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Mom's rant about gendered clothes at Gap gets response — and action

The brand responded to an Instagram post from a New York news anchor.
/ Source: TODAY

One mom wants her 21-month-old daughter to dream big — in something other than pink pajamas.

Jamie Stelter, the morning traffic anchor for local New York City news channel NY1, vented on Instagram after a disappointing online shopping experience for her toddler, Sunny, at Gap.

“🚦MOM RANT🚦,” Stelter began in her post on February 19. “I just bought these super cute traffic PJs for Sunny from the little boys department of Gap but WHY WHY WHY are they not also in the girls department?! cause they’re blue? cause they have cars on them? cause only little boys can like blue and cars 🤬🤬🤬.”

It’s an ongoing issue for Stelter, who intentionally did not tag the San Francisco-based retailer in her post. “I wasn’t trying to call out The Gap,” Stelter told TODAY Parents. “I was trying to make a broader point. Girls’ stuff is pink and glittery. Boys get fun, graphic prints.”

Stelter’s message received hundreds of comments, including one from The Gap. "They weren’t just like, 'Sorry, we will send you some free pajamas,'" said Stelter. “They said, ‘We want to work on this.’ I thought that was so thoughtful.” (The company has already made changes to its website with a large assortment of sleepwear now living on both the boys’ and girls’ pages.)

“Our design team in New York City creates PJs for both boys and girls to wear and love, mix and match,” a spokesperson for the brand told TODAY. “We are working with our merchants on improving the online shopping experience to better reflect our design intent.”

Stelter, 37, is hopeful other retailers will follow suit. “I really believe that there doesn’t need to be separate sections for girl and boys at a young age. When they’re older and have different body types, it makes more sense,” she explained. “But all toddlers have the same round bodies.”

The TV anchor, who is married to CNN host Brian Stelter, was inundated with emails from other parents who also struggle to find clothes that don’t play into gender stereotypes. (Stelter’s social media followers also offered helpful suggestions. Eva Chen, who is the Fashion Director at Instagram, raved about Smarty Girl Brand, while editor Hailey Eber loves Primary Dot and Céline Dion’s gender-neutral children’s clothing line Celinununu.)

“I had no idea I would be totally flooded,” Stelter said. “One woman said her son has been bullied for wearing pink. Another told me that her daughter likes the boys’ stuff better, but doesn’t feel comfortable shopping in the boys’ department. My post really touched a nerve. Clearly I’m not the only person who wants to see a change.”