These little folks to the left are pretty cute, I you ask me. At first glance, the swimwear and sunwear this crew is wearing is adorable. Totally stuff I would buy for my own kids, which is why I get the One Step Ahead catalog because I have purchased from them several times before. They have some really cool, unique stuff for families.
When I look at this and the other photos below, I notice that something is missing.
What is missing from these pictures out of the One Step Ahead catalog is important.
For a day at the beach, the boys get sea turtles and whimsical fish. That makes sense.
The girls get daisies and monkeys. Huh? Daisies don’t grow at the beach. I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally associate monkeys with beach fun. Where are the turtles and fish for girls? Or sea horses and starfish and whales? Not even a smiley sun?
The clothing is age appropriate and cute. Cute! But we need to look past the cute, and look at the big picture. What is the message we get for girls? That even at the beach, a place for kids to romp and tromp and splash and run and dig and play, girls are meant to sit and look sweet and pretty. Look! Tutus! For the beach!
The boys, on the other hand, get sea creatures and pick up things from nature and run around! Rascals!
Even on the swim floaties, girls get ruffles and palm fronds, boys get BIG. CHOMPING. SHARKS.
(Click to enlarge these, I know they are tiny.)
The girl monkey is a close up of her face, with hearts on her smile and a flower in her hair. Look how sweet and pretty she is. Oh, nevermind that she doesn’t have a full body and we’re just focused on her face.
The boy monkey? He surfs! Always catching a wave, that Boy Monkey! Side by side, the difference is an important one.
Girls = look sweet and pretty. Boys = sporty and action packed.
There is no surfing choice for girls. There is no close up of a boy’s face. Why? Because we look at girls, but we watch boys go through the world.
The difference, what is missing for girls, the focus on sweetness and prettiness….All of it matters. The difference is an important one.