Boden accused of kidswear sexism
British clothing brand Boden has apologised for releasing a children’s catalogue which has been criticised for perpetuating ‘damaging’ gender stereotypes.
The label’s catalogue remains core to the business despite the brand making most of its sales online.
The row erupted on Saturday when Sam Williams, a Twitter user, shared two images from the latest Mini Boden catalogue on social media. One page says "Boys start every adventure with a bike (or a pair of very fast legs)", while on another page girls are told “New clothes are in sight. Fill your pockets (and wardrobe) with flowers and race this way.”
“How we design and market children's clothes, play, TV, and everything else can have a huge influence on how children perceive themselves and their aspirations in life. Children need to be allowed to grow, explore and form their own identities, to be comfortable with who they are,” father-of-two Sam Williams commented.
“Dividing things up as either for boys or girls is very limiting, and sometimes damaging. There are boys who want to stuff their pockets with flowers, and girls who want to go on adventures, they shouldn't be made to feel wrong or strange.”
Boden, which is very popular with Britain’s middle classes, said: “We're so sorry for blotting our copybook in such style. Whilst it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here. At Boden, we are totally committed to gender equality, and firmly believe in equal roles roles and opportunities for boy and girls – in fact, we have a male founder and a female CEO.
“We really appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and will ensure that such a mishap doesn't happen again. Please accept our sincere apologies.”
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