Gender-Neutral Kids Section
Big box stores are moving away from gender-specific signage
For the most part, I know where my favorite and most-purchased items are at the grocery store and other big-box retailers I visit on a regular basis. For those times I go to a store I don't frequent, I appreciate the signage over aisles.
Something I've never really given much thought too, however, is when aisles have things labeled "girls" or "boys." Target is taking notice after customer feedback that distinguishing between toys and items for boys or girls is unnecessary and could be hurtful. In response, Target is doing away with signage that labels toys, bedding and other things for boys or girls.
Wonder if they'll start mixing and mingling the boys' and girls' items together, and will manufacturers take notice and get away from gender-specific toys and children's items?
I can appreciate the lack of need for the signage, and appreciate that the general public's awareness of trying to not label things for a gender. I've never pushed boy things on my son, and have encouraged him to like whatever he likes. I let him know that those things he's being told are just for girls, such as the color pink for instance or liking flowers, aren't always.
But here's what I've also observed in my six short years of parenting: Girls and boys are drawn to different things without influence, but can also push away from something due to adult influence. Some kids just gravitate toward the tough "boy" things and others to the "girly" stuff. Notice I say KIDS, because it can be a boy or a girl that may swing one way or the other, but it's very interesting to see how much a child just has these likes or dislikes, and also how peers can influence each other.
For instance, my son loves all things LEGO. His cousin loves all things fashion, makeup and hair. When she got the colored hair powder for Christmas, my son couldn't get enough of it in his hair and even agreed to make an appointment at her pretend salon. On the flip side, she suddenly took an interest in LEGO's and wanted her own set to do when she came to visit us.
Both are open-minded to the other's interests. Neither really thought one or the other was more boyish or girlish, but instead were interested in the what the other liked and trying something new. BUT when an adult tells a child something is for boys or girls, this is when it sticks, in my opinion.
I'm glad Target is taking down the signage, because it is unnecessary and all the toys will be there together and don't need to be categorized by gender. But the question remains, how do we remove that signage in parents' brains that cause them to push their child one way or the other?