Earlier this week lots of folks were sharing with me photos of offensive t-shirts from The Children’s Place selling girls short by promoting the old stereotypes that shopping, music, and dancing are her best school subjects while math is her weak link. Another tee has her coveting diamonds from birth. Within a day or two of the very public parental outcry The Children’s Place issued an apology and pulled the shirts. How they got there in the first place is beyond me. We need to being to demand more from retailers marketing to our families. How many times does a business get to say “Oopsie!” before the apology starts to feel trite?
Here’s the thing — I’m feeling really burned out talking about the negative stuff. These corporations are making millions off the backs of our children, either from parents who don’t know better or who don’t care to know better. As consumers we either stand up to gender stereotypes and sexualization in the marketplace or we don’t. I think it is important to talk about the offenders and educate by way of the bad stuff, but….
In doing so we sometimes forget to highlight the folks getting it RIGHT. So while we protest The Children’s Place or Monster High or My Little Pony or Hot Wheels whatever is making headlines this week, let’s all make a point to give a shout out to smaller businesses that are led by women who work long hours trying to make things right for girls.
Enough is enough! Let’s start talking about business leaders who are getting it right!
Here’s a good start:
1. Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies: You can find inspiring, artful t-shirts at www.pigtailpals.com in sizes Infant through Adult 3X. Our Redefine Girly line shows girls being smart, daring, and adventurous. Our Whimsy Bee & Curious Crickets line shows snapshots from childrens’ imaginations. Our Empowering Kids line gives the strong message that there are many ways to be a girl and positive messages about body image. Our Cannonball line shows boys and girls playing outside in the different seasons, enjoying each others friendship.
2. New Moon Girls is an advertisement-free, girl-led magazine with really great content perfect for girls ages 8+ . Girls create and edit most of the content.
3. Check out the great dolls from Go! Go! Sports Girls that encourage girls to dream big and do great things with their strong bodies. Aurora World also make super cute, age-appropriate mermaid dolls, part of their Sea Sparkles line.
4. Order some science-themed learning toys from Toward the Stars.
5. Explore the Women of Action Series of books (from my book’s publisher, Chicago Review Press!) “Women Aviators: 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys” and “A World of Her Own: 24 Amazing Women Explorers and Adventurers” .
7. Discover everything that is In This Together Media for girls and encourage your daughter to start using her voice.
8. Meet Super Tool Lula from Princess Free Zone. She is a young super hero who Redefines Girly and fights bullying!
9. Check out the Reading Lists for parents and kids recommended by the PPBB community.
10. Support the #BraveGirlsWant billboard campaign to project our messages to Times Square this fall!