Happy Women’s Equality Day! Or as LOFT would probably say, Happy Girls’ Equality Day!

August 26, 2011 at 8:01 am (Uncategorized)

Today is Womens’ Equality Day, a day which commemorates the anniversary of the Constitutional amendment which granted women the right to vote.  On this day of days, I happened to see a post on my Facebook news feed from LOFT announcing a SHOP LIKE A LOFT GIRL promotion.  I was momentarily puzzled- had LOFT, the women’s retailer whose average shopper is a married thirtysomething with an income of $75-$100k started a youth clothing line?  No.

So then why was the women’s retailer doing this?  I don’t have an issue with women referring to themselves as girls (Okay, I actually do, but I understand how awkward it can feel to refer to a group of female friends as women or ladies or gals…) but…really?  I spend enough time on my feminist soap box so I’d really rather not climb up there right now, so just on a really basic level, LOFT is not a retailer of girls clothes.  If this were Limited Too or GAP Kids or Children’s Place this would be an appropriate promotion.  This is a women’s retailer.  As part of the clientage that they are trying to attract, I am not interested because I AM NOT A GIRL.

I am a woman.  I have a job, an apartment, mature interests and responsibilities.  I want a retailer that I patronize to recognize that.   I don’t want to shop like a LOFT girl because I haven’t been a girl for some time.  While woman is synonymous with experience and maturity there aren’t those same associations with girl.  Girls are still figuring things out, they lack agency.  I wouldn’t want an employer or a customer or a man (Man! Not boy, man! Just like woman instead of girl!) I’m in a relationship with to view me as a girl, and I feel the same way about a retailer who is getting my money.

LOFT missed the mark on this one and I hope their future promotions aren’t as silly and inaccurate as this one.

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1 Comment

  1. broadsofthebeltway said,

    This is indeed an annoying phenomenon that extends beyond LOFT.
    With LOFT specifically, I think this may have a little something to do with their re-branding efforts. Remember when the clothes were dowdier, and the store was called ‘Anne Taylor Loft?’ The company is apparently doing its best to re-situate itself among trendier ‘fast fashion’ stores like H&M, Zara and Topshop. It has marketed through fashion bloggers somewhat aggressively and apparently wants to disassociate itself with Anne Taylor (its mother company) in shoppers’ brains, so the ‘girl’ label is probably an effort to divorce the two further.
    But, yes – it is a good point that we so often are addressed (and instinctively self-identify in speech) as girls, but men are so rarely referred to as ‘boys.’

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