Gender stereotypes are still alive and well in the fashion business, despite some progress. While adults have more alternatives for unisex — or neutral — collections these days, children continue to face the same stereotypes. According to a new study conducted in Germany, children’s apparel is still encouraging gender stereotypes. We investigate. Anyone who visits a high-street store or a supermarket’s clothing area will notice that children’s apparel is not sold in a single section. The areas for males and girls are clearly separated. If there is an upside, it is that it is difficult to confuse these two portions, with the girls’ area generally characterised by an explosion of pink and the boys’ area by a wave of blue. Upon looking at the colors of children’s clothes, it is clear that blue dominates among boys’ clothing, all brands included, while pink rules among girls’ clothes. We can therefore check the box “proven’ for this old cliché that we hoped had gone out of date. The conclusions of the survey go even further: “almost every second shirt for girls is pink. This picture is most extreme in H&M’s collection,” says the data analyst.
While girls and boys have long — if not always — shared interests, the prints intended to add a playful touch to children’s clothing demonstrate that the gender divide is deeper than it appears — and that stereotypes about each gender’s preferences and qualities are difficult to dispel. The most commonly used terms for girls are “love,” “girl,” “sunshine,” “smile,” “dream,” and “dreamer.” On the boys’ side, we see phrases like “aloha,” “wave,” “exploration,” “speed,” “coast,” and “crew” that are associated to adventure or sport, with an emphasis on surfing. Two completely distinct environments. In addition to clearly separating genders, children’s attire promotes preconceptions that have no justification.
Last but not least, consider the length of your clothing. Although it may be logical that boys and girls under the age of ten should have equal access to the same cuts and forms of shirts and shorts, this is not the case in practise. In fact, it’s the opposite! ” Thousands of shorts for kids from H&M, Zalando, and About You were stacked and compared. The length difference is obvious: a pair of 30cm-wide shorts for girls is six cm shorter than males’ trousers. Despite the fact that at this age, children’s bodies scarcely differ. Boys are slightly taller and heavier, but they can just get the following size up. It is simply the case that females’ trousers are tighter and shorter.