It Is Not So Pink And Blue: Stereotypes In Gifting

We are living in a society that is working extremely hard to end gender stereotypes and close the pay gap, yet we are the same society that supports pink gifts for girls and blue gifting for boys. This is an idea that is engraved in children’s minds from the second they are born. Literally. From the moment a child is born, they are put in pink or blue little outfits. Although extremely cute, it is the very beginning of gender identity imposition. But babies are boxed and categorized under gender roles before taking their first breath. This has been spread through the popularization of baby showers and gender reveals. The entire world finds out who they are supposed to be before they do.

 

 

A walk down a department store toy aisle will prove the clear gender divide I am talking about: princesses and dolls for the girls, superheroes and vehicles for the boys. This holiday season has proven no different. Markets continue to impose their sexist beliefs on children who have yet to understand gender roles. As shown, we continue to engrave in girls that their full potential is in the kitchen, representing their need to be calm and delicate, while we push boys for futures in STEM.

 

 

You Are What You Wear

The problem is not only with toys, but it has unfortunately spread to literally everything around us. The easiest and most common form of gender stereotyping is through clothes, whether directly or indirectly. If you are not convinced, stand in the middle of the children’s aisle. On one side, boys have symbols of cars, animals, where the girls are being told to be princesses, daddy’s little girl, anything but symbols of strength, but rather symbols of dependence. 

 

 

Stereotypes are Age-blind 

The real problem with gender stereotype gifting is not the fact itself, but the fact that this becomes a life-long tradition carried out through adulthood. Just because we have grown up with these stereotypes being engraved in our identity, it does not mean it is too late to break them. With Christmas just around the corner and last-minute shopping happening, it is the perfect season to fall for gender-stereotypical gifting. However, it is important to point out that although a lot more obvious in children, stereotypical gifting is carried out through adulthood. When buying gifts for your mom, sister, grandmother, aunts and all-female acquaintances, I challenge you to gift outside of the stereotypical jewelry, makeup or kitchen accessories. When shopping for your dad, brothers, uncles and male acquaintances, I challenge you to step outside of the typical sports, tools or car-related gifts. 

 

 

--

Edited by Sydney Keener