Saturday, March 29, 2008

Boo Hiss Awards part two

First to buck tradition, I am going to announce good news first. We just returned from our ski week up in Tahoe. Great weather. Great skiing. The good news is I saw LOTS of little girls, young girls and teenage girls. They were out skiing, smiling, sledding, snowboarding and tubing. They were having fun with themselves, with their brothers, with their fathers and their mothers. It was just awesome! I also took my kids window shopping (dear daughter said we didn't need any new windows) and saw several moms (and dads) with their little boys and girls, out shopping. Not for toy guns or tiaras. Just toodling around looking at art, mad-libs, candy-making, candles, wood bears and fun stuff. I was loving the gender mixed activites abound. Maybe it is the mountain air!

But alas, I came down in elevation. Just when I think my undies are in a bunch for nothing, my wonderful friend-at-blog Susan sent me this article. The article reviews a new ATROCIOUS website. A website for girls ages 9-16 where they win points for making their onscreen character the biggest bimbo of the bunch. Some AdamHenry is making millions off this crap. Promoting plastic surgery and eating disorders for girls.

Big sigh..... Do parents have any control over their children's choices on the internet? Do they give up or just don't care? This is scaring me.

OK, as some of you know, I emailed the management at Kmart. My email was basically a copy of my post Boo Hiss Awards. I was hoping they would either take me seriously or at least acknowledge that maybe there is a problem with the messages they are pimping, excuse me, marketing to young girls. Instead I got a form letter response. In part it says:

Thank you for your recent e-mail correspondence regarding your experience. Please be assured that we understand your frustration, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. We appreciate your business, and value you as a Kmarts customer. We certainly hope you will continue to make Kmart your choice for quality and value. Again, we thank you for taking the time to contact our office with your concern. Look for great bargains throughout the store and find Kmart exclusive brands like Martha Stewart Everyday, Thalia Sodi, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Jaclyn Smith.

"Quality and value"? What a joke. I am just going to have to try harder. If anyone knows how to contact real people in Kmart, and not a customer-no-service person, please let me know.

And check out my new girls design. I think it rocks!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

So I googled "good news for little girls"

And I really wanted to be pleasantly surprised. But I was disappointed to say the least. These were the top 5 search results this morning:

#1 Hero dog bitten defending little girl- avoiding being mauled by a dog is good news I guess. But I wish the media would cover girls that save themselves.

#2 Reluctant hero who pulled girl from.... OK another little damsel in distress story.

#3 Little girls cuts hair in honor of grandpa..... This is good news for the girl? Her grandpa has cancer and she is 4 and "decides" to cut off her hair and donate to locks of love. Maybe I am too cynical, but me smells mommy-wants-a-press-release.

#4 Daddy's Little Girls (USA) 2007 Thinking this is not a movie that is good news for little girls since it is rated PG-13 for sexual content and violence.

#5 Good news for Pete Wenz fans- he is NOT dating Ashlee Simpson- don't even know where to start on this one.

Finally on page two, ranked number 17 in the "good news for girls" web search, I find a you tube video: Martial Arts Demonstration: Little Girl Fights Off Man and thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Hope to find more stories about girls with power, or at least some real good news for them.

Here is my power little girl last summer:

Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking it Down to the Numbers

First I have to thank Cindy for telling me about the polka dot patch website. I love it!! It has great stuff. Gender neutral, but not blah stuff for little boys and girls. I especially enjoy these two designs: president not princess and doctor not diva.

So after cruising that website, I started to think of the basic facts. How many female doctors are practicing in the U.S.? A good estimate, I found out from Dr. Google, is over 400,000. Women today make up typically 50% of each medical school class. Women also make up the majority of vet school students and are approaching 50% for law students. When I was in dental school 18 years ago (my how time flies) women made up one-third of the class. I am sure it is much higher now. So the 400,000 is a conservative estimate of women doctors, since that number only includes female physicians and not vets, dentists, PhDs, etc. For a liberal estimate of divas in this country- I am going to say 100. So the docs have them beat hands (and lip glosses) down.
Women earn 35% of MBAs, yet only 2% of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women. OK I am getting side-tracked. But there are at least 46 women who have been Presidents or Prime Ministers of actual countries. Plus all the women CEOs and business owners. I would say that number is much greater than the actual number of practicing princesses. So realistically and statistically speaking, we should be encouraging girls to hit the boardroom, the courtroom or the hospital and not the mall or the glass slipper store.
Wonder when the marketers will figure this out...................But they will probably ruin it with "Boardroom Barbie" with a pink briefcase, miniskirt and high heels. I hope at least Ken gets her the coffee.

That reminds me- years ago I found "Dentist Barbie" I bought her for posterity. She has flowing long blond hair which is perfect for getting in patients' mouths and/or getting suctioned by the high speed suction tube. She wears a short lab coat that says "Barbie DDS." I guess Dr. Barbie doesn't have a last name or much respect. To complete her professional ensemble: high heels. Did I mention she has no pants? I guess the short lab coat doubles as a micro miniskirt. I am sure she would be a very popular dentist, as it is next to impossible to sit chair-side with your legs together. It also shows off her great tan- because she also has time to lay out by the pool apparently.

