A Brief Brief on Briefs

19 Feb

letter In October of 2012, Tom Burns over at 8bitdad.com blew the roof off of the girls underwear industry by declaring that he buys boys briefs for his daughter “so that she can wear the characters she’s interested in”. Apparantly “Brave” and “Hello Kitty” hold the lion’s share of the shelf space at supermarkets, leaving little room for superheros. Is you might imagine, the story touched a nerve and was quickly distributed through the entire interwebs by The Good Men Project and Huffington Post. People were espeically vocal about the issue. Burns wrote:

Largely, I’ve been pleased with the debate the article inspired, including over  800 comments at Huffington Post. (I’ve been less happy with the comments  alleging that my underwear permissiveness has forever transformed my daughter  into a sissified deviant, but I’ve been on the internet long enough to  expect—and mildly enjoy—that kind of reaction.)

girls-underwear2

Naturally efforts were made to follow up with marketing representatives from Target, Walmart and their ilk… with little to no response. Superheros haven’t been represented in the girls underwear industry since the good old Underoos days. But enough ruckus was made that eventually Fruit of the Loom reached out to Burns to let him know that they’d heard the complaints and had recently licensed for producing DC character themed girls underwear, and would launch the line in January of 2013. Although the launch was briefly delayed, they did eventually release their girls superohero underwear for online orders in February…

…and sold out in 24 hours.

Naturally Fruit of the Loom recalculated and have restocked their wearhouse. If your daughter is into superheros, you can buy your little superheroine all the non-Hello-Kitty briefs she wants/needs at this link right here.

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As irony would have it I approached my 6-year-old daughter and asked her “Hey honey, would you like me to get you some girls superhero underwear?”

“Um, no thanks Daddy. I like the underwear I have.”

Ah well. At least she was honest.

429241_10150601404267285_1159265785_nI’m not generally an “activist” about most things, but when it comes to empowering my daughter to be whoever she wants to be, gender roles or no, I’m all over this one. The good news is there’s no shortage of superhero underwear in the boys aisle. My son has ‘em all. It doesn’t look like I’ll have to buy girls underwear for him to wear.

And incidentally, if you’re looking for other sources to outfit your young feminine superhero, head on over to SuperheroStuff.com. They’re fantastic about stocking merchandise for little girls.

GIRL POWER!!

-Dork Dad

16 Responses to “A Brief Brief on Briefs”

  1. collzorgs February 19, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    You’re the coolest dad ever.

  2. my27stars February 19, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Now, I would naturally presume that you were in the boy-superhero-underoos-are-ok-for-girls corner when the article came out, even without your own daughter specifically requesting them. (I mean, correct me if I’m wrong…) But where would you stand if one of your sons wanted “Brave” or “Tinkerbell” underoos? It is as easy to reverse the idea of challenging gender roles?

    • Troo February 19, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      I’m with Iggy Pop on this one: “I’m not ashamed to dress like a woman because I don’t think it’s shameful to be a woman.”

      • my27stars February 19, 2013 at 8:52 am #

        I *love* that quote! :)

    • dorkdad February 19, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      While writing this I totally put myself under the microscope and asked myself whether I would be OK with the reverse… buying girly underwear if that’s what my son wanted.

      …I’ll be honest, I’m still struggling with that one.

      • my27stars February 19, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        I hear you completely. Doodle has long hair, he loves butterflies and flowers, and he used to watch Angelina Ballerina regularly – but he often gets called a girl when we go out and about so I try to put him in as many “boyish” clothes as I can to try to help people make that distinction. It’s hard – you don’t want to stifle femininity in a son and hurt him in the future, but you also don’t want to promote something that might create a confusion that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. There is, of course, the aspect of boy underwear having a special design just for boys, and girl underwear obviously lacking that – but really, what little boy actually uses that little slot so could it even be an honest reason not to? :)

  3. Troo February 19, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Likewise I was going to get all up in arms about the new Lego lilac and pink girly playsets. Then I realised the Lego “Friends” had cool-ass professions like stage magician and veterinarian, and hobbies including karate and soccer and flying planes.

    Eesh. We had to work harder to be tom-boys when I was a kiddie. These young ‘uns today don’t know how easy they get it! :D

    • dorkdad February 19, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Oh there’s a huge blog post brewing on that one. The dadblogger-universe took big exception to those “girly” legos when they came out. Put me squarely in the camp that *LOVES* ‘em. Anything to get your kids into legos. My daughter loves ‘em, and the benefits to a kid’s growth from a stedy lego diet far outweigh the drawbacks from any gender stereotypes.

  4. destinydelivered February 19, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    ‘A sissified deviant’ for wearing boys briefs? Crikey !

  5. BehindMyBooks February 19, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Amazing! I will never forget my joy at discovering Muppet underwear at one point. While the Muppet underwear is no more, the superheroes are triumphing! It is a wonderful day to be a girl!

  6. The Cutter February 19, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I can’t picture myself in a similar situation, because thus far, my daughter has only expressed interest in super-girly things like Disney Princesses and Barbie.

    If I ever have a son, and he wants to wear something similar….I’d like to think I would ultimately be okay with it. But I can’t be certain.

  7. Otrazhenie February 19, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Very interesting point. :-)

  8. jetts31 February 20, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Underoos may have been the greatest fashion statement in the last 100 years. I’m all for whatever my kids want to wear and would have no problem if they wanted boys briefs because their favorite characters were on them. I think its great that Fruit of the Looms has recognized that girls can like superheroes too.
    (Superherostuff.com is awesome and their warehouse is only about 15 minutes down the road from my house)

  9. larva225 February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Hooray! I remember my Wonder Woman underoos well.

  10. Mike February 23, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    Good one dad, I congratulate you for being outrageously outraged (whatever the outcome).

    Fruit of the Loom the only one thinking outside the square? No surprise for a company owned by Warren Buffet.

  11. memyselfandkids.com March 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I wonder if Burns got soem of the profits since he seems to have inspired Fruit of the Loom to this change in briefs.
    I definitely remember wearing underoos. I wore them once on gym day when I might have been too old for them and never heard the end of it.

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