Centre for Economic Transformation| CET

From dressing up a child to building up a strong person


Don’t you think like I do? “Great pic, flying in the face of stereotypes: A little girl in blue, unisex clothes, and (gasp) aliens print of some sort. Who needs princess and fairies?”

A few years ago, Facebook CEO’s daughter turned one. I couldn’t help but notice a consistent message from Mark and Priscilla. Baby Maxima often wears blue (stereotypically a boy’s color), unisex style, without gender abiding prints - aliens, in this picture. When Maxima was born, she was photographed with the book “Quantum Physics for Babies.”

Subconscious stereotypes

We are all influenced by subconscious stereotypes, and in turn, project them onto our children. How often do we buy dolls, cooking and nursing toys for girls but cars, building blocks and superman costumes for boys? What really makes us praise girls as “pretty” and boys as “smart”? Why do we chastise daughters for being “unruly,” but feel that “active” sons as nothing short of natural?

Reference Nguyen-Phuong-Mai, M. (2019). From dressing up a child to building up a strong person. SIETAR Europa Journal , June 2019(June - August 2019), 10-12. https://www.sietareu.org/seu-journal-june-2019/

Publication date

Jun 2019


Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai


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