Children’s Fashion Catalogue Slammed for Sexist Stereotypes

British fashion catalogue, Boden, has been publicly slammed on social media for its blatant gender stereotyping.

Twitter has exploded with a flood of messages criticising the catalogue for its outdated marketing practices.

The catalogue included text such as: “Boys start every adventure with: -a bike (or a pair of very fast legs) -fellow mischief makers -clothes that can keep up.” Another page for girls read: “Girls, new clothes are in sight. Fill your pockets (and wardrobe) with flowers and race this way.”

Mothers have responded by posting photos of their daughters engaging in “adventures'” rather than picking “flowers”.

Boden apologised to its customers on Twitter: “We’re so sorry for blotting our copybook in such style. While it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here.”

The advertisement comes little more than a month after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) clamped down on laws prohibiting advertising which reinforces gender profiling. The ASA decided that ads which suggested that men and women were only capable of certain activities were not acceptable.

This type of controversy is not new with public outcry in social media also erupting over a Gap advertisement back in 2016. The ad juxtaposed a young boy wearing an Einstein shirt apt for a “young scholar” and a girl wearing silver cat ears fit for a “social butterfly”.


This 2016 Gap ad sparked criticism for portraying girls as ‘social butterflies’ and boys as ‘little scholars’. Photo Credit: GAP

A 2017 ad from the Aptamil formula company also showed a baby girl aspiring to be a ballerina while boys dreamed of becoming mathematicians.

The controversial Aptamil commercial that showed baby girls dreaming of becoming ballerinas and boys as natural maths experts.

One study from 2013, found that the more television watched by children, the more likely they were to believe that boys were superior.

Dr Tania King from the University of Melbourne wrote that research suggests, “that by minimising these distinctions on the basis of gender and making individual attributes and skills a priority, we can help reduce stereotypes, discrimination and bias, and instead, build inclusive behaviours in our children.”

Let us know what you think of gender stereotyping in advertisements down in the comments.