Using the hashtag "everyday sexism" and tagging Clintons, Paula tweeted: “What a delightful message to spread to our children. Please do better.”
Many social media users were similarly outraged by the mugs, with some describing them as “vile” and “revolting”.
Others responded by providing examples of their children who defy gender stereotypes.
“Really? You do know it's 2019 right? Shan't waste my time. Gotta drop my 11-year-old girl to karate (brown belt) and 15-year-old T1 diabetic girl to lifeguard training,” one person wrote.
“These fab young ladies are my heroes, I'd be a mug to purchase anything like what you're selling.”
Another added: “My daughter is a hero and my son is a total babe!”
A third person, who works as a firefighter, wrote: “@ClintonsTweet are you saying that I can only be a princess and not a hero? Because that isn't in my job description #firefighter.”
Since sharing the photograph online, Espener’s tweet has received 1.8k likes and nearly 500 retweets.
After seeing the response, Espener expanded on her original tweet, adding: “Its mind boggling and extremely frustrating rather than offensive.
“It’s not wrong for a girl to want to be a princess in the same way that it’s not wrong for a boy to want to be a prince but the problem comes when you a tell a girl/woman that’s all she can be.”
Clintons replied to the tweet and said it would pass the concerns over to its buying team for review.
In an additional statement, Gabrielle Peters, head of gifts at Clintons, said the company was “very sorry” for any offence caused.
“This is one from a wide range of drinkware that we sell, all of which is selected by our all-women gift buying team,” Peters said.
“Many of our products feature affirmative, strong statements relating to women. There are many princesses and heroes – fictional and real – that are very positive role models.
“We are sensitive to feedback and will review our range. All of our messages come from a good place and our intention is to cater to as wide an audience as possible.”
Earlier this year, supermarket Asda was accused of sexism over the stereotypes it used to described children’s clothing online.
Katherine Tierney, from Scotland, recently noted the difference in the supermarket chain's clothing descriptions while browsing the children’s section of its website.
The mother-of-two was so enraged by what she found she decided to share two screenshots of the gendered ranges on Twitter alongside the caption: “I'm shocked at the different descriptions of trousers @georgeatasda have used for baby girls & boys [sic].
“Active little men who need comfy clothes that move with them, or pretty little princesses who look as cute as a button?
"Are you actually kidding me?! #everydaysexism @letclothesbe."
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies