Why I Dress My Daughter In “Boy” Jeans.

Back when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts, I took several women’s studies classes and worked/interned at the Media Education Foundation. I have to say that throughout all my coursework and learning, one of the things that struck me the most was the blatant hyper-sexualization of women and girls in media. Sure, it made me want to puke back then, but as a single man, I never had to deal with that sort of thing.

It’s also been about a decade since then, and I haven’t ever owned my own television… so I’ve been kind of out of the loop.

Then, the other day, I read an article that got my wheels spinning again: The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothing.

Now that I’m the father of an almost 6 year old WarriorPrincess, this stuff is back in my face. When buying jeans for her, I noticed that they didn’t feel right. They felt stretchy. And when she put them on, they hugged her bottom and her thighs and flared past her knee. I must’ve not been thinking straight, because I didn’t stop to check the label (like I do with all of our food) or question the cut of the jeans (riding low, accentuating curves she doesn’t/shouldn’t have). Against all signs from the universe, I bought them.

Within less than a month of wear, the material started ripping, and I woke up. I finally looked at the label. “Girl” jeans are not made of 100% cotton like “boy” jeans. They are made of over 50% cheap synthetic materials including spandex. No wonder. How could I have been so stupid?

I’ve started taking WarriorPrincess over to the “boy” side of the store (as well as the thrift store), where she can get durable, lasting jeans. She doesn’t mind at all, as long as they look and feel good. The “boy” skinny jeans fit her perfectly, don’t rip, are made from 100% cotton, and they look great without accentuating curves she doesn’t have!

Tell me about your adventures in kid clothes shopping!

Further Resources:
– Full-length previews of Media Education Foundation‘s documentaries on their website.
One teacher’s approach to preventing gender bullying in a classroom


  1. Dalecia says:

    I first noticed the ridiculous differences in clothing materials for different genders when I had my first job at target when I was 16. from baby clothing to adult clothing, girl’s and women’s clothing was always at least 25% crap material. And as a Muslimah observing hijab, don’t even get me started on the ridiculousness of the full length skirts! If they’re not see-through, they’re have slits in them to the knees! I’ve just been sewing my own.

  2. elayeyelay says:

    I totally have a post on this in the works. In the meantime, I feel like this onemay contain some clues as to why kids like mine completely reject all the “boy clothes” I’ve bought for her over the years: aerodynamics. We live in one of the coldest places in the world and in the dead of winter she wants to wear the only frilly, fru-fru skirt she owns. Every day. Anyway, at least that’s what I’m hoping…

  3. Zeinab says:

    When I was a kid, my favorite thing to wear was my brother’s shorts and a cotton tee. So comfortable! My mom allowed us (my siblings and I) to explore when it came to wardrobe, meaning she didn’t doll me up in pink frilly dresses and outrageous lace bows (thank God). Now, as a 17 year old, I just wear what’s comfortable and modest. Then again, I consider shopping a chore, lol!

    Also, when my younger brother was 3 he loved to wear my little sister’s skirts. And yes, my mom let him wear them out in public…Makes for a good conversation starter!

    P.S. Hooray for thrift store shopping!

  4. Kelly McPherson says:

    I, too, take my daughter to the boys side to buy jeans. Not just because of the material but because she doesn’t fit in “skinny” jeans. When first shopping for her I felt like 90% of the jeans out there were marked “skinny” which in our society today I found perplexing as more than 60% of children are overweight.
    My daughter isn’t overweight, however she is athletic and her thighs/quads certainly don’t squeeze into skinny jeans. She did fine trying on boy clothes however, she’s a tom boy. I imagine other more girly girls might be embarrassed that they don’t fit the “skinny” mold or that they had to buy their jeans in the boys section. And so it begins that society tries to tell girls they should be “skinny” and fit other such stereotypes!

  5. Aichah says:

    When I was a little girl, I had the exact replicas of my dad’s jogging oufits (he’s still a fan)and for the rest of my wardrobe, my mum made comfy dresses and pant that I chose from Burda for kids. There were loads of clothes that were meant for both boys and girls with pockets (you keep collecting things when you’re a kid). I never had to wear pinkor those fussy dresses in which you can’t move unlike many of my muslim friends. I got away with whole dress thing because my parents were converts but nowthere is such a pressure on little girls to follow the trend (very unhealthy)with tight salwar kameez, shoes with high heels, make-up…

  6. Atidir says:

    Jean/denim maxi skirts are a great alternative to regular jeans. I’ve also replaced my khakis with khaki maxi skirts in the past. All these can be hard to find, but they’re very practical and comfortable for Muslim girls and women alike.

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