This Mum’s Letter Perfectly Sums Up The Problem With Gender Stereotyping Kids’ Clothes

My daughter was very confused. Why were there no cool science shirts for girls?

1. Lisa Ryder was looking through a Lands’ End clothing catalogue with her daughter when they noticed something was up.


2. The boys section had some science-themed t-shirts that Ryder’s daughter loved. But when they flipped through to find the equivalent shirts in girls’ sizes, there were none.

3. So Ryder wrote to the company through their Facebook page.

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 catalog. The boys’ options include realistic images of planets and our solar system, labeled 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 catalog 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 recognize that it’s not only boys that can fit that description, I’m afraid our family will no longer be shopping in your stores.

Lisa Ryder

4. The boys’ t-shirts on offer on the company’s website currently include a Mars rover, a Tyrannosaurus rex and a glow-in-the-dark moon.


5. While the best girls can hope for is a sequined Saturn and a pair of flamingos.


6. Lands’ End replied in the comments under Ryder’s post.

Thank you for your honest feedback – we sincerely appreciate it. Customer feedback has, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance to us. Please be assured that we are currently sharing your comments with our Catalog Creative and Kids Design Teams.

Check out more articles on!

Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
  Your Reaction?

    Starting soon, you'll only be able to post a comment on BuzzFeed using a Facebook account or via our app. If you have questions or thoughts, email us here.


    Now Buzzing