People Are Pissed About This “Future President” Onesie At Target — For No Reason

There's another gender-related kids'-clothing fracas, but this particular situation has a presidential twist. Jaime Herndon, an author, book reviewer, and mother, took to Twitter to air her concerns about an item she'd found in the children's department of her local Target. The item in question? A onesie that reads "Future President." Herndon's concerns weren't about the item itself, but about its placement on the selling floor: in the boys' section. She took matters into her own hands, literally, by plucking a few of the empowering onesies and hanging them up in the girls' section. Basically, the most awesome (and proactive) solve for the retailer's sexist-seeming misstep.
Turns out it was, in fact, just a merchandising error: The style Herndon called out on Twitter was designed for "both boys and girls," and intended to be stocked in the baby department wherever there was room on the sales floor, Joshua Thomas, a Target communications rep, told Refinery29. So basically it’s actually a unisex item, not meant just for boys. (So everyone can calm down now.) Last week, an outspoken feminist 8-year-old sounded off in this viral video about the sexist fashion selection at U.K. chain Tesco; last month, Target Australia (which has no relation to Target in the U.S.) as well as Old Navy got flak for heteronormative kids' clothes. In August, a Gap ad across the pond was criticized for stereotyping boys as "thinkers" and girls as "social butterflies" with these graphic tees. While the exact onesie Herndon snapped a photo of, which is navy with red trim and dappled with white stars, isn't currently available online, these tees emblazoned with "Future President" are actually marketed for girls, as part of Target's recently launched Cat & Jack children's line. There's also a different unisex onesie bearing the phrase (not the patriotically hued version causing a stir on Twitter) available online. "First and foremost, we’re sorry this guest was disappointed during her recent trip to Target," Thomas told Refinery29." [The onesie] is available for a limited time in our stores to coincide with the election. Our store teams have been placing it within the department where there is open space." The onesie is being remerchandised in coed displays at Target locations that currently carry the piece. Additionally, the retailer has reached out to Herndon, according to Thomas. Not everyone was so jazzed about Herndon calling out gendered clothing for pint-sized presidential aspirants: "Be fair...I bought a 'future president' T-shirts for my daughter there in the girls section 2 weeks ago," one Twitter user pointed out. Herndon has had to deal with some detractors since she tweeted on Sunday about the disappointing onesie placement. "I am blocking a-holes and mansplainers bc I have too much to do today. No time for that negativity," she tweeted today, following it up later on with a more direct message for her haters: "Wow, people are getting so worked up. Here's the beauty of twitter: scroll past. You do your thing, I'll do mine." Hopefully, genderless kids' clothing (like these lines) will become the norm in the not-too-far-off future.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series