John Lewis are to Recognize Kids as Individuals – How Dare They?

John Lewis are to Recognize Kids as Individuals – How Dare They?

John Lewis are to recognize kids as individuals! Finally, a high-street brand has seen children for what they are, real people – not just a set of genitals. Hurrah!

So What is Happening?

John Lewis will now be labelling kids clothes with ‘boys & girls’ rather than ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. They will now also have one big section for kids clothes in store. Nothing more, nothing less. They won’t stop selling clothes in styles traditionally worn only by boys or only by girls. By removing gender labels John Lewis are making the point that any item of clothing in their children’s range can be worn by either girls orΒ boys.
They will also be selling a new unisex clothing line where designs will mix elements traditionally associated with either gender for example dinosaur dresses and spaceship t-shirts.

In a week where one mother shared the awful sexism suffered by her princess-loving son by Disney, this is a welcome change on the high-street here in the UK.

Clothing Rail of Dresses John Lewis Are To Recognize Kids As Individuals
Customers Will Still Find Pretty Dresses

Why is This a Good Move?

Often when parents criticize the lack of choice for girls clothing and shoes, others respond by saying that they should just choose from the boys’ section instead. Beacuse it’s that easy. I can tell that it isn’t.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it’s not that straightforward. Speaking from personal experience, I know that it isn’t easy to stand out from the crowd as a child. Often girls and boys are bullied and made to feel ashamed for wearing clothes or having interests traditionally associated with the other gender.

By removing these labels we give kids the freedom to choose whatever they like without fear of ridicule by others. Kids will be able to look at clothes in a shop (or online) and choose what they truly like, not just what society says they should like. If the end result is that girls prefer to wear pink floral dresses that is totally fine. If boys decide that they prefer to wear blue dinosaur t-shirts that is also fine. I don’t care what kids like as long as it is a free choice and not one they have been forced into due to a lack of alternative.

Image of a clothing rack with brightly coloured clothes - John Lewis Are To Recognize Kids As Individuals
Children Will Now Have the Freedom to Choose Clothes they Truly Like


There has been some negativity surrounding this issue and I would like to address it. John Lewis are to recognize kids as individuals! They are not stripping children of their identities, they are trying to give it back.
I saw one message left on John Lewis’ Facebook page stating that by removing gender labels John Lewis’ is effectively labeling a child as ‘A Thing’. The person whp wrote the message has obviously misunderstood the point that John Lewis’ are trying to make with this change. Β John Lewis are to recognize kids as individuals with their own personalities rather than try to dictate to them what they should wear based on nothing more than the genitals they were born with.

I would also like to make one thing clear. No-one is pushing little boys into wearing dresses or skirts. Not unless they want to. This is a move only to promote freedom of choice. Do our children not deserve to have a choice?

A Long Way Still to Go

Gender stereotypes won’t disappear overnight. It’s very likely that if a boy chooses to wear a dress from John Lewis next week he will be laughed at because as a society we still believe that dresses are for girls. It’s likely that if tomorrow a girl chooses to wear a pair of shoes that would have appeared in the boys section that some girls in her class will tease her because they aren’t ‘fashionable’ for girls.

There is a long road ahead, but you don’t get anywhere without taking that first step. I hope that now John Lewis are to recognize kids as individuals that other kids clothing retailers will follow suit. Lets hope that soon the high-street will be full of clothing ranges with something for every child.

John Lewis Are To Recognize Kids As Individuals
There is Still a Long Road Ahead
3 Little Buttons
My Random Musings


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The Taylor Swift Groping Case – Victory for All Women
Why Sexism within Clarks’ Girl Shoes Collection Matters

All images in this post were sourced from Pixabay

23 thoughts on “John Lewis are to Recognize Kids as Individuals – How Dare They?

  1. It’s a minefield, isn’t it?! A lot of the time, people including shops can’t do right for doing wrong and sadly they will never please everyone. Interestingly I have always thought there was less of a selection of boys clothes as there were girls. This would make things easier that’s for sure! #dreamteam

    1. I agree that there seems to be less choice for boys clothes. People seem to think that this is all about girls wearing boys clothes, but I think boys benefit too from having more choice. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  2. I think in one sense, this is a good move. Of course children shouldn’t be restricted by their biological gender. In another sense though, it’s mostly parents who choose the clothes and I think for most people they want to duck in and be able to find what they’re looking for and having everything mixed might not be the best way to achieve that.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t know if this is the answer but no other retailers have offered any alternatives so I say let’s see how this goes. Thanks for reading 😊

  3. My children have mixed gender clothing since forever.
    My daughter has worn her brothers tops, my sons have worn pink horse tops, im not sure if the label makes much difference. I think its the parents attitude towards the clothing. Coming from a mum who’s son spent two years in girls dresses, either parents frowned on it or they didnt, very rarely did other children comment or care. Either way, if this helps children identify with themselves then it can only be a good thing xxx

    1. I’m just glad that John Lewis are trying something different, you don’t know if removing gender labels will make any difference unless you try. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  4. You are so right. We can’t change things overnight but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a start! We will never change anything if we don’t do something!!!

    1. Exactly this. It might not achieve anything in the long run but you never know unless you try. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  5. I think, to be honest it’s been a huge fuss over nothing. They’re just changing labels, it’ll all be the same. People do like to get annoyed about tiny things that only have to affect them if they want them to!

    1. I think the people making a fuss have just missed the point, and as you say nothing is really changing except the addition of a new unisex range of clothes. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  6. I think it’s a brilliant move. Of course they won’t be ‘a thing’ – they’ll be Harry or Sophie or Blue or Albert or whatever their name is. Just with cool clothes!

    1. I know, I couldn’t believe it when I read that someone had actually posted that to the John Lewis Facebook page. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  7. Personally, I think it’s a great idea! I’ve always hated those clothes that just bash you over the head with the idea that girls = pink fairy princesses and boys = blue adventurers. It’s so damaging to everyone!

  8. Personally, I think its all gone a bit over the top. My little girl loves wearing dinosaurs and pirate tops but I don’t need a shop to remove a label to allow me as a parent to make that choice. I see the effort john Lewis is making but in reality I dont see it making much of an impact

    1. You make a valid point, as a parent you don’t need a label to allow you to choose what to dress your child in.
      From my point of view, this is a change for future generations. I think it’s a change that will impact our grandchildren. Our children will (hopefully) grow up seeing clothes as clothes rather than clothes for girls and clothes for boys.
      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

    1. I think so, and this evening I have read that Clarks shoes are looking to make some similar changes too. Lets hope this is the beginning of a revolution for kids’ clothing.
      Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  9. Ahh this post is so on-point at the moment. I definitely feel that there is a long way to go when it comes to stereotyping genders. I have read quite a few posts on this, and am still sat on the fence in terms of it being a grand gesture, but will it really make any difference. An interesting read and take on the subject. Thank you for sharing with the #DreamTeam πŸ™‚

    1. I think it will be a long time before we know whether it makes a difference. I’m just pleased that John Lewis are trying to address gender equality. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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