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To wonder when children's age cards became so stereotyped

(40 Posts)
Leticia Sat 14-Mar-15 16:24:45

I have not bought a child's age card for a long time. I wanted birthday cards for boy and girl twins. I wanted a 3 on the front and suppose I vaguely thought of an animal or a story book character.
What I found was a split into pink or blue and very definite stereotypes. I found a nice Mickey Mouse one, but when opened it was the 'birthday boy'- I assume that a girl must have had to have Minnie Mouse.
I went to 6 card shops and eventually found two that could be for either.
It isn't just children. It is easy to find the Mother's Day cards- just look for the pink display.
When did this happen?- I don't remember it being so pronounced.

durhamjen Sat 14-Mar-15 16:31:38

My grandson is 13 next week. I went to find a card for him, and all the 13 year old ones were for girls.

Fortunately I've got one with an owl on, which I can give to him in the hope that he will become as wise as the owl in his teens.

Leticia Sat 14-Mar-15 16:37:22

That reminds me- a past irritation was the fact it was difficult to get a funny 18 yr old or 21st Birthday card without the joke being to get drunk to passing out stage.

soontobe Sat 14-Mar-15 16:56:39

I did think that the girl and boy cards were going through a stage. But the stage seems to have become permanent. I dont know why.
I could say well that is because people must choose to but them, but if there is no choice, we have to!

Leticia Sat 14-Mar-15 17:30:59

Having grown up in the days when dolls were for girls and train sets for boys, I have just woken up to the fact that it is now far,far worse!
I can't remember when I last wanted an age card but I'm sure that last time I was buying them- about 20yrs ago- there were ones that said 'boy' or 'girl' but the majority were suitable for both. Girls now appear to have to have pink! ( Mothers also = pink).

suzied Sat 14-Mar-15 18:11:43

And when were only boys interested in dinosaurs?

Leticia Sat 14-Mar-15 18:13:05

That was one that annoyed me- dinosaurs and birthday boy on the inside.

numberplease Sat 14-Mar-15 19:50:44

I went looking for an 18th birthday card for my grandson today, every time I saw one that looked promising, and had a lovely verse, ended up, as Leticia says, joking about getting as drunk as could be on his birthday, not nice.

Tresco Sat 14-Mar-15 20:20:25

I very rarely buy age cards or even specifically birthday cards, precisely because there are so many stereotypes around. I buy blank cards and write my own message. I agree that stereotyping of boys and girls has got worse, not better, since my children were small. It even goes down to things like gloves for 1-year olds. When my DD tried to buy gloves for DGD, she was asked whether they were for a boy or a girl. She said, "a child"!

harrigran Sun 15-Mar-15 00:44:36

I buy cards online, you can upload your own photos and write your own message and they work out at about half the price of shop ones. I add names and ages and something personal to the recipient.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 06:59:32

I often get them online, but I needed these in a hurry.
I generally end up with a blank card and put my own message -but with children up to about the age of six, who are just learning about age and numbers, I like to get a big, clear number on the front.
I think it was the fact that I needed 2 similar cards, one for a boy and one for a girl that I got such a shock to find that most shops couldn't supply similar cards- they had to be blue or pink.

thatbags Sun 15-Mar-15 07:11:30

There's an easy solution to the problem: stop buying stereotyped cards.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 07:35:26

I haven't- but I had to go to 6 shops to do it!
People obviously buy them otherwise the majority of Mother's Day cards wouldn't have turned pink!

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:15:05

I can't see the problem really. I very rarely buy age cards, although I do tend to buy named cards (granddaughter,mum,grandma, sister etc) occasionally for the children, I buy those little sticky numbers that you stick into the card.

Mothers days cards surely can't be described as being stereotypical as after all mothers are exclusively female (aren't they??????) therefore nothing wrong with pastel colours such as pink. I personally wouldn't want a Mother's Day, birthday card etc. with a car or a dinosaur on the front (despite feeling like one sometimes).

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:19:57

Not when you go in through the door and just see a display of pink because you are female. I wasn't suggesting a car or dinosaur for Mother's Day but there are yellow, blue, orange etc flowers!
I can't see why by the age of 3 yrs dinosaurs are for boys!

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:20:04

Slightly off topic but my 5 year old grandson refused to have pink Lego bricks as part of the roof of a garage we were building the other day informing me that "this is not a "dirls" darage drandma (he still can't do G's). The same little boy loves to wear a pink polo tee shirt and thinks nothing of it as it's the same as daddies. confused

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:21:07

It doesn

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:22:55

Oooops iPad going a bit crazy this morning !

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:24:39

I wouldn't mind if it had always happened, but card shops simply were not like that 20 yrs ago. I wanted to know when it changed.
No wonder they get that idea gillybob when girls can't even be thought to want lego unless it is pink.
I had this argument with a 4 yr old. He said that blue was for boys and pink for girls. I said 'but I am wearing a blue jumper. Blue is my favourite colour'.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:25:43

I will be happy to get any card of any colour tbh. It really doesn't bother me at all. Just another day. Things to do, people to visit etc. probably won't see DD or DS at all. [poor me emoticon] smile

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:29:10

The Lego is part of the new "Lego Friends" collection Leticia and is based around little girl figures in a pretty garden etc. DGS likes his superhero Lego but it all ends mixed together in a big tub.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:30:02

I don't mind for myself. But I object to the fact that I am buying for little 3 yr olds and I can't just get 2 similar cards in bright primary colours- they are very different and it takes a huge effort to not get a pink card or a blue card.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:31:12

That says it all!
Boys - super heroes
Girls- pretty gardens.

Leticia Sun 15-Mar-15 08:33:02

Has anyone got the answer to my original question? When did it happen? It wasn't like that when my youngest was 3 yrs old, 21 yrs ago.

gillybob Sun 15-Mar-15 08:45:34

Not sure what you mean by "that says it all" Leticia?

So a little boy wants to play with a superhero and a little girl wants to play at princesses. What's new? Am I missing something? Hasn't this almost always been the way? Yes occasionally they do swap roles but almost always gravitate back towards what they like best. I really can't see the problem.