Retailer Lands’ End has announced it will begin selling science-themed attire geared towards girls after one mum’s Facebook note to the company went viral.
Lisa Ryder’s 9-year-old daughter loves science and all things NASA. Lands’ End sells space and science tees for boys, but not for girls. Frustrated, Ryder took to Facebook to post a note to the company.
Dear Lands’ End,
My nine year old daughter loves science; She especially enjoys learning about ocean life and outer space. She has read more books on sharks than I ever knew existed, follows NASA news, and hopes to be an astronaut one day.
So you can imagine her reaction when she saw your company’s science-themed t-shirt designs for boys featured on page 26 of your latest catalogue. The boys’ options include realistic images of planets and our solar system, labelled diagrams of sharks and dinosaurs, and a “NASA Crew” tee design that she immediately declared to be “the coolest shirt ever.”
We immediately flipped forward in your catalogue to find the equivalent shirts in girls’ sizes. But when we got to the available t-shirt designs for girls on page 56, instead of science-themed art, we were treated to sparkly tees with rhinestones, non-realistic looking stars, and a design featuring a dog dressed like a princess and wearing a tutu.
My daughter was very confused. Lots of her friends that are girls love science, too. Why were there no cool science shirts for girls?
So, Lands’ End corporate, how should I respond to my daughter’s question? In 2014, why are you selling “mighty” tees for boys and “adorable” tees for girls? (Descriptions taken straight from your marketing copy.)
My daughter is mighty and she loves science. And until you recognise that it’s not only boys that can fit that description, I’m afraid our family will no longer be shopping in your stores.
Less than 3 weeks later, The Huffington Post reports that on July 30, the retailer announced Ryder’s message — and those of her supporters — had been heard loud and clear.
Lands’ End released the following statement on Facebook:
You asked, we listened — take a look at our brand-new girls’ science tees. Our first two tees are live on the site — pre-order now to reserve her size (due to the quick turnaround, the shirts will ship in August). Based on your response to the tees, we will continue to add new styles moving forward.
Then they linked to a science-themed tee made for girls.
This isn’t the first uproar over gender stereotypes of clothing. In 2011, JCPenney pulled a tee-shirt for girls that read “I’m too pretty to do homework.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.