Theme Wrap-Up: Wrap for Dudes Part II

So, we're talking about gender socialization, and how gift wrap tends to promote stereotypes that reinforce the male/female dichotomy. From baby showers to birthdays, we wrap gifts in colors and prints that "agree" with the sexes, and sometimes this can be fun. But let's say we want to put on our progressive caps and ignore those categories. Great! Still, we still might not want to wrap our boyfriends' presents in hot pink satin. Although that might be awesome.

If you refer to part one of this wrap-up, you'll see that I picked out a few wraps that target the masculine realm. This time, I want to share a set of prints that could suit any gender identification while still being attractive. Kind of like Natalie Portman. You have to love her no matter what gender you identify with, it's the rule.

Print by Paper Source

Many "masculine" gift wraps maintain an icky, beige/gray color palate. OK, I get it. Neutral, earthy colors lend themselves to an association with stability, order and of course, nature. But that doesn't mean they have to be ugly. Chocolates and golds are rich, friendly colors with universal appeal. The above print is appealing to all the senses--it's delicious to look at, but I also seriously want to eat this.

Print by Paper Source

You can do floral prints in a unisex fashion. My gauge says that if it could look sophisticated on a tie or a dress, it's probably a good print. The wrap floral is royal purple and muted silver with paisley intertwined; paisley can work for everyone, so a few flowers here and there doesn't give the print a glaringly feminine slant. The lesson here is, try to choose prints with colors that are strong and attractive on their own, and neutral prints like argyle, damask, and of course paisley, can work for all ilks. It would certainly not emasculate your boyfriend to give him a gift in this print--though it doesn't matter since he's already a huge feminist, right??

Print by Paper Source

It's tough to find wrapping paper that could equally extol the innocence of a young boy's birthday party *and* accentuate the excitement of a friend's house-warming. By now you guys know I love bird prints, but any artfully-done animal print could work just as well to highlight all occasions. The reason why I love this print is because you could slap a big old bow on it to wrap a Tonka truck for your nephew, but you could just as easily tie a tulle ribbon around it for a lovely, more "mature" token.

(Side note--can you tell by now that I ADORE Paper Source?)

Print by Kate's Paperie

Prints with "things" on them are great, but we tend to pigeonhole ourselves, once again, into gender-stereotyped corners (i.e., cars for boys, lipsticks for girls, etc.). When looking for a "thing" print, try something visually attractive with no particular slant. I love cameras and they come in wildly interesting models. Thus, an attractive print is born. The only caveat to this paper is that your recipient might foster false hope for a camera inside the wrapping.

Join me next time for "Ageism and Giftwrap: A Good Print Knows No Age."

Just joking. Unless you're interested.

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! Stick with it after the class ends!