Just when you think we’re starting to make roads into reducing gender stereotyping in children’s toys, there’s another set back.
This time parents are calling on the Early Learning Centre (ELC) to address the gender stereotyping in its advert for children’s fancy dress costumes.
Sharing a screenshot of an email advert promoting fancy dress outfits, mum Laura Benson tweeted her frustration about the images which feature girls dressed as princesses and ballerinas and boys dressed as Spiderman, a wizard and a doctor.
“Oh my God I really thought we were starting to get past this s**t,” she wrote in the accompanying tweet.
UK campaign Let Toys Be Toys which aims to encourage all retailers to stop categorising toys and books for one gender only, also tweeted their disappointment about the advert.
“Girls are passive princesses while wise, smart, active boys save the day? Very disappointing,” they wrote while tagging the children’s retailer.
Other parents also took to social media to express their disappointment about the ELC advert.
“It’s 2017 and we’re still having to tell people women can be doctors and men can do ballet,” wrote one mum.
“Come on @ELCUK this is truly awful. Let’s move out of the stone age,” added another parent.
But other parents came to the retailer’s defence pointing out that their previous adverts have attempted to dispel gender stereotypes, including one ad which featured a little boy playing with a doll.
Speaking about the criticism a spokesperson for the Early Learning Centre told HuffPost UK: “At Early Learning Centre our aim is to offer a wide enough range to appeal to the many different tastes and play interests of little ones,” they said.
“We feature both boys and girls playing with many different toys and dressing-up outfits.”
It’s not the first time a big retailer has been called out for seemingly promoting gender stereotypes in it’s toys.
Last year a disgruntled dad took to Twitter to ask John Lewis why a space themed lunchbox was labelled as being for boys.
Sharing an image of the label on the navy printed lunchbox which read: “Boys space print lunchbox”, dad and Politician, Joshua Peck called the store out for gender discrimination.
“Hey @johnlewisretail,” he wrote. “What is it about this lunchbox which makes it unsuitable for my daughter? Too science-y?”
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