Retailers and manufacturers in the $22 billion toy industry, along with media companies, are starting to heed these concerns. Not only are toymakers more wary of marketing some items only to boys or only to girls, they and major store chains are creating gender-neutral or androgynous labels and store aisles.
“The industry’s learned that you shouldn’t be labeling for a specific gender. There are so many girls who want to be Iron Man and Captain America, and boys who want to play with Easy-Bake.”
The shift is part of a wider movement in retail to blur gender lines, as society moves beyond stereotypes, and celebrities as varied as Caitlyn Jenner and Jaden Smith put a spotlight on an array of gender identities.