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!!


Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire! said...

Way to go, sugar plum! I'll send you an email on how to post more than one pic!

bongo said...

This is a great site. I've checked out most of the links, so far there are good ones for Mom, and I to look at, for advice about raising a daughter, and most of the rest seam geared for a little older than our daughter, she is ten. Zoe's room looks like fun. I'm going to look at that one more in depth, then let her loose on it.. Thanks for putting this all together.

Susan said...

Margerie, my 10-year-old smart girl thinks you've got a great idea with your Smart Girls Fun store.

American Girl (the publisher) has excellent fiction and non-fiction books and a magazine that's great for pre-teen girls. My smart girl loves them!