A Gripe on Baby Clothes

I love looking at baby clothes. I could browse baby clothes all day.

The browsing starts easily enough. I click on the outfits I think are cute and pass over those that are too pink, too frilly or just too expensive.

I’ve long given up on trying to make her a mini-me; apparently deep, rich, earthtones aren’t made for little ones. Rather, the wardrobe of a modern child is apparently full of pastels and bright colored outfits, intermingled with lots of animals and cupcake prints. But I get it. They’re kids. They can pull off the pastels, bright colors and prints of candy and cupcakes — all the while looking damn cute! ‘Nuff said.

I’m a huge online shopper. Huge. If I can get it online without visiting a store, chances are I’ll make the purchase from the comfort of my chair. And I really love the feature that lets you change the color or print of an item to see what other options there might be.

I do not, however, love this feature when it comes to children’s clothes.

Today, for instance, I clicked on an inexpensive but colorful set of onesies that had the “More Colors” box next to the description. After clicking on the link, I hovered over the picture so I could read what the onesies actually said.

The blue onesies said “Workin’ Hard” and was embellished with had pictures of pickup trucks and handsaws.

The pink onesies said “Tea for Two” and were embellished with teapots and hearts.


Putting aside the obvious blue is for boys/pink is for girls cliche that we’ve been trying to avoid, these onesies took the boy/girl dichotomy one step further. And sadly, it’s a step that I’ve seen taken more than once.

The boys’ onesies suggest an action; a child who is doing something — working hard. Perhaps toward a career in engineering?

The girls’ onesies suggest… teatime? For two? With hearts?

There is no action for the girls; only a reference to a particular time of day where people are known to take a break or socialize. The “for two” implies that this bubbling baby girl would be more interested in the latter. And it suggests a lack of independence. After all, what fun is there in tea for one?

C’mon people. Seriously? Have we learned nothing from Goldie Blox.? Have we learned nothing from hard-working women around the world who don’t have tea for two, and instead are paving the way for future women, forging their way through the workplace?

… and then I quit looking at baby clothes.

I don’t necessarily believe that one “Tea for Two” shirt is going to ruin my child. But it irks me just the same.

I’ve done a lot of reading on how marketers sell their products to children and it is my personal belief that young girls are predisposed to choosing pink or purple as their favorite colors.

Sidenote: I am very anti-Lego since their marketing strategy is precisely the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Fortunately, I have the freedom as a consumer to buy whatever I want for my child.

I’m sure she will wear pink. And I’m sure she will have a cupcake on at least one tshirt in her childhood.

But she will also have the sleepsack that has a rocket ship at the neckline. She will have blue, nautical-themed tshirts that suggest movement and athleticism. She will rock the Marvel onesie her father bought her that proves her acceptance to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

As for my part, I will continue to rock the rich earthtones and preach gender equality for my child.