“What are you having?” By far the most common question asked of any pregnant lady. We (or I actually, Adam was rather more keen to find out, but I overruled,) have decided to keep the sex of our baby a surprise, I’m not sure why exactly, I just felt I wanted to wait to meet my son or daughter face to face without knowing and deciding too much about them.
A lot of people we’ve told have said ‘oh good for you, it’s nice to have the surprise’ and while I think they’re right, what isn’t nice, is not being able to buy too much stuff for baby, because everything in the whole world is PINK OR BLUE.
I hadn’t thought about gender identification too much until now. As a woman I am both feminine and masculine by traditional standards. I work in fashion, I love clothes, shopping, Clueless and expensive scented candles. I am also a massive football fan, a straight talker and have a preference for a ‘boyfriend’ cut jean. These ‘traditional standards’ have never really bothered me before, because I don’t let them define me. But shopping for my unborn baby, I’ve become increasingly hacked off by how predetermined a child’s gender identity is, as dictated by the high street. From the clothes rails distinctly separated to ‘baby boy’ and ‘baby girl’ sections (strictly blue or pink themed) to the dinosaur toys for boys to the dolls destined for girls’ bedrooms nationwide.
|Me, with my brother. Wearing blue! My mother was a rebel without a cause, clearly. And yes, I know. I was a beautiful child…|
It’s like we’re being told to push these little people into likes and dislikes, to make sure they’re ‘normal’ without letting them choose what ‘normal’ is for themselves.
Or to make sure the world knows on first sight whether they’re a boy or a girl. Babies kind of all look the same, gender-wise for the first year or so, so why do we need to stick a label on them in the form of a blue or pink baby grow?
As a little girl my absolute favourite item of clothing was a white sweatshirt with a big orange tiger. I wore it every day that I was allowed to, until it was threadbare at the back and way too small for me. But I had to wait until I was a toddler until I could express my love for clothes of the orange tiger variety.
Until I meet my baby I’m forced to stick to white, yellow and grey onsies and décor so as not to upset the gender norms as laid out for us by baby departments worldwide.
But I fully intend to introduce my baby into a world full of all the colours in the world, where they can like what they like, dislike what they choose and maybe, shock horror, find a place for blue AND pink belongings in their world.
And I know that they will find their own tiger jumper when they’re ready.