This week is Children’s Mental Health Week. For those who don’t know, we donate 1% of our annual turnover to children’s mental health charity, Young Minds.
Protecting children’s mental health is a core aim of the ethos of this company, and part of the reason our clothes are gender neutral. We firmly believe children have the right to develop their own personalities, preferences, interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes outside of restrictive gender-based stereotypes.
Gender stereotypes are restrictive for all children, whether that’s telling a boy that he should be tough and not like pink, rainbows or bunnies. Or telling a girl that she should only aspire to be kind and make other people happy. And that’s before we consider the needs of LGBT+ children who may struggle even more with their discovering their self-identities surrounded by hetero-normative assumptions.
In my mind, giving children the freedom to be themselves, especially at such a young age, is critical to giving them a balanced and supportive start to life to set them up to be happy and content with who they are. Self-acceptance and understanding are important aspects to being mentally resilient and coping with whatever life throws at you along the way. Mental health is obviously far more complex than this, and there are many other aspects involved. But encouraging children to be themselves, without limits, is a good place to start.