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Blue and pink are history in the children’s areas of Target. So are label suggestions for "boys" or "girls."
The retail giant has announced it is removing “gender-based signage” from a number of its departments over the next few months. Color-coded aisles will be phased out of toy displays and store signs will now only indicate options for "kids."
The new policy comes two months after an Ohio woman tweeted a photo of a sign in a Target's toy section showing separate labels for building sets. The picture was retweeted almost 3,000 times.
In a statement, Target explained it didn't want its customers to feel frustrated by signs that were meant to help them navigate the store more efficiently.
“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not,” the statement read.
“We know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary.”
For many parents, Target's change was welcome news.
Other were more skeptical.
Mental health experts say the gender-neutral trend could be a positive step for kids.
“Biologically, we're not hardwired to want pink or blue, so much of this is from social conditioning that happens as a result of generations of [this] being passed on to us,” said Dr. Sue Varma, a psychiatrist.
“Toys are a form of self-expression, so if you can increase that repertoire, you’re really saying ‘You’re OK,’ and as a result our mental health will be far better.”
Target is just the latest company to embrace the trend. Later this month, Ellen DeGeneres is releasing a new Gap Kids clothing line for girls that encourages individuality. Meanwhile, Lego recently released a "Research Institute" line featuring female scientists.