Design as Activism – Gender Neutral Design

Gender Neutral Parenting

In reality a child can play with anything, if they have fun with a toy let them no matter if they’re a boy, girl or anything in between. Children at a young age don’t see gender they see humans it is society that indoctrinates children into thinking a girl should look pretty and a boy must be smart. Any toy can be gender neutral but I’m going to be looking into purposeful non gender design.

In a Huffington Post article they write ‘Gender-free clothing is breaking down boundaries put in place by society that suggest ballerina prints are for girls and boats are for boys, and proving that kids should just dress like kids. This has been welcomed by many parents, as proven by a study in September 2016, which found that British parents want marketers to stop pushing “outdated” gender roles.’ It is really uplifting that parents understand that gender roles for kids are limiting them from an early age. Kids should like what they like not what society expects of them.

Let Clothes be Clothes brings up some important point about gendered clothing. ‘Many retailers such as Next, George at Asda, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer agreed to BRC (British Retail Consortium) guidelines on childrenswear that states a commitment to not “unduly stereotype children”and yet our high street is saturated with messages about gender that are not only limiting, but potentially harmful too. Sexist attitudes are being sold to children in the guise of “this is for girls” and “this is for boys” on our high street, and its not just clothing designs and slogans, but toys, books, stationary, toiletries and shoes. Last year the advertising spend for UK companies hit a record £21.4 billion with a reach that isn’t confined to the high street, but online and in our homes too.’

Gender Neutral Colour Palette

 “Every child deserves the same opportunities in life, but unless we stop treating girls and boys differently that simply isn’t going to happen.” Dr Javid Abelmoneim, BBC 2 “No More Girls and Boys

I have noticed that from the designs I’ve seen colours that are popular are yellows, greys and browns. A lot of neutral colours which don’t scream a specific gender. Common imagery used are things like animals and nature again a very natural vibe. The designs are fun and curious but keeping pink and blue out-of-the-way which sets them apart from the monstrosity of boy/girls sections.

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