S/O Camo backpack — The Bump
School-Aged Children

S/O Camo backpack

Argghh!  It really is 100x harder dealing with this gender thing with boys.  If you wish, read through fredalina's post below for my son's brave words of advice to fred and her daughter Charlotte about picking a backpack.

Fast forward to this afternoon, and I'm looking on Land's End and LLBean for a new backpack for him, because the zipper finally broke on the otherwise excellent backpack he's had from LE since kindy.

What he really wants is this backpack in the "starry night" pattern.  But what he ultimately decided to get was this one in royal blue.  I brought up his brave words of advice to Charlotte, and he said, "But mom, it's not fair, because a girl can bring a camo backpack to school and no one will really tease her.  If I bring that backpack, even though there's nothing really girly about it, you KNOW I'll hear about it.  It's not fair!"  He says this to me with tears in his eyes.

So, Bumpies, help a fellow out.  Is the starry night backpack too girly?
High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade

Re: S/O Camo backpack

  • Aw, it bums me out that he feels like he can't get the one he wants. I really like the starry night one. I don't think it seems girly at all, but I have a houseful of girls, so I'm not really in tune with what the elementary school-aged boys are into these days :)
  • I read the other post yesterday and really admired your sons attitude! This post makes me feel so sad! I hate that kids have to deal with this crap and can't just have what they like! Your son seems like an awesome kid! Sorry, I don't have any real advice :-(
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  • ppantsppants
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
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    Poor kid! I agree boys have firmer gender lines they have to deal with. I don't think it's "girly", but artsy. Can he get both and carry the starry night one if there's a "safer" place to do so?
    Wendy Twins 1/27/06. DS and DD
  • Something about the swirls and shade of blue do read slightly more feminine, but I really can't imagine many girls carrying that pack around.

    Poor guy. :(
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  • Unfortunately I think the starry night is "girly".  I asked  both my kids(I have a boy and a girl) and they both said it looks like a color a girl would carry.  Sorry :-(
  • I kind of hate the LL Bean prints in general, but I don't think the starry one is girly.  The solid color options are even worse than the prints.  I am leaning toward the shark one for DS.  The LE prints are little better, but they're not on sale.

    On the topic of boys and girls and colors:

    DS loves pink and purple princess stuff, but his favorite color is orange.  He and his 6 year old cousin (girl, very into princesses, but favorite color is blue) had an in-depth discussion about colors and gender recently.  It started because he told her that he likes pink.  She said, "But you're a boy."  "Boys can like pink, " he said.  The conversation went on for a few minutes, mostly discussing each of their friends' genders and favorite colors.  At the end, his cousin summarized with, "I guess colors are for everyone!"




    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
    fancynewbeesly
  • edited July 2014
    I get that those backpacks are quality made.

    What about Jansport back packs? They have a lifetime warranty. I have had two in high school and the zipper broke on one of them and they were able to replace the zipper.

    Is there anyway you can make a couple of trips with your DS to different stores and see which ones would he pick? Maybe he would pick something else that would be okay.
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  • What a cool kid. :)
    Thanks!  I'm pretty attached to him! ;)
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Good for him! I'm glad he decided to get the one he wanted!
  • I love it! He can always rattle off that Vincent Van Gogh painted a starry night (a man) and that he is a fan of impressionist painters. I was going to say that he could add patches or stickers to it to "boy" it up if he gets teased.
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  • erbearerbear
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 100 Love Its
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    I don't think it's too girly. Admittedly, I hate that shit though - I teach middle school and I spend the vast majority of my day trying to fight back against gender stereotypes. It's kind of my hill to die on...

    Is he brave? Is he willing to deal with a couple of asshole kids? Is he confident enough to say "backpacks and colors don't have a gender"? 
    "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies. God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut
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