Boden have a campaign going at the moment.
It's called 'Wear It Like a Mum'. The messaging is '...as in on your own terms, in your way, how YOU like. Your style, and how you wear it, is something to be championed - because being a mum is title to be proud of.'
Naturally many childless women and online groups in this area exploded with anger when this started appearing as an insert into the Christmas magazines (the campaign was launched in October 2017).
I saw it, laughed and chucked it in the bin thinking that I can't afford them and I don't really like their clothes anyway! In fact it's a bit unfair to mums, assuming they don't already have a style or lost it somewhere along the way and they seemingly need assistance. Are mums only allowed to buy certain brands like 'mum jeans? as Top Shop once implied in it's labelling. And what about being proud of the title? Isn't it enough to be a person with a name, why a demographic. Mum isn't a title anymore than sir, Mr or Dame? We are all individuals and attributing labels beyond clothing is a dangerous game to play when a demographic can be so diverse. That said, if I was a mum then I'd be proud of that. I was briefly and I still have a right to that 'label' too.
In truth, the market segment of mums is always going to be bigger than the childless. In marketing speak, this demographic are worth more in terms of spending. If all the childless women upped and left Boden in protest would that matter?
What this campaign does very nicely is divide women. Just as the National Trust seems to place emphasis on family events and neglects those with dogs or without children, so Boden are pushing the concept of being less stylish than a mum if we read the text in a certain way, or rather championing a demographic over another. As childless we can be scored, misunderstood or worse, pitied. If we chose education, as I did, we're told we left it too late when in fact my journey began when I was in my twenties. Those who chose to be childfree are 'selfish' and in short we are harder to understand than the contributors of mumsnet.
The only way to make it understood better is to speak out. Instead of ranting on forums, contact Boden, speak to the agencies and get on social media and explain. Ultimately if we don't speak out then what really changes? And let's stop blaming parents too! This is poor marketing and bad research or it's clever because it's made us talk.