Mother, 27, slams Poundland for selling ‘sexist’ babygrows featuring the slogans ‘born to be spoiled’ and ‘future boss’ which she says reinforce gender stereotypes
- Jessica Fealty saw £1.50 Pep and Co baby grows at shop in Gloucestershire
- Displayed with ‘born to be spoiled’ in pink and ‘future boss’ in black and red
- She claims clothes suggest women should be spoiled while boys can be leaders
- But Poundland said ‘future boss’ baby grow has been praised as ‘gender neutral’
A mother has slammed Poundland for selling baby grows which feature the slogans ‘born to be spoiled’ and ‘future boss’ for allegedly reinforcing gender stereotypes.
Physics graduate Jessica Fealty, 27, saw the £1.50 Pep and Co white baby grows while shopping in a branch of the discount chain in Stroud, Gloucestershire.
They were displayed side by side with the slogan ‘born to be spoiled’ in pink writing with a crown above it and the ‘future boss’ written in bold black and red text.
The baby grows were displayed side by side with the slogan ‘born to be spoiled’ in pink writing with a crown above it and the ‘future boss’ written in bold black and red text
Another pink baby grow said ‘I woke up this cute’. Ms Fealty claimed the clothes suggest a woman’s purpose is to be spoiled while boys are destined to be leaders.
But Poundland hit back at her claims, saying its ‘future boss’ baby grow has been praised for being gender neutral, and insisted that the clothes ‘don’t stereotype’.
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Ms Fealty, who has two children, Ziggy, three, and Marianne, one, said: ‘It’s amazing how gendered they are from such a young age.
‘That’s not a great message to send out to children. I really don’t want my daughter to think her only purpose in life is to be spoiled.
Another pink baby grow at the Poundland store in Gloucestershire said ‘I woke up this cute’
‘I want her to be able to do anything she wants whether that’s being an athlete or a rocket scientist. I don’t want my children having the idea that they can’t do something because of their gender.
‘I think it’s sending out the message that a woman’s purpose is to be spoiled and men’s is to be a boss.
‘These messages they receive from a young age are building women up to think they’re less than men. It makes me sad that retailers continue to make these clothes.
‘I remember when I was growing up pretty much all of my clothes were practical. It was a T-shirt and jeans that could be worn by a boy or a girl.
Mother-of-two Jessica Fealty, 27, pictured with her children Ziggy, three, and Marianne, one
‘If you wanted a green T-shirt you just bought a green T-shirt. The ‘born to be spoiled’ is in pink writing with a crown which is typically associated with girls.
Physics graduate Ms Fealty, with son Ziggy
‘If you ask a three or four-year-old girl to choose she would choose the pink one.
‘Go into any shop and you’ll see the clothes in the girl’s section are pinks, purples, turquoises while in the boy’s they’re bold colours – blues, blacks and red. It reinforces lazy gender stereotypes from such a young age – stereotypes that we should be breaking down.’
Ms Fealty, who is a stay-at-home mother, said there was a misconception that boys and girls have different brains which restrict both genders.
She said: ‘I was the only woman doing my university course because people think there are girl’s brains and boy’s brains. Boys and girls have the same brain. You can be a male rocket scientist or a female rocket scientist.
‘There are not enough men in care roles and women in science and this is not going to help that. Children can be anything they want to be.’
Ms Fealty, pictured with her daughter Marianne, said there was a misconception that boys and girls have different brains which restrict both genders
Ms Fealty added that she’s sure she has her own inbuilt sexism, saying: ‘There’s a lot of research saying that parents treat children differently – that subconsciously mothers will let boys cry for longer than girls from birth.
‘I see it all the time when I’m out with my children – that girls are not allowed to get muddy but boys are allowed to climb trees and get dirty. It harms everybody, this idea that boys need to be strong and determined.
‘We’ve come so far in terms of equal rights but they’re still determined to stick children into boxes. Children shouldn’t be pigeonholed and shouldn’t be aware of gender stereotypes.
‘They’re the same and there’s no reason why until about the age of five boys and girls can’t wear the same clothes.
Ms Fealty, pictured with both children, added that she’s sure she has her own inbuilt sexism
‘Although my son cannot read he can recognise which items are aimed at boys and which are at girls.
‘I’m not saying these items shouldn’t be sold but I believe shops have a duty to consider the messages they’re sending to young children and consider selling more gender neutral clothing.’
A spokesman on behalf of Pep and Co and Poundland said: ‘We’re a bit bemused – not least because our ‘future boss’ baby grow was praised last week online for being gender neutral.
‘These don’t stereotype. We know girls can be future bosses, and boys can be born to be spoiled.’
The mother spotted the clothes at this Poundland store in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on August 1
Francesca Cambridge Mallen, of campaign group Let Clothes be Clothes, said the items send out ‘awful messages’.
She said: ‘The gender coding is classic, and according to multiple sources, children as young as two can spot ‘for girls’ opposite ‘for boys’ based on the specific colours, text and motifs used.
‘Note the pink, crown, decorative text versus dark colours and bold shapes.’
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