I’m not what you would call a regular customer at the Gap. It isn’t personal, I’m just not a Gap kind of girl. But, I somehow ended up with a giftcard, so decided to browse online. Since all of the stores near me have closed.
Not finding anything for myself, I wandered over to the kids section. You see, the kid, she is into T-shirts. She loves going to school and showing off her new shirts. We just picked out two from Target.
Awesome shirts, by the way. One is green and reminds us that dinosaurs are people too. Another is grey and features the Japanese frog from the “Hello Kitty” line. The one I used to love, instead of Hello Kitty, when I was a kid.
Hoping to find some more graphic kids shirts along these lines, I clicked on the Gap link for their “Junk Food” T-shirts for children. (I have no clue if this is their line or a line they feature, and I don’t care enough to find out.)
Oh! Look! It’s Smurfette! Awesome! I love Smurf… wait? What is Smurfette doing?
Why is she shopping? I don’t remember a mall in Smurf Village. Hmm. Lets try the next one…
So, girls care about being popular and shopping, huh? Good to know.
By this point, I am already annoyed, but when my eyes hit this next one, My head just explodes:
SMURFS. SHOULD. NOT. EVER. HOLLA.
Not all the shirts were as horrific as these, but the contrast between the girls shirts and the boys shirts was very obvious.
The girls shirts were overwhelmingly pink, and while there were two (bright pink) Beatles shirts that didn’t completely offend me, the majority of the shirts for little girls revolved around shopping, love, and candy. Sometimes, a combination of all three:
“Have romantic relationships at five! Eat junk food! Buy our product!”
Seriously, people wonder why we are raising a bunch of vapid, self obsessed, shopaholics who aspire to be like such “role models” as Paris Hilton.
And we wonder why we have all these over-sexualized tweens running around:
For the record, The boys shirts were awesome, and I would have bought any one of them for The Kid. But by the time I got to them, I was pretty well disgusted.
Boys, apparently, get to be superheroes. They get Star Wars, Star Trek, and Batman Shirts. Their Beatles shirts aren’t fucking pink.
As a mother to three girls, when I see shit like this, I just want to cry. I mean, I know this isn’t the only, or even the worst instance of this. This happens all the time. (Have you seen Bratz dolls? And Bratz babies with thongs? Gah.)
But it’s going to continue unless we, as parent’s, and consumers, start doing something about it. Refusing to buy shit like this. See it for what it is. We should think about using our considerable power to force retailers into thinking about the message they’re trying to send our girls, instead of just slapping random cutsey crap onto shirts, dying it barbie-barf-pink, and calling it a day. It’s not innocent and harmless. Especially when it’s everywhere.
So, I propose we say “Fuck the Gap.” And anyone else who wants to keep pushing this crap on us and our girls. And boys for that matter.
I know how hard it is not to give in to this, and let our kids wear this stuff, let them learn this stuff, especially as they get older and start pushing to be like their friends, but it’s ridiculous for us to expect this to change if we don’t do something about it. We need to stop telling ourselves it doesn’t matter, that it’s just a silly little thing. That girls should only love pink and candy and shopping while boys save the world.
It matters. Pass it on.