‘Boden I shop with you a lot for kids’ clothes. This really puts me off’
Clothing retailer Boden has been heavily criticised for gender stereotyping in its children’s catalogue, after telling young girls to “fill your pockets with flowers” and young boys to “start every adventure with a bike”.
The discrepancy between the messages sent to girls and boys was noticed by Sam Williams, a father-of-two who receives the company’s monthly catalogue in the mail.
After skimming through the catalogue’s pages, Williams came across one page that describes boys as “fellow mischief-makers” and says that they need “clothes that can keep up” for their adventures.
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On the other hand, girls are informed that “new clothes are in sight”, and encouraged to “fill your pockets (and wardrobe) with flowers”.
Williams shared a photo of the pages on Twitter, writing: “Seriously @Bodenclothing? Keep up.”
The tweet has since garnered a lot of attention, receiving more than 2,000 likes and a flurry of enraged responses from people calling out the brand for enforcing gender stereotypes.
“My son constantly brings me flowers but is afraid of riding his bicycle. Come ON @Bodenclothing, how are we still having this conversation???” one person tweeted.
“Boden I shop with you a lot for kids’ clothes. This really puts me off,” added another.
Williams explains that he’d been intrigued to see what Boden had written about girls in its catalogue after first spotting the page about boys’ clothes.
“I thought there must be a similar message aimed at girls and flicked through and there was one that said ‘girls, fill your pockets with flowers’. The contrast was really shocking,” he says.
Boden has since issued an apology with regards to the controversy, explaining that the company is “totally committed to gender equality”.
“We're so sorry for blotting our copybook in such spectacular style. Whilst it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here,” the brand tweeted.