Gender Neutral No-No

Maybe it’s the mohawk?
That’s more like it!

Remember how before we had Emma Vance Ryan expressed concern over having a super girly wardrobe? And how he conceded a bit once he realized that little babies’ genders are difficult to discern without some indication in their clothing? Well, I think I did a pretty decent job in not filling her tiny closet with only obnoxiously pink options, and, per Ryan’s request, we’ve even picked up a few gender neutral outfits along the way.

I don’t inherently have anything against gender neutral clothing. I mean, I enjoy a white onesie just as much as the next guy. (Okay, well maybe not as much as Ryan, who commented before having E.V. that we should just buy a dozen of them and have that be the baby’s whole wardrobe “until she’s old enough to know the difference”…uh, yeah right!) In fact, I even bought a pair of boys pajamas the other day for E.V. (They have aliens on them and glow in the dark, so, really, how could I resist? :) ) You can see, then, that I’m not obsessed with pink. However, a few weeks after she was born, I was walking Emma Vance in a nearby neighborhood when a friendly woman stopped me to ooh and ahh at her, and she exclaimed “Oh, he’s just adorable!” Granted E.V. was wearing a white and gray striped onesie at the time, but I was so shocked and caught off guard that I couldn’t muster the tact to correct the woman. Hmmm. That sucked.

I took it as a fluke, but it’s happened a couple of times since then, and it’s always so awkward! And it always occurs when E.V.’s outfit isn’t girly, which is my fault. I’ve always taken the stance that there’s no such thing as being TRULY gender neutral; “gender neutral” always lends itself to being boyish to me, so I should’ve known better. Thus after the second or third time someone said “he,” I resolved to leave the gender neutral outfits for home life. Problem solved, right? Wrong. In fact, the worst time was at the DOCTOR’s office, when a nurse said, “Oh, your baby’s so cute. Is it a boy or girl?”–which would’ve been fine if she hadn’t been wearing a LEOPARD DRESS with a PINK COLLAR at the time. Really?!? I laughed awkwardly and pointed out her outfit to the nurse, whose only response was, “Well, you never know these days…” It was then that I’ve expanded my resolution to include accessorizing with a headband anytime we’re in public. So far it’s seemed to work…crossing fingers!

I mean, I can be objective about my child–and about the fact that all babies don’t distinctly look like either boys or girls at this age (right?).  I know that the mohawk can be deceiving, and so I’m not offended when someone says “he” (even after introducing her as “Emma Vance”…not joking!), but it still stinks. And, even worse, I feel bad for Emma Vance because it’s not her fault. I have to remember that despite the fact that to me she clearly looks like a girl, others might need a bit of help. Oh, well. I figure as long as it’s obvious she’s a “she” by the time she can talk, I can live with headband-ing my child for her public appearances for now. :)

I used this anti-gender-neutral vibe as inspiration today as I practiced my baby photography. Plus, of course, I had to take a few “gender neutral” shots for reference… 

“I’m not a boy, mom!”
Really, this hair is out of control! :)
Sweet and sleepy…

1 Comment

  1. August 14, 2012 / 10:44 pm

    Precious pictures, Talie! I can’t wait to meet her!

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