I am aware that the Boy Wonder name could be wrongly seen to be reinforcing gender stereotypes so I wanted to write about my position on this subject.
My son watched the BBC’s documentary ‘No More Boys & Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?’ with me and was incredulous at the suggestion that girls were not as good as boys and that boys can’t express their emotions. While this made me feel that I am possibly getting something right as a parent, I am also aware he’s not your average ‘boy’s boy’. For example some of the books he has recently enjoyed are ‘My Adorable Kitten’ & ‘The Boy in the Dress’! I have always tried to encourage these traits, which are seen to be more feminine, as a way to counteract any overtly male stereotypes he may be exposed to.
However, I do worry that he could face some ridicule for his softer side by his peers as he gets older. In my opinion, gentler sensibilities in boys should be nurtured to create loving and empathic adults and how we treat and dress our children is all part and parcel of this. I do want my boy to grow up believing in himself, but also believing in others equally too, regardless of gender.
‘Let Clothes be Clothes’ are a campaign group challenging gender disparity in clothing. They highlight the many products in stores such as Asda, Gap, Tesco & Mothercare that are not gender equal. So I believe John Lewis’s decision to remove gender specific labelling from their own brand clothes is a big step in the right direction. ‘Girl’ and ‘Boy’ sections are being removed from their stores and they have also launched a gender neutral range. Hopefully other major retailers will follow their lead.
The Boy Wonder brand was created to offer more choice to parents of boys amongst the vast array of girlswear. For me, the brand is not about defining gender, but celebrating individuality because every boy is different! The collections will not have the stereotypical ‘boy’ colours of black, navy and brown nor will they be covered in tractors, dinosaurs or cars. The garments will be unisex in style and shape and will look equally as good on girls as boys. I want to see more boys wearing bright colours including pink (which needs to be reclaimed from the princess squad!) and not looking like mini men but the beautiful children that they are. I hope you will join me in helping this happen!
Some of the brands that I love to champion on social media are gender neutral and all the better for it. My pick of the best are shown below.
#unisex #genderneutral #boyslovepink