In My Opinion
Girls Shouldn’t Have to Shop the Boys’ Department to Find Cool Clothes
As a preschool teacher my world is filled with cute kids, cute shoes, cute clothes, backpacks and lunch boxes. It seems that everywhere I look someone has something just a bit cuter than before. The boys don’t have a limit on the cool things they find to wear, carry or play with. The girls, well that’s a different story. Most everything for girls seems to be pink, frilly and a bit sparkly. But what happens when the girl in your life has absolutely no desire to wear pink or anything that sparkles and shines? Parents of the non-girly girls are running into a slight problem. Why can’t little girls wear dinosaurs on their shirts? Who makes the fashion rules that say pink is for girls and blue (or other cool colors) are for boys? Those rules stink!
When my daughter was born, I ran out and bought as many pink, ribbon adorned and lace trimmed items that I could get my hands on. My little girl was going to be a princess forever. Boy was I wrong! By the time she was able to dress herself, she gravitated toward darker colors and absolutely anything that did not sparkle or shine. I tried – oh, how I tried to convince her that she would look so pretty in pink. She won the battle and started choosing what she wanted to wear and we often found ourselves shopping in the boys department for solid colored polo shirts, longer length shorts and the occasional hooded sweatshirt.
Now, more than twenty years later it seems that the girls department is still on pink overload which is why Texas mom Sharon Choksi started the Kids Will Be clothing line. Choksi’s eight year old daughter, Maya was not happy with the selection of girls’ clothes and wondered, “Why do boys get all the cool stuff?” Choksi decided to do something about it and created a line of girls’ clothes that was considered “cool”. Girls Will Be shirts feature bold colors and prints of universally beloved symbols like dogs, sharks, planes, baseballs, along with simple, non-gendered phrases like “Be awesome.” The Girls Will Be clothing line is designed to “allow young ladies to feel more comfortable wearing dinosaurs not butterflies on their t-shirts” Girls Will Be is spreading a feel good message on their website encouraging girls to be who they want to be stating that…
“Clothes are one way kids express themselves, which is why it is so important for girls to see more options! So no girl ever thinks something is wrong if she doesn’t like what girls are “supposed” to wear. Or stops liking something because she only sees it on boy clothes. We want all girls to be able to find clothes that reflect who they are and what they like. Because there is more than one way to be a girl!”
With my own daughter now an adult, I don’t have to worry too much about picking out her clothes. But I still think that we (society, the fashion industry and media) need to stop pushing girls toward the princess mentality and encourage them to be who they want to be and wear what they want. So if little girls want to wear green striped shirts with big blue dinosaurs on them then they should go for it. It is important for girls to know they have options and feeling good in what we wear is important for any age.
Once in a while I get the “privilege” of doing my daughter’s laundry and every time I find that there is no need to separate “lights” from “darks” because there are no “lights”. Being the independent thinker that she is she decided a long time ago that pink, lace, ribbons and sparkles were not for her. I cherish the little girl pictures of her in her dresses, black patent leather shoes and ribbons in her hair but am so thankful that she was strong enough to ditch the frills for her true self and fill her life with what makes her feel comfortable.
Being a girl can often times be difficult in and of itself, why should we make it more difficult by limiting that experience to certain types and colors of clothes? I applaud Sharon Choksi Girls for sharing her vision and the desire for all girls to just be. It’s a good thing to just be…