Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker

Positive Pick: Redefine Girly

I’ve written lately about some not so great products and messages, about how media aimed at children tends to do some heavy-duty gender stereotyping. Boys are shown as being aggressive and loud while girls are passive or shopaholic drama queens. As a parent, it can be so frustrating to try to promote your kids dreams only to be unable to find ways to help them identify themselves in healthy ways.

Today I want to share again with you one of my very favorite Positive Picks,  Pigtail Pals, which has the motto: Redefine Girly. Pigtail Pals was conceived by Melissa Wardy, a mom who noticed that her daughter’s playthings were often focused on the media stereotