Happy Birthday Pigtail Pals! 2!

Creator of PtP Melissa, The Original Pigtial Pal Amelia, and Benny Boy

Two years ago today I took a giant leap of faith and pushed “publish” on my website. I had spent the two and a half years leading up to that moment raising my two very small children and becoming dismayed at how childhood, but specifically girlhood, had changed. I knew I had a really good idea for a simple line of t-shirts for girls, and there was really nothing else like on the market. The response to the shirts was immediate, and I spent the first year in business doing so many trunk shows that I can’t remember them all. People would shake my hand, hug me, thank me, tell me they got goosebumps from the message…

And you’re thinking, “From a t-shirt?”

Not just any t-shirt. A t-shirt carrying a message based on the principle that our daughters were being short changed, and this mama wasn’t willing to sell out her daughter’s girlhood. I knew our daughters deserved more. And I felt I could change the way we think about our girls.

Too much was missing from girlhood. Color, for one. But imagery being most important — astronauts, pilots, sailors, doctors, movie directors, pirates, dinosaurs, bugs…image that boys got, but not girls. If you looked at any clothing rack in a store today, our girls are being told they can grow up to be tiaras, cupcakes, lipsticks, butterflies, hearts, or ballerina slippers. Now take a look at what the boys are being told. 

A child’s first language is pictures, and the story my daughter was seeing only seemed to have one chapter.

That simply is unacceptable to me. I will not have it. Not for my daughter, not for yours. I created Pigtail Pals to be the change I wanted to see. And week after week after week, this little company continues to grow.

Since my launch I’ve had over 40,000 people visit the online boutique, and even more come join us on twitter, facebook, and the blog. I love having each and every one of you here. Even when we disagree with each other, we constantly learn from each other, and thus become better parents. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

I hope you continue to enjoy our products, our blogs posts, and our discussions. Please let your friends and family know what we’re up to and how we’re shaking things up. Word of mouth is the single best way for a small business to grow.

Pigtail Pals believes it is the right of the child to have the years of childhood filled with a parade

of color, exploration, discovery, adventure, and play.

Paint puddle compliments of Benny Boy.

 PP has awakened me from the denial I had regarding the marketing targeted at my daughter. I now shop for her and entertain her with my EYES OPEN.   – Monica

Following PP has deepened my commitment to giving my children a true childhood full of joy and choices. It’s given me tools to teach media literacy. And it has allowed me to spread the word to friends and family who might otherwise never have thought about these issues.   – Robyn

I learned that there are parents out there with similar concerns. I no longer feel weird or overly sensitive. Pigtail Pals gives me the opportunity to share and learn about parenting strategies that appreciate and celebrate girlhood. Its been wonderfully uplifting and encouraging! Thank YOU!!   – Robin

I learned this week that I need to go find a big mud puddle for my girl to jump into with both feet. I might even jump in with her 🙂   -Sherri

PP is another tool in my goal to treat each child as an individual. I have boys, but I have a stepdaughter, and the things I see from/about girls scare me. I teach middle school, and see the attitudes of girls every day, and I strive to be the role model that they deserve.   -Kim

I had never really considered the effect of media and advertising on very young girls before meeting you.   -Jenn

I have learned to embrace and treasure my girl, Chloe, as she redefines girly each and every day!   -Jennie

PP has taught me to expose my children to all the beautiful colors of the rainbow…not just pink and blue.   -Stesha

I’ve learned to smile when my daughter plays in the mud or dirt. It doesn’t matter if other parents cringe or if she gets dirty; what matters is that she’s happy and it’s ok!   -Kimberly

To enjoy life with my 3 girls. From mud puddle jumping to playing with dolls and cars at the same time and to enjoy the royal wedding while teaching my children they don’t have to be dependent on a man.    –Kutrina

I’ve learned to think even more critically at “surface” comments and judgments. I’ve also learned to speak up when I see injustice — there’s power in doing so!   -Kelly

I’ve learned Amelia likes the ocean, thinks doctors should give doctor stickers, and that 5 different patterns do indeed look great together when worn by the right person.   -Debbie

I have learned that there are a lot of like minded mommas and little girls out there. I’ve been reminded that it’s important to think about issues and not push them under the rug of my own mind. I’ve been reminded that it’s so important to be honest with my daughter, have fun with my daughter, and enjoy her childhood. I need to answer her questions, protect her girlhood, and help give her great choices to pick from.   -Penny

I’ve learned that I am not the only one who things toy stores should have toys arranged by category, not by “pink” or “blue.”   -Julie

I have learned to let my husband buy my girls tools and racecars. He is very proud that Cora wants to go outside and run around with him while he works out in the yard and on the cars. Not every girl has to be perfectly skinny like the media tell us now days!   -Erika

I’ve learned that not only am I not alone in being driven to distraction by the obsessive hyper-gendering of our kids, but that there are tons of great resources out there with like-minded parents dedicated to fighting it.   -Emily

Add me to the list of those who has learned she’s not alone. I know quite a few people who think I’m over-reacting when I voice my concerns about marketing and options for clothing for little girls. So I love the articles and information posted here. I also love that there are so many people here who comment on those articles/information, so that I know there are others who share the same opinion.   -Dorothy

I’ve learned how to voice my concerns without sounding like a know it all or a crazy person.   -Sue

I have learned the importance of living the truth and being who you are…and having no fear doing it. I have learned that you have to be who you are no matter what people think you “should” be. I have learned that being a girl is about being a doctor, an astronaut, a scientist….or whatever else you want. I have been inspired by her free spirit and curious nature.   -Melissa

 I have learned to be more careful with my daughters regarding sexualizing girls. I pay attentions to the media they view and listen to and the products I buy for them because I want my girls to realize their female value is not determined by how short their skirt is.   -Tabi

My eyes have been opened by Pigtail Pals to sexualization of girls and gender biases. Before, I may have ignored or not even “heard” her say things like “soccer is for boys” (that was this morning), but instead we now have a conversation about it! Thank you for helping me and my girls!   -Laura

I’ve learned not to limit what my daughter can do. Honestly, I used to be a “princess” person. I wanted her to dress is pink, like princesses, and have tea parties. I have come to realize that would be limiting her and she deserves better. I love that she’s unique, has (and uses) her brain, and makes her own decisions.   -Trish

Comments

  1. Robin Baker says:

    Beautifully said. My only sorrow is I didn’t know about you 2 years ago when you started. But I am pretty darn happy I discovered you now! Happy Birthday! Here’s to many more birthdays to come!

  2. Melissa,

    Finding you has made being a mom who’s trying to raise media literate kids feel less lonely. Not to mention made me better educated! Happy Birthday–your business “kid” won’t ever give you a hug, but it’s sure changing lives.

    Hugs,
    Ann

  3. I am not a mother yet, but I have such a big heart and love for children. Your mission is a battle I have been fighting since I was a very young girl. I have always known I wanted to raise my children in a way that promoted choice and freedom. (Even if 15 years ago the vocabulary was more like baseball and navy blue rather than choice and freedom). Thank you so much for your posts and sharing your insight. You, as well as many other mothers who post on here, are an incredible inspiration for me, and I cannot explain how thankful I am to already have these thoughts and ideas brewing for my fiance’s and my future children as we begin our life together soon.

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