Photo Credit: picturethisclothing.com
Remember last week when I wrote the article about how fashion toys are completely gender biased toward girls? I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out ways to give my son opportunities to promote his interest in fashion. I’ve come across a few semi-good apps on the iPod, but mostly there’s nothing.
And then I heard about a brand new company called PictureThis. With a tagline, “wear your imagination,” a child can sketch a dress, send a picture of it to the company, and they will send an actual dress that your daughter can wear. Amazing, right? I checked out the website, thinking that my son would love to design a shirt that he can wear. And then I hit a wall. At this point, they only have dresses. While they’ve said that they’re brand new, (only launched this month!), they’re looking to see how high the interest was before expanding the line.
My question is this. Why start with dresses? Why not make your line available to everyone right away and begin with dresses and t-shirts? Again, my son, who is a boy interested in fashion, (like many, many of the successful male designers of our time) is shut out of a product that is clearly geared toward girls.
Their message is sound; they want to gage interest before expanding their line. But it’s these subconscious messages that create stereotypes in our boys minds before they even have the chance to understand why. It’s the toy section in stores that even when they are not clearly marked, clearly make it known that certain toys are for girls and certain toys are for boys. It’s the options for girls to be firefighters and police officers and astronauts…opening up their world…but the blatant sexism when it comes to boys having certain interests such as art, fashion, or even music…all professions that are widely populated by men.
It’s products like these that could have easily opened up their market to everyone right away, but instead chose to limit their market to just girls.
We are all sending these, dare I say…sexist! messages to our boys. We have to stop. We’ve done so well giving little girls the opportunity to be everything they want…let’s give our boys the same chances.