Why should you consider Gender Neutral Clothing ?
Picture Credit - irishtimes.com
The idea that humans are either male or female is deeply ingrained in Western culture, but as research and the experiences of countless non-gender-conforming people show, sex and gender aren’t perfectly binary. So, why should our clothes be?
Who decides that kittens are for girls and tigers are for boys? There is nothing wrong with pink and princesses but there is something wrong when those are the only options for girls. Why can’t girls be scientists or astronauts. Do the lives of young kids only revolve around Disney princesses and Batman and Superman?
Babies don't escape from the gendering of children's clothes. In fact, they may have it worse.
Blue is for boys and pink is for girls and that is what most of us have been raised to believe since we were born and began to understand things. Most trips to the clothing stores are the same, where the girls are herded to one side, where they're awash in a field of pink and princesses, while the boys are sent to the other, where they're bombarded with blue and superheroes. It doesn't have to be that way.
Gender stereotyping starts before children are even born, and fashion plays a major role in that.
Ditching the labels for children’s clothing is necessary because we do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes and instead want to provide greater choice. Gender neutral clothing for kids is just another harmless step taken by fashion houses and big brands to prove that girls can like science, boys can dig kittens, and everyone can partake in all colours of the rainbow.
Picture Credit - crueltyfreekitty.com
Clothing that has colours beyond pink, no sparkles or frills, gender stereotype-busting graphics and a fit that lets girls be kids along with empowering sayings like the bestselling "be bold" are some designs that will probably let people know that girls are more than just sugar and spice. It’s high time someone let the world know that the colour PINK - It’s not just for girls anymore and boys, even men are reclaiming the colour slowly.
Although society’s “rules” regarding how male and female bodies should be dressed have relaxed over the years, they have not disappeared entirely.
The lack of opportunities for boys to step outside of the gender binary box also reinforces how society forces gender normativity on kids.
“Gender neutral” children’s apparel is sold as empowering, revolutionary, and a challenge to stereotypes — and when done right, it can be just that — but if this only means pants, muted tones, and abstract graphics, aren’t brands just repackaging boy’s clothes as clothing for all under the guise of gender neutrality? Ultimately, clothing lines marketed to all genders that don’t include colours and styles traditionally associated with femininity end up reinforcing the idea that to be masculine is to be anti- feminine — a message that’s harmful to everyone.
If we really, truly believed that girls were born to be compliant and compassionate, boys to be aggressive and dominant, we wouldn’t be scared of an item of clothing undoing all of this complex hardwiring. You wouldn’t see any need to make sure the entire world knew, at all times, whether your baby had a penis or a vagina. You’d simply trust in nature to do its thing, regardless of how anyone else saw and responded to your child.
Clothing has this interesting property that we discover as kids.
You can be a different thing - a different you every day. Gender neutral clothing is becoming a critical niche in the apparel industry, and the importance is twofold: one, retailers are recognizing that women and men need not be confined to traditional gender roles, and two, it shows that retailers are responding to a society that is accepting of those with gender fluidity.
There are a number of smaller designers and brands latching onto the unisex sector, and high fashion has responded, too. As society becomes more adjusted to the idea that gender is far more fluid and that it can be expressed via clothing, the fashion industry has responded positively too.
Thumbnail image credit - thefashionspot.com