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Here's why I buy my daughter's clothes from the boys' section

Boys' clothes, compared to girls' clothes, are more practical.

A few months ago, I was out shopping with my then two and a half year old daughter, looking at a few shirts for her. We both liked one particular shirt, and I asked the salesperson to get the shirt in her size. The salesperson looked confused, and asked me me whether I wanted a shirt for a girl or a boy. Before I could reply, my girl chirped in, 'not girl or boy, I want a shirt for me'. The salesperson simply grinned while I was filled with immense pride at the precious thing my daughter had just said. For a gender neutral parent that I am, it was definitely a moment to cherish. I could see that even with all my mom guilt and constant worrying about how many times I fail as a parent, I knew then that I was doing something right. Gender based clothing has never made sense to me, why does a baby or toddler need to be defined as a particular gender? But there are reasons why I refuse to shop in the 'girls' section for clothes for my daughter.

First of all, the only word that I can think of when going through the girls' section in a kids store is 'impractical'. All the frills, the bows, the laces, the bling -- why would I dress a child, whose main purpose in life is to run around and climb up every surface possible, in clothes that restrict her movement? On the first day of my daughter's playschool, the teachers had advised the parents to dress children in pants and leggings, because it is comfortable. My daughter has owned only 3 frocks in all her life so far, and I did not buy either. This is something I am happy about.

My other concern with girls' clothing is how short it is. I recently compared a pair of girls' shorts and boys' shorts in the same age group, and while the boys' one reached the knees, the girls' shorts were glorified panties. Now, I am not shaming the short-shorts in any way, but the problem with such shorts is that it rides up, given that my child never sits still. Same applies with jeans, while the boys' ones are somewhat baggy and more comfortable, the girls' ones are slim fit and tad bit uncomfortable if the child wishes to sit down cross legged.

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The message on tee-shirts is another pet peeve of mine. Pick up a girl tee shirt and it will be either glittery, full of hearts and bows or will have messages like shopping, beauty, dance, vanity. On the other hand, boys tee-shirts have messages like 'one day I will move the mountains', 'gets things done', 'the boss', and likewise. The feminist in me refuses to put my daughter in a box where she is expected to be all girly and spend her days dancing and shopping.

I will continue to shop for my girl from the boys' section, and from what I feel so far, looking at the headstrong little girl who accompanies me, I might be doing the right thing.

Image: Shutterstock

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