Superbaby Revisited And Gendered Kids Stuff

Back in May, I wrote a post which makes me cringe a bit when I read it back. It reflected my concern at the time, so I guess I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it, but it does feel very narrow minded and stereotypical which was not my intention at all. I guess the fact that I can look back on it and call myself a prick shows just how little I knew at the time and how much I’ve grown since.

The post can be read here, but as a summary, it pretty much says that I was concerned about having a girl because I know nothing about, and have little interest in, dolls, Peppa Pig and princesses. It went on to hint that life with a little boy would be easier because I’d be more enamoured with the stuff that he’d be interested in, be it Power Rangers, Star Wars, WWF and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Having had time to reflect on what type of parent I want to be since Baby L came into the world, I realise that the above paragraph sounds absolutely ridiculous. Not all girls like typically girly stuff, whilst not all boys are interested in laddish stuff. A girl with a toy train is as natural as a boy with a doll.

However, companies have been guilty for far too long of gender discrimination by targeting particular toys at each sex. With little experience of babies or kids prior to the little sprog coming into the world, I can only think that these companies, along with the media, are the ones that made me so narrow minded and fail to question why a kid can’t play with whatever they want to.

The good news is that more and more people are rallying against these companies. This is all helping to raise the question as to why the exact same toy needs to be pink for girls and blue for boys, or why particular toys need to be categorised as boy or girl rather than gender neutral.

 

But I find that some people are guilty of the same thing from the opposite side. I’ve noticed that a lot of dads actively push their children into liking the things that they like and perhaps rebel against the usual boy versus girl stereotype to prove a point. It is seen to be cool to have a kid who loves LEGO or prefers to dress up as Spiderman, particularly when they are the ‘wrong’ gender for the product. I personally think that this can be as disruptive as the toy companies who are pushing pink for girls and blue for boys.

My view is pretty relaxed when it comes to Baby L’s interests as she develops. If she wants to be a princess and pretend to bake in her toy kitchen, then she can. If she wants to kick a football and play with Action Man, then she can do that too. I really don’t care as long as she is happy. I don’t plan to push the stereotype of girls like girl things on her, just as I aren’t going to make a point of rebelling against the norm. She can decide.

Anyway, back to a less serious topic. In the old post that I mentioned at the top of this one, the silver lining was that we’d bought a Superbaby outfit for Baby L – a Superman inspired babygrow with detachable cape. She’s now big enough to wear this, so I took great pleasure in putting her in it today and taking loads and loads of photos.

Superbaby Superman Baby Outfit on bed

Baby L in her Superbaby outfit and a look of steely determination as she looks to save the world (or fill her nappy).

Yes, I know that this is pink. It really has no reason to be. Creating it in pink makes it no less appealing to a kid than the blue and red version which it should be, whilst playing into the wrong stereotype that girls will only like because it is pink. However, despite this, I’ve decided that I really don’t care. The point is that it’s a cute, little novelty outfit for Baby L and that’s all I really care about!

Superbaby Flying Super Baby Superman 3

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Superbaby!

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What’s your view on gender specific clothes and toys? Do you agree, disagree or couldn’t care less? How are you ensuring that stereotypes such as these aren’t holding back or impacting your little ones?

  • Cathie B

    Great post. I know what you mean. My brother was exactly the same and although the gorgeous Baby Ace loves things like Frozen, she’s also rather inclined to get involved in the wrestling, camping and NERF gun battles which the boys in our family frequently take part in……. #sharewithme from http://www.wickedworldoflucas.co.uk

    • Thanks Cathie. Yeah, just goes to show that a kid can just be a kid and enjoy what they want without worrying about stereotypes – like a lot of situations, I think it’s actually the parents that cause the hassle! 🙂

  • kidGLloves

    Grace says – I’m a girl but I’ve just asked Father Christmas for a NERF gun. I love toys like that.
    Lucas says – You are quite cool…… for a girl!!! #sharewithme

  • Let’s Talk Mommy

    Her outfit really is absolutely amazing. I think they should just make everythign multi colored for EVERYTHING then no one can complain. Let’s just make everything in rainbow. hahaha Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me and for all the amazing linky support in 2014! I can’t thank you enough. Happy Holidays! #sharewithme

    • Good idea! Although if everything was rainbow, people would probably still complain by saying something like we are making our kids gay for adopting the LGBT flag. No probs and thanks for the awesome linky during the year 🙂

  • Susanne Remic

    You know what? My almost 3 year old LOVES pink and sparkly girl things (my eldest daughter never did) and I have no problem at all with that. I’ve been told I should ban the glitter and introduce her to more boyish toys (she has a brother so plays with that stuff anyway, and her brother plays with her stuff too) but I refuse to change her. If I ban pink then I am quashing her personality. So I honestly don’t mind the pink stuff and my kids see pink and blue as nothing more than colours. Plus that outfit is SO cute! x x

    • That sounds like a really healthy attitude. A colour is a colour. So what. Quashing kids’ personalities and putting our own prejudices on things is quite short minded I think. Let kids be kids and let them do what they want (within reason obviously!)

  • Fiona Chick

    I really like how you reflected on your previous, possibly naive post. The media has a lot to answer for, leading us to be brain-washed into the belief that girls are excluded from steam engines and boys must not wear pink. I was lucky enough to have been treated very gender neutrally by my dad, who just showed me stuff that he liked when he was a kid (buses, trains, guitars, smashing pebbles in the garden)… If I had daughters, I’d like to think that I would have been just as enthusiastic about these things as I am about them with my sons. Striving to be balanced, I encourage them to explore whatever interests that take them, even if it is dolls, kitchens and Polly Pocket. I also love them wearing pink as well as everything else. The main thing is they’re enjoying themselves and are happy. I really enjoyed reading this post, and seeing your evolution in thought. (Sorry for verbose comment). 🙂