Same Baby, Different Color

Aug 06 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She blogs every day at Sociological Images.

In March we posted a set of greeting cards: a pink and a blue one congratulating new parents on a girl and a blue respectively.  The cards pictured exactly the same baby, revealing the way in which we gender infants before there are any discernable signs of sex (outside of the genitals).  Since then we’ve received two more examples of the phenomenon.  The first, sent in by Christine, is from FailBlog:

The second is for a (pointlessly gendered) hygiene kit at Walmart, sent in by Laura Confer:

The use of exactly the same baby just tickles me.  The marketers know that babies look like, well, babies.  We aren’t “opposite sexes,” especially at six months old.  But the sex of the child is very important to adults.  So they use color cues to make the consumer feel like they’re choosing the “right” or the “cutest” item.  But they can use any child — girl or boy — to sell the item… because that’s not what it’s actually about.

2 responses so far

  • M.R. says:

    Many baby related items are pointlessly gendered (not to mention adult). A lot of people eat it up and seem to actually think that the girls and boys items are different, or that they don't work on the other sex.

    I like that the girls set has more pieces, is more expensive and is the Healthcare AND grooming set. Or is there also a boys version of that?

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