Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Strong women start with strong girls

Oh there are so may things wrong with this shirt. I received an email this morning from a petition site requesting my signature to send a letter to the CEO of JCPenny and Forever 21 for marketing sexist t-shirts in their stores. I didn't sign it. Why you ask when the shirt itself is so infuriating.. Because while the CEO or whoever it was that designed this horrid thing might think its cute or funny the real issue is the parents that would actually buy this crap for their daughter. These are not the kind of girls we want to raise. This is not the kind of message we need to send to our kids, girl or boy. This idea while so small on the front of a shirt is why women still feel inferior to men and why men accept it. This Toddler & Tiaras, outward beauty focusing, I'm too pretty attitude of raising girls is what is creating teens with eating disorders or the "mean girl" syndrome.
    I'm very lucky in that I have a ton of nieces even though I have yet to be blessed with a girl and 1 niece in particular I thought of immediately when I saw this shirt. Not only would her parents NEVER buy this shirt because its degrading, she would laugh at it. The kind of shirts she wears says "Play like a girl, Beat the boys" She's smart, she's athletic and she does beat the boys. She will be a strong, confident, self sufficient woman one day because her parents grew that within her. Her brother will not think that girls are inferior to men because his mother is also a strong capable woman. My boys will not have that disrespect for women because their mother is a strong capable woman and if I ever do have a daughter I will make sure she is strong too. We need to get past this pretty OR smart idea. We need to get past the idea our society has built that a woman is only as good or successful as pretty as her face is. We can be strong AND gentle, beautiful AND smart, mothers AND women. And more so than bucking against "men" and standing strong we need to stand up against the ideas of this society of what beauty and perfection is and fight against raising our kids with these seemingly harmless things that send a message. WE are raising the next generation, what do we want our legacy to be? A world full of shallow, demeaning plastics or a world full of respectful, strong individuals? Its our choice.

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