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Smart Like Daddy/Pretty Like Mommy

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That’s what the Gymboree onesies say. Sheesh.

Did Gymboree learn nothing from JCPenney or Forever 21?

The iconic children’s clothing retailer has come under fire for selling onesies emblazoned with “Smart Like Dad” for boys, and “Pretty Like Mommy” for girls. There were no “Smart Like Mommy” outfits in sight.

The discussion over how our society stereotypes boys and girls is anything but new. While Gymboree is the latest company to print shirts with ill thought out messages, they are messages kids hear often. HuffPost blogger Lisa Bloom wrote  about our collective instinct to compliment little girls on their looks, rather than their brains: “Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that their looks are more important than anything.”

Now most girls are smart enough to know what they want to be – whether it’s beautiful, athletic, intelligent, strong or any  combination. But to stereotype these – or any – values as gender specific is just plain wrong.  We are acutely aware that being pretty and tough aren’t mutually exclusive the same way that being pretty and smart can be complementary traits.

Uproar about the apparel has led to two separate petitions, on MomRising.org and Change.org. Both groups ask Gymboree to remove the items and stop selling clothing that promotes “retro gender roles” once and for all. Let your voice be heard!

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