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Let Girls Be Girls - how is it going so far, d'you think?

(74 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Nov-10 09:48:45

It's been six months or thereabouts since we launched our Let Girls Be Girls campaign - and <ponderous archbishop voice> the time has come to take stock, and consider where we were, where we are, and where we would like to be.

For those who haven't been following the campaign closely, you can quickly catch up here. For those that have, what do you think of the show so far?

We're interested to hear all thoughts, suggestions, encouragements and criticisms - and we're particularly keen to hear whether you've noticed a difference in the product ranges offered by the retailers who've signed up. Mumsnetters are the eyes and ears of Let Girls Be Girls, so do please let us know what you think.

The eagle-eyed will also know that we're considering expanding the campaign to lad-mags - specifically, to the question of whether they and other sexually-explicit mags/papers should be displayed at children's eye-level. Here's the thread to let us know your thoughts.

Bettymoody Mon 08-Nov-10 09:50:41

marks and spencer fod outlets at BP garages shame on your for even selling the daily sport let alone having ti at toddler level with some sluts arse jutting out

i thank you

( and no I am not jealous of said sluts arse)

matildarosepink Mon 08-Nov-10 10:22:44

I try very hard to do my bit by avoiding media that project that type of image in the first place, so that my 8yoDD doesn't want all that. So far, it's working, but I realise it may not work forever (the avoiding the media thing, I mean.) I think I'm helped by the fact that she's a bright and creative little thing, and likes her individuality rather than following trends for the sake of it. She's quite happy to 'stand out from the crowd' at the moment, and by that all I mean is she loves colourful clothes that are put together in interesting ways. I often ask her what she thinks of my clothes, too, so that it's not a one-way street. As our children reach this pre-teen age group, I think it's important to pump up their self esteem sky high, so they realise it's how they feel about themselves (not what society tells them) that is the greatest measure of being the age they are with pride. I do remind her that she should enjoy every year of her childhood, as there does come a time when it disappears! She attends one sporty and one arts club per week where she is among mainly girls (the sporty one) and then a mixed group with slightly older children(drama). She has a wide social circle (rather than just what she's part of at school) so that her social investment is spread out - what people think at school isn't the be all and end all. The focus at her other social groups isn't what you look like, but rather what you do, enjoy and achieve individually and as part of a group.
Having said all that, I try to do my bit too - I avoid the shops where the awful clothes and shoes are, and I've emailed one supermarket retailer in particular to express my disapproval of what I saw, and - crucially! - said I would't be buying from them or recommending until things changed. This is really the only thing they'll listen to, they're trying to run businesses. There are retailers out there who do offer nice, age-appropriate things. The 2nd hand market is also incredibly good (and cheap!)if you've got the time to sift through it!! We have the ultimate power as consumers, and I think we should be exercising it. Not just passively, through the 'not buying', but also by voicing our feedback. It's never been so easy to do this as it is today! GO, Mumsnet, together we have huge power.

matildarosepink Mon 08-Nov-10 10:29:34

PS Can you believe there was something I forgot to say in that missive above? There are actually some really impressive role models out there in the media, arts, sport, etc who can positively influence our girls and young women. Seek them out, and encourage our girls to watch and learn from them! Not all females in the media are sporting crop tops, underwear as outer wear, hair extensions, 6 inch heels and pouty, Botoxed shiny faces. And let's not forget, we 'should' also be seeking out the women in the public eye who say and do great things - shouldn't we be avoiding altogether this over-emphasis on how females LOOK??

LeninGuido Mon 08-Nov-10 10:49:18

Fed back on the lad mag thread.

What feedback have you had on the campaign?

I'm just relieved anyone anywhere is stating an objection.

LeninGuido Mon 08-Nov-10 11:38:04

Bettymoody - completely agree with you about The Daily Sport but I don't like women being called sluts. The lad mag thread is here. I'd extend it to The Daily Sport for sure.

Anyway, back to this campaign, I hope it is making retailers think about what they agree to stock.

bettymoody Mon 08-Nov-10 11:39:35

i think a bit more judging is good
wink

mrsbabookaloo Mon 08-Nov-10 12:41:59

Was shocked to see bras in John Lewis for girls as young as 8, but it may be that there are some 8 year old girls who have already developed and need bras?...so I put my judgey hat on, and then took it off again. What does anyone else think?

mrsbabookaloo there was a girl in my class at primary school who had extremely well developed breasts at the age of nine so it can happen. I'm surprised that it's common enough that John Lewis feel the need to sell bras for that age group though.

I posted on the campaign thread a few months ago about Boots selling triangle bikinis for babies after signing up to the campaign, but can't say I've noticed any difference in retailers' stock.

CowWatcher Mon 08-Nov-10 14:16:48

I think these things take longer than six months to take effect. What I think most of us are seeking from this is a cultural shift away from such a strong focus on the validation of young girls entirely on the basis of sexiness or looks. We all need to tell our daughters that they are clever, funny, strong, good at sport...whatever it takes, to take the focus away from judging so much by appearances.

I say, keep it up. Its a valuable campaign to have out there, would be a shame to take a foot off the pedal for fear of being seen as 'boring' in the 'mainstream' media.

