Parents who are tired of answering the question, “Is your baby a boy or a girl?” can make things crystal clear with a controversial baby accessory: glue.
The brand Girlie Glue offers an “all natural” adhesive to fasten bows onto babies’ heads — even if they don’t have Hair. The glue, which is made of agave nectar and “other natural ingredients,” is designed to last all day and washes off with water or baby wipes. While the company isn’t new, it’s recently come under fire for its questionable ingredients and promoting gender stereotypes.
CEO Katie Hyrdrick writes on the company website that she was struck by the idea when her babies’ headbands and bows kept slipping off their hairless heads. After searching for a long lasting accessory, she “went to the kitchen and whipped up a batch of what would become Girlie Glue as we know it.”
The company’s tagline is, “It’s never too early to be girlie!”
During a time when children’s clothing companies are generally breaking free from color-coded messages — Princess Awesome sells skirts with rockets, dragons and dinosaurs; Gardner and the Gang offers gender-neutral colors; and Lands’ End girls’ T-shirts are emblazoned with planets and robots — some still feel a pressing need to clarify a baby’s gender, above all other notable traits.
“Parents have been taping bows to their babies’ heads for years,” Christia Brown, a professor of developmental psychology and author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, tells Yahoo Beauty. “It speaks to the idea that people want to be easily categorized and a baby’s sex isn’t as obvious — most are bald with similar body types and facial features.”
What’s especially disturbing, says Brown, is that the glue equates babies and beauty. “It fosters the idea that babies should be attractive and adorned and in a non-functional way,” she says. “While there’s nothing inherently wrong with using a bow to clip a baby girl’s hair, in this case, the babies are bald.”
Ironically, the Girlie Glue website also notes that the glue can be used to fasten mustaches to your bundle of joy. So maybe the joke is on us.
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