Shopping While Female

Even feminist parents can’t keep the marketing behemoth from swallowing their daughters. Sigh.

How to convey to him the genius of marketing aligned against the wisdom of feminist thought? How to refrain from weeping at my inability to win this war for my girl, to be her David to Victoria’s Secret’s Goliath? It’s hard enough just to get them to school on time.

via When Your Daughter Asks for a Victoria’s Secret Gift Card – Nanette Fondas – The Atlantic.

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3 thoughts on “Shopping While Female

  1. Glad this issue isn’t going away. Disappointed the author still bought the gift card. I’m a “no and…” parent. My just-13 girl and I have had lots of conversations about padded training bras (seriously, it’s the new thing), low rise jeans, and off the shoulder see-through blouses. We look for other ways she can express her fashion sense and why that matters.

    Sadly, there are few allies in our corner, including other Mom’s who throw up their hands in that “what are you going to do” lame gesture of surrender. Get a spine.

    Luckily, our middle school has a dress code and is active in enforcing it. I love them for that. I also had a love moment with Nordstroms years ago when they had a HUGE provacative Brittany Spears wall mural in the kids’ changing room. Totally inappropriate. I shared my thoughts with the salesperson, who agreed and suggested I go to customer service. I told them my concerns and that I would not be shopping there with my 6 year old as long as that type of advertising remained. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. It was gone within weeks.

  2. A.M.B. says:

    It is very difficult to drown out the stereotype-laden messages of the commercial world. This is the first year that my daughters received very few books for their birthday from their friends, and instead, they got pink barbies and bratz dolls. My daughters aren’t exposed to much overt marketing because they watch netflix programs without commercials instead of regular TV, but their friends are all about the newest, girliest stuff, and it rubs off on my daughters in preschool, far earlier than I would’ve expected. I’ll do what I can to counter the messages, but I can’t control it entirely. My hope is that I’m raising them with enough good sense to reject these messages on their own, eventually. It may take them a decade or two.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    There isn’t too much you can do! Culture is bigger than us! That’s the whole definition of it. When I was teaching college courses, I found myself drawn increasingly to teaching about gender because it was the single toughest subject for students to get. Gender norms are not just in the water. They are the water. I believe that marketing has made it worse, but we’ve always been shaped by these ideas about boys and girls.

    The best we can do with our kids is teach them to at least see it and think about it. So they can make smart choices. Even if, as you say AMB, it takes a little while.

    I love that story about Nordstrom, Cindy! And yes, I’d have taken my business away from “Pink,” too, pajamas be damned.

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