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Girls are pretty and boys brave?

Are compliments for boys really that different from compliments girls get?

A girl standing on a yellow armchair. She is wearing superheroine leggings.

Girls often get compliments for their looks and good behavior. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to be complimented for their actions. From a young age, girls are complimented on being "pretty" or "cute," while boys are more likely to be praised for their strength or bravery.

This leads girls to focus more on their looks than their abilities.

And boys feel pressured to always do well and perform. The pressure to perform can be quite exhausting and is not good for their mental health.

Being praised feels good and it shows kids that they are 'performing well' in that area. They then naturally want to be praised more and more.

However, it is important to realize that everyone, regardless of gender, wants to be valued for their whole self, not just one trait. Girls want to be appreciated for their intelligence, creativity, and leadership qualities. And boys want to be praised for their kindness, empathy, and emotional intelligence, not just their physical strength or accomplishments.

A girl in a blue dress kneeing on a jumping mat. The light breaks in the picture.

What can we do to break out of this gender-based complimentary pattern and create a more inclusive culture?

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Focus on the whole person: When giving compliments, try to appreciate the whole person, not just one characteristic. Instead of saying, "You look pretty," you could say, "I love your creativity in dressing yourself." or "You are so thoughtful when you choose your clothes."

  2. Challenge gender stereotypes: If you hear someone praising a girl based only on her looks, you can kindly point out that there are many other things they could be praised for. "Not only is she well-dressed, but she's also very smart."

  3. Encourage different activities: Encourage girls and boys to participate in different activities, regardless of gender stereotypes. For example, you could encourage girls to take martial arts and boys to try a dance class and praise the children for their efforts and accomplishments in these areas.

A girl sitting on a yellow armchair. She is wearing blue leggings.

By seeking to praise children for their individual abilities, we can create a more inclusive and equal culture where everyone is valued for their whole selves, not just one trait.

Let's praise each other for our actions, personalities, and accomplishments, regardless of gender.

Who is Mint Girls?

Mint Girls makes clothes for girls who think astronauts, trucks and dragons are great. We want to empower our girls and give them the opportunity to have alternatives to princesses and unicorns.

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