Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What would work instead of pink and blue bottles?

  •  Conversation started today

  • Wouldn't this display work better with one of the mannequins wearing a soft structured carrier, or a stylish wrap sling instead?  Or maybe a male mannequin with a framed carrier and rugged outdoor clothing?  

    For more main stream ideas, an expensive push chair and those expensive rockers for nurseries with appropriate mannequins would fill up the show window more tastefully and with more stuff they have for sale rather than with baby bottles.

    So, here is my feedback on Fenwick's uninspiring show window on Northumberland Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    photo courtesy of the Alpha Parent

    Dear Fenwick:
    I have shopped at Fenwick in the 15 years that I've been resident in the North East and frequently pass your beautiful displays while in Newcastle. Now that I have children we also stop by at Christmas to admire the window as many other North Easterners do.
    I was surprised last night to see this amazing display (see attachment) but not for reasons which I would have hoped.
    Your marketing team will be aware that imagery plays a huge role in the acceptance of ideas, products and brands by the general public. It is just the same when it comes to baby care and infant feeding. The marketing team may not be consciously aware that images of baby bottles, teats and dummies undermine the breastfeeding goals of mothers. There exists ample evidence which show that even subtle imagery contribute to the normalization of one method of feeding over another. So while your display does not tell mothers to bottle feed, it is reinforcing the already cultural norm that bottle feeding is the default method by which babies are fed.
    Mothers in the North East have low rates of initiating, establishing and continuing to breastfeed when compared with other parts of the country, particularly the Home Counties. It is therefore even more important that the goals of women feel supported by the images they see in the wider community. Commenting on infant feeding in the Ecologist, April 2006, Mary Renfrew, Professor of Mother and Infant Health at Dundee University stated, "society is not just bottle feeding friendly, but it is deeply breastfeeding unfriendly." This is the tide against which many women are swimming and to which unfortunately your display window contributes.
    I ask you to consider taking down the display sooner than you planned and ask you to put up breastfeeding welcome stickers in your restaurants, cafes and other rest areas in the store.
    On a separate note, the gender coding of pink/blue is particularly nauseating to mothers who do not want to raise their children in a gender coded world where pink = girls and blue = boys and cascades towards gender coded toys, play, behaviour expectations and career prospects. Just yuk and lacking of creativity and forethought.
    Please feel free to respond to me via this email address. I welcome any feedback you may have to this letter.
    Kind regards The Rabbit in the Moon Mother Supporter with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Peer Supporter with Baby Café

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