I am a mother of two, a stay-at-home mom turned mompreneur. When my daughter was nine months old, I was in the middle of a conversation about Disney Princesses when I had an epiphanyÖWhy in the world is my generation, the most educated, most well-traveled, most worldly generation of women everÖwhy are my contemporaries still raising our girls to wish upon a star in hopes that her prince may someday come? Why arenít we teaching our girls to get into her rocket ship and find that star all on her own?
And then it hit me -- Maybe I didnít need to raise my daughter in the pink & purple wave of brainwashing princesses and sexed up dolls I saw spiraling towards us. Maybe I could raise her to be smart, independent, strong and daring. Maybe I could incorporate every color of the rainbow into her world, and not limit her to pink. I recall watching her that morning, before she could even walk, making a promise to myself I would never limit her dreaming nor desire for adventure. I would help her redefine what it was to be a little girl growing up in today's sometimes crazy world.
Pigtail Pals was born in May 2009 with the mission to Redefine Girly! I believe girls need to see messages in early childhood that show females being smart, daring, and adventurous. As the saying goes, "You can't be what you can't see."
Iím not anti-pink. Iím not anti-princess (although I really do not dig the Disney version). Iím not anti-girly. IíM ANTI-LIMITATION. I want my daughter to be bold. I want her to be unafraid to be intelligent. I want her to be respected for her accomplishments. She will not be raised to think that the world belongs only to boys and that she is merely a pretty thing in it.
When I launched Pigtail Pals my son was just a year old, but as he has grown so have I, and I came to realize the media was sending hurtful messages to boys, too. My little boy was so sweet and caring, and just like with my daughter, I saw this crush of gender stereotyped merchandise coming towards us. There are so many ways to be a boy, but I felt like the marketplace was giving him a very narrow version of that could be. Our boys have the natural born right of the child to dance, sing, create, inspire, care, love, dream, and play. I want my son to have the freedom to explore his world, without being shamed or ridiculed. My son gets to decided for himself what it means to be a "boy", there is no right or wrong way to do it. I didn't have much luck finding positive apparel and helpful resources for boys, so I decided to expand the scope of Pigtail Pals to include boys in our work. In May 2012 we changed to "Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies", and now offer many tee designs that feature boys.
I think our children deserve more. I think they deserve better. I think it is time to redefine girly and reclaim boyhood.
Redefine Girly means we can ask for the room for our girls to define for themselves who they will be in this world. Reclaim Boyhood means we can demand the space for our sons to become thoughtful, intelligent men who respect others.
The art and messages on my empowering apparel and products shows children that they can dream in any color with no limits to where their hearts and imagination take them.
Continue the Conversation for parents at our Redefine Girly Blog