Hulababy Mon 08-Nov-10 14:51:02

But why were bras labelled with an age? Surely if it was a bra it would be labelled with a bra size/

Or was it a cropped vest top? They re labelled with ages. Infact my 8y Dd choses to weat a cropped vest. She has never worn vests in the past - she doesn't feel the cold and gets hot v quickly. However over the summer she has started to develop very slightly. Only a tiny bit and gradually, but she is definitely beginning to develop now and she was becoming conscious of it and she actually asked for a cropped vest to wear for school. She knew she didn't want a bra and she knew she'd be to warm with a vest, so a think cropped vest seems like a good compromise. It has done the trick and she is less self conscious about it now she has a little vest top to wear.

TennisFan Mon 08-Nov-10 16:48:44

My DD aged 7 comments on popstars or the dancers on X-factor and asks why they havent got their dresses on.
They always seem to be singing in their pants!

QueenGigantaurofMnet Mon 08-Nov-10 19:42:25

ooh check me, i just realised i have been quoted on the page.

<preen>

i would say though that having taken DD shopping at the weekend i think that what the stores are signing up to needs to be outlined.

I went into a few of the shops signed up and still saw heeled shoes for toddlers, mini skirts and various other items imo unsuitable for young girls.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Nov-10 12:35:36

Hello QueenGigantaurofMnet

It would be very useful if you (and others of course) could let us know where you've seen products which concern you.

SkaterGrrrrl Tue 09-Nov-10 18:08:47

Think the campaign is a fantastic idea - keep it up MN and MNetters.

My daughter is only 9 weeks old so I'm not encountering the inappropriate clothes yet (just the ubiquity of bloody pink!) but hope when she is a little older; retailers will have dialled down the sexiness in little girls' clothes.

Valpollicella Tue 09-Nov-10 23:03:42

I'd like to know about M&S's reaction after the Hooters debacle...?

It does seem like they are all very keen to sign up from a CSR point of view, ticking a box and all that. But does it actually filter down through the departments and ranks?

Valpollicella Tue 09-Nov-10 23:04:52

I mean, I'd like to hear M&S reaction in relation to the Hooters debacle, given they signed up to the campaign

maiisie Wed 10-Nov-10 10:51:06

I was very dissapointed to find that John Lewis are selling short vests for girls age 4. I cannot remember what they were calling them but clearly they were precursors to bras - bests that stopped around wear a bra would be. I thought it ridiculous and worrying at the same time. I buy my dd vests to keep her warm - why would I want to buy her half a vest.

maiisie Wed 10-Nov-10 10:52:23

Oh dear sorry about my dreadful typos blush Exhausted this morning. Meant to say

Vests that stop around where a bra line would be - like a crop top vest I suppose.

SpawnChorus Wed 10-Nov-10 16:40:54

Well funnily enough I was just about to start a rant about this sort of thing. On a recent shopping trip for DD's (5) shoes I came across these in John Lewis: Bleurgh... why would you want your kid to look like a hooker??

And in Next they had literally DOZENS of sparkly spangly little ballet pumps, and NO sturdy outdoor winter boot shoes. The boys section had at least four different styles of the snow shoes I was after. Sadly the only pair in my DD's size had a "camo" pattern, which I'm not keen on.

I also noticed when buying her a coat virtually every girls' coat (the padded anorak type) was considerably less padded and cosy than the boys' ones. Why?? Do girls not need to keep as warm as boys?? And it continues into adulthood. I'm miffed that my DH can get lovely proper super-thermal vests in M&S, but all they have for women are shitey flimsy camisole ones. I want to be warm too! I probably spend more time outside then the average man.

Ajnd on a slightly petty note, I was irked by this description on a M&S school dress: "she'll love the flattering shape"...er no she won't because she's FIVE and doesn't
give a shit about "flattering" her figure.

And don't get me started on the lads' mags thing. OMG I find it repulsive that my young DCs have to walk through aisles of porn (and it really is porn!) to get a frigging loaf of bread. God it is SO depressing.

LeninGrad Wed 10-Nov-10 19:09:48

Flattering shape - the world has truly gawn mad.

ElspethDiggory Wed 10-Nov-10 19:36:28

Both are retailers who haven't signed up but H&M have loads of clothes (for 6yrs up) that I would consider far for suitable for teenagers. Matalan had NOT ONE item of clothing that I would put my 7yr old dd in. It was all black, grey, silver VILE.

maiisie Wed 10-Nov-10 23:05:47

Ricosta do great strong boots for girls here

Why are girls all expected to wear T bar shoes to school in the rain and snow - what is that about.

My dd wears trousers as they are more practical for small children to deal with and I do not get it as to why girls still mostly wear skirts at school in 2010.

namechangersad Thu 11-Nov-10 12:13:35

Interestingly, there seems to be as much annoyance with the gender stereotyping than the sexualising, and I think the two go hand in hand.

i was dismayed to see Boots Xmas catalogue devote a double spread to the "top 10 gifts for boys" and the "top 10 gifts for girls".

Guess which was dominated by science, engineering, dinosaurs and stuff to make and which was dominated by fluffy things to cuddle. sigh

(I'm sure Boots would point out that the girls top ten also had something to "make". it was a "construct your own enchanted princess castle" kit FFS.

DinahRod Thu 11-Nov-10 17:56:44

Well, I know that Next gets a slagging off on MN for their sloganising and tarty clothes for girls and mini-mugger clothes for boys and have been very pleasantly surprised by the range of clothes this season, they actually looked aimed at CHILDREN! No idea if that is as a result of the campaign or they;ve been picking up on the general dissatisfaction, but hooray!

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