Stereotyped Clothing

Snarky t-shirts or play-on-words commentary clothing is nothing new. In fact, I think I may have even worn a button or two in my teen years with a less-than-polite statement. I haven’t really given it much thought with regards to my daughter’s clothing because its not something that I have encountered yet; well, until now.


A brief aside. . . I am, first of all, so grateful for the numerous hand-me-downs that have kept the girls clothed so far. With such generous family and friends looking out for our fledgling family, the savings on clothes that the girls outgrow in just a few months is so appreciated. It is from this place of gratitude that I fill their drawers and closet with clothes that are just right for the weather and their size.


I have no idea whose hand-me-down play suit Moon was wearing, but I do remember choosing it because it looked comfy and warm enough for playing in on a windy day. I threw a sweater over it and off to the park we went. So, it wasn’t until I was nursing Moon back at home later in the day that I looked down at her turned in arm to see her sleeve. A small decorative patch stating “Born to Shop” adorned it, with a second patch right next to it – “non-stop”.


It’s Just Clothes
Some may argue that these little sayings are only meant to be cute and are, in the end, harmless. Seven month-old infants don’t read yet, and the statement is indeed meaningless to Moon.


To that I say, I can read, and it’s not meaningless to me. To me, this declaration of purpose means that some people in society hold very low expectations of who my daughter is, can, or will be.


Rather than throw this play outfit out, I’m going to keep it in my closet as a reminder to myself for now – a reminder of the types of messages my daughters will face, and the expectations some may have of them throughout their lives. More importantly, it will be a reminder that children are born to play, to be curious, to think, and to wonder.


What do you think? Do you take notice of these kinds of messages?

2 thoughts on “Stereotyped Clothing

  1. Have you gotten a chance to read Cinderella Ate My Daughter yet? It’s going to be very relevant as a mother of two girls! I’d definitely recommend it.

    1. I appreciate the recommendation! I think we have sidestepped princess play so far by being TV free. She hasn’t yet shown much of an interest in imaginary characters so I don’t think she has encountered many in play with peers either aside from pirates.

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