Sartorial Determinism

So I've finally started tackling the baby stuff that has been showing up on our doorstep and getting tossed unceremoniously into our loft to be ignored over the last several months. We certainly appreciate all the hand-me-downs, but weren't quite ready to face them. Now...well, it's becoming more and more real that a couple months from now the squirming critter will be on the outside, my spleen will be once more unmolested, and we better get organized! At least a little bit.

But really? This is what people think we want our baby to wear? Actually, there's plenty of neutral or neutral-enough stuff in the mix, plain colors and stripes and vaguely cartoonish ducks. But I don't think I can put my kid in a McBaby onesie - oh yes, the Ronald has moved beyond special sauce, working on subliminally turning the next generation into a loyal consumer. He's not alone - Disney and Looney Tunes and every other registered TM seems to make an appearance. And even if we avoid the blatant brand whoring, he's going to be imprinted with baseballs and trucks and all things blue, because he's a boy! and that's the American way.

Let's not even get into "made in China" here. At least this stuff is being reused. There's nothing like having a baby to set up a wrestling match with your principles. Is it organic? Local? Sustainably made? Free of negative cultural messages? Or toxic chemicals? Although it really seems like the primary question for the people that make this stuff is: Is it cute?!

(it's like those awful motel comforters and wallpaper - it's hard to believe somebody was actually paid to come up with those designs)(because if it doesn't say "baby" on the front, people won't be sure that's what it is?)(though I admit to slightly melting over a couple of the fuzzier outfits)

Apparently I'm not any better with baby clothes than I am with my own. I don't have that mysterious feminine shopping gene. I have a somewhat embarrassing pile of stuff that I can't even identify. But one thing I know for sure: I do not need a giant pumpkin costume for my kid.


Tiffanyloreneallen said...

Giant Pumpkin Costume! I'll take it!

claire said...

I know - we're saving it for you. :)

Reed said...

The heavily "gendered" baby clothing is horrible. With one of each on the way, we are looking at both the boy and girl clothes. So much of the boy clothing seems to require an affirmation that the little boy will, indeed, participate and enjoy all American sports (e.g., "L'il Slugger" or "Quarterback"). The girl clothes seem almost worse - the seem to all announce that the girl will fit some horrible stereotype of some vapid little consumer (e.g. "I love to shop"). I feel like having a onesie printed up that says "I will conform to all gender stereotypes" so that we can use it for either baby.

Reed said...

We did, however, purchase a onesie for the girl that says "Nobody puts Baby in a corner"