Kids, skis, fashion, and the gender police

Thanks so much for your suggestions about how to respond to the gender police/ kid squad. The response I like best for the times when your kid is asked by another kid “Why are you wearing that?” is “I like it.” As you wrote, that sentence is simple and to the point.

But here’s the challenge. I wrote this in the comment section, but am posting here too for larger discussion. My kids complained bitterly about their ski clothing. They didn’t like it at all. I think that it wasn’t so much the color, but that they were unused to it. They thought it was puffy and baggy. I think it felt odd to them. I told them no one cares what they look like. All that matters is that they are warm and dry. That is the purpose of ski clothing.

The clothing they wore belonged to a friend of mine who owned the house we were staying in. Everything was unusual and different for them. My kids barely see the snow, hardly wear mittens or boots or scarves or frankly, even jackets. Here’s my only pic of all 3 kids together in the borrowed clothes.


The little pink one actually ended up switching to gray because it fit her better. Here she is in the next day, in action and in gray with one of her older sisters behind her who is also in black and gray.


My kids’ discomfort or insecurity or challenge with newness is a big part of the issue with all this gender police stuff. If you have a kid who loves blue, you can support her. She will insist on wearing blue and that’s great. She has her passion behind her. But what if your kid, like so many kids, isn’t sure about what she’s wearing. She doesn’t know. She could go either way, or one of many ways. It’s that state of mind that marketing and peer pressure hones in on and exploits. That’s when they nab you, and I hate that. Because you can act like you’re giving a kid a “free choice” but what choices are free?

Say, for example, there’s a kid with a feminist mom. That kid might wear blue, but it’s a blue dress. And she’ll wear it with jeans. No ski pants at all. Or mittens, for that matter. Here’s my infamous nine year old daughter on our last day of the trip.


They’re going to send me back to the Mama Factory for this one. At least she’s wearing her helmet.


One thought on “Kids, skis, fashion, and the gender police

  1. I googled “girl skateboards”, thinking about my daughter and a couple nieces and found this – . There are some interesting things there and then you look at the skate team and it gets really interesting. Girl Skateboards has no female team members. I don’t know the motivation behind the name – maybe it seemed edgy or something. Needless to say, I won’t be shopping there.
    There are some cool designs at – – and nothing I saw there was “sexy”, which is a bonus.
    My daughter currently scoots around on a Penny- – I’d say they’re the best beginner boards. Simple, rugged, easy to customize. We went with the pink deck, because…well, pink is her favorite.

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