I will pontificate on another day why so many talented and degreed women are not earning or careering like their male counterparts. A lot of people actually care and have been studying this phenomenon. Of course, motherhood and careerhood are very touchy subjects. I logged in 10 years as a dentist and 9 + years as a mother (some concurrently) and am now working from home. Am I living up to my potential? I think so, but some researchers don't.

But I digress, better get used to it. LOL. I do welcome feedback, thanks again Cindy. It is great to pull together positive influences for our little blooming presidents. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Thank goodness he couldn't find the keys.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Some Random Information

from The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz (see link for books for girls)

* The US Patent Act of 1790 allowed anyone to protect his or her invention with a patent. However, because in many states woman could not legally own property independent of their husbands, many women inventors didn't apply for patents, or only did so under their husbands' names.

* 1999 Eye Surgeon Dr. Patricia Bath becomes the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention: a device that removes cataracts with a fiber optic laser.

*In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first woman to earn an international pilot's license, and the first black woman to earn an aviator's license. One of thirteen children, Coleman discovered airplanes after graduating from high school, but she couldn't find an aviation school that would teach a black woman to fly. She went to Paris, where she was able to train and earn her license.

* 2007 Eighteen-year-old Samantha Larson became the youngest American to climb Mt. Everest and also the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Boo Hiss Awards

As opposed to being pleasantly surprised by some non-offensive graphic tees at Kohl's, was not so lucky at K-mart. Found these graphics in the girls (size 4-16) section:
* Royalty Girls Team (with prerequisite crown)
* I heart Shopping
* Girls just want to have phone
* You Go Girl, and Keep Going (on a bra and panty set, size 6 because every kindergartner needs one of these)
* Rhinestone logos: Hershey's, Reese's, etc.
* Don't Just Stand There, Buy Me Something
* an entire new line of clothing called "Wcked"
* Danger- Girl With Bad Attitude
* Talking 24-7
* What do you mean NO?
* I love attention, just not yours
* Wake me up when class is over
* School is awesome, when it's closed
* Life is too short to do my homework
* I love to drive my teachers crazy
* What homework?
* Spoil me Rotten
* (row of lipsticks pictured, text written by a lipstick) 100% Girl
* Always a Glamour Girl

I found one shirt for my 4 year old: Peace, Love, Friends. There were a few "girls rock", horses and kitten shirts. But the overwhelming message for girls (ages 4 and up) was be a sassy, school-hating , little boy toy, shopping addict.

Does Kmart really hate girls this much? I am going to write the company and tell them how unhappy I am with these messages. I will let you know if they respond.

A friend told me about this article. Good news- girls still do like science and math:
article from yahoo

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


And since a few of you are asking... My husband took our two boys and little miss fishing. The first minute she has her line in the water she said "Dad, I think I have a fish." Dear husband was in the middle of telling her she probably didn't, when she pulled it in. Not only that, she was the only one to catch anything that day!!
(She was very proud being a provider for the family. It was little, but delicious!)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Testing, testing, hopefully girls are testing...

One day I happened to notice that in the after-school science class at my son's elementary school, there was only one girl out of 15 in the class. Where are the girls? Do their parents not ask them if they would like to take a fun science class? Or do they not want to participate even at this young age?
I also started noticing the messages that are everywhere for girls: Pretty Princess, Born to Shop, Jumping Bean Cheer Squad, Boy Crazy, Too Cool for School. What the heck is this? Why aren't the girls riding their bikes, having adventures, playing real sports (not shopping or being part of a jumping bunny squad), playing with rockets or enjoying school in movies or books, or even having this stated on a t-shirt? Why are there sassy-attitude products for 4-year old girls? Why don't they show girls dancing ballet instead of just saying "ballet princess?" And why don't they show girls singing for the joy of it instead of flirtatiously catching the attention of a boy?

Then on another fine day, I happened to pick up a book at the library called Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketer's Schemes by Sharon Lamb, Ed. D., and Lyn Mikel Brown, Ed.D. It really opened my eyes to the fact that we have probably taken two steps back for every step forward in the game of "girl power." I had just assumed progress has been made since I was a girl, some 30+ years ago. I was fascinated with science and math. I also loved soccer and football and didn't think there was anything wrong with "throwing like a girl." Is this girl today actively encouraged to pursue her interests? Is this girl any better off today with the power of media taking girlhood and turning it into a profit-driven cradle to grave game of girl consumerism?

I am hoping to preserve my now 4-year old daughter's creative and beautiful spirit. I am also hoping to get some feedback from other people on how to navigate this time of influence on our girls.

To start this blog off an a light note, I thought we could have a tee-shirt contest. I am really tuned into graphic tees for girls since I started some designing for girls myself. I have noticed some stores have really blah slogans for girls. And some stores do have some good messages. But I haven't found any stores out that completely exclude the pretty in pink-type t-shirt. I like pink, but I prefer girls to have more options than just to "be pretty." I thought I would post some t-shirt designs that I like. I hope some of you do the same. The shirts above are from Kohl's, a discount department store. I like how they are feminine, and attractive for young girls. And yet they are promoting sports, smarts and spirit in a fun way.

Thanks for viewing the Smart Girls Fun Blog!!