John Lewis: The gender-neutral divide

Kids Friends Playing Cheerful Outdoors Concept

Hello readers,

Recently John Lewis UK made the announcement that all its children clothing from the ages of 0-14 would be sold as gender-neutral. Which has been responded with mixed emotion. Some people have praised John Lewis for this forward thinking move and think that it’s great that a big chain like John Lewis is setting up this design and pave the way and hopefully encourage other companies to follow suite.

However there have been some people who haven’t agreed. Twitter has been awash with complaints about how its PC gone mad and I won’t let my boy where dresses.

And I must admit I am surprised by what I am reading, majority of people who are opposed to John Lewis having a gender-neutral clothing line I believe have missed the point.

NOBODY is making you dress your son in a dress, NOBODY is making you buy any of these clothes. However, what it is giving you is the option. The option to buy the clothes style that you would normally buy for your son or daughter but also the option to buy clothes that isn’t traditionally made for your child’s gender. For instance, John Lewis are selling a dress with dinosaurs on it. Normally dinosaurs would be in the boy’s section of the clothing range but now girls can wear the dinosaurs clothing.

Many, many, many moons ago I worked in a children’s nursery for five years and I have seen first-hand how the gender divide is instilled in kids from an early age. In ways that you think that they don’t pick up on but trust me they do.Boys vs Girls, boys shouldn’t wear pink, girls should play with dolls etc.



For example, a father had brought his son into the nursery for breakfast he wanted to put his son into one of the highchairs available but refused because all the highchairs available were pink. He didn’t want his son in a pink highchair. All you want to ask his is Why? IT’S A HIGHCHAIR, what does colour have to do with your son’s safety or breakfast. It’s just a colour. Then on the other side I’ve seen mothers encouraging the daughters to play with the girls who were playing with the dolls or in the home role play corner. When they really want to play with the construction toys or in the sand box. Let you children be friends with who they want to be friends with and let them play with who they want to play with.

All children are different they are not born with this divide in them. Plenty of boys like playing in the doll’s house and pretending to do what they watched Mommy and Daddy do at home. Plenty of girls like to play tag, football and get muddy when they’re little, I should know I was one of them.

Society has changed over the years; did you know that in the Victorian times pink was the colour for boys and blue was the colour for girls. So, once it was common to see little boys in pink outfits because it was considered a strong male colour and girls were in baby blue because it was the colour of the Virgin Mary. Also at one point there was no way a woman would socially be allowed to wear trousers. Now they are common place.

When I was little I never liked dressing feminine (I know that’s a shock know especially as I host a fashion blog). I used to dress in tracksuit bottoms and a Manchester United football shirt and I HATED THE COLOUR PINK. Still not a big fan of it now. People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and this includes personalities. Some have big loud unapologetic persona, while others have small, shy don’t like to be noticed characters. With every other personality, in between. John Lewis are just catering to that.

John Lewis are not the only company to do gender-neutral clothing. H&M and Zara are two other massive high-street stores to do their own range of gender neutral clothing.



If your worried about the cut of clothing needs to be different for girls and boys then you are mistaken. For young children, the pattern used for girls and boys are is the same. It’s not until puberty starts to change the body where it because a bit of an issue.

As you have probably guessed I think that this an amazing move for John Lewis. There needs to be less of a divide between boys and girls.

If you’re interested in what children could be like if the gender divide wasn’t so prominent the I encourage you to watch the BBC show no more boys and girls: Can our kids go gender free? It’s all about finding out about the way we treat boys and girls and the equality between them. Dr Javid Abdelmoneim takes over a primary school class and gets rid of the gender divide.

I would love to know what you guys think of John Lewis and their new collection. Do you think its great or do you think its just to far?

Nicky P. xxxx

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