critic commented on this video, saying, “No one is forcing anyone to wear anything. [If] you like the hero shirt, then buy it in your size! Stop nitpicking at everything and making an issue out of it. Most little girls love all things pink and glitter.” While it is definitely true that there are some little girls that love pink and glitter, it is also true that not all girls do, and while no one is literally forcing them to wear these clothes, the fact that most of the clothing for sale is marketed to reinforce these problematic gender stereotypes leaves many young girls with no choice. And while, yes, they could purchase the boy’s clothing, the point is that they should not have to. Everyone knows that girls have just as much strength and value as their male counterparts, but it is time the clothing marketed towards them shows just that. We are not saying that there should be a ban on all shirts reading, “I feel fabulous.” We are saying that there should be more shirts marketed towards girls that say things like, Raise the Bar,” and “No Limits.

Featured Image by Orin Zebest on Flickr

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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