Eight Year Old Blasts Gender Stereotypes
by 22paris on November 4, 2016 - 2:36pm
What exactly comes to mind when you hear the words and phrases: “Think outside the box,” “hero,” “let’s explore” and “desert adventure awaits?” Most would answer that question with words such as, daring, creative, courageous, etc. These phrases were displayed boldly on t-shirts within the boys’ section of a clothing store, symbolizing the world’s image of the stereotypical boy. An eight year old girl from the U.K. realized something was wrong when she traveled from that section of clothing to the girls’.
Daisy Edmonds expressed to her mother her concern of gender stereotyping within the store, as her mother recorded the eight year old on her phone. Unlike the messages on the t-shirts described above, the phrases on the girls’ section included things such as “I feel fabulous,” “hey,” and “beautiful.” The little girl could not understand why the shirts in the boy section were inspiring, whereas the clothing for girls was not. Edmond says within the video, “It’s unfair because everyone thinks that girls should just be pretty, and boys should just be adventurous... Why should boys and girls clothes even be separated? Because we’re just as good as each other.” The girl then goes on to explain that the clothing gives boys a message to follow their dreams, whereas the clothing within the girls’ aisle is simply pink and uninspiring. Edmonds later on in the video chooses to buy a “boy’s shirt” in her favorite color (green) and scatters some of the shirts with inspiring messages into the girls’ section. The mother of Edmonds has since posted the video to Facebook, where it has gone viral.
Although many would see this idea of an eight year old expressing her opinion on gender stereotyping as shocking for her age, it actually is a normal thing. According to TrueChild Institute, “children become aware of gender and ethnic stereotypes around 3 years old, and they begin internalizing them as early as kindergarten.” As I watched the video regarding the clothing, it was outrageous to me that a child could see what was wrong with the underlying message within the retail, but adults could not. Retailers put these products on the shelves, without even thinking about the gender stereotypes that are as clear as day on their products. When I was a child, I was considered the stereotypical girly-girl. I loved pink, Barbies, glitter, etc. I now question if that was my own opinion, or was that overall idea something my parents unintentionally inflicted upon their one daughter. I personally am not a parent, but I find myself pondering about what the future will be like when I do have children. I have always envisioned putting my daughter in pageants and my future son in basketball, but I see now that maybe that idea is wrong. As a parent you have to ask yourself, “Am I tuning into my own biases? Or do they actually want to do this sport, or have this toy?” The solution to this overall problem is pretty simple. We have to reinforce behaviors that shatter stereotypes, because as Edmonds stated, “(children) are just as good as each other.” That is regardless of their gender, favorite color, or the clothes they wear.
Feldman, Jamie. "Watch This Little Girl Destroy Gender Stereotypes In Clothing." The Huffington Post, 4 Oct. 2016,
"TrueChild: Myths & Facts." TrueChild: Let Every Child Shine, www.truechild.org/PageDisplay.asp?p1=6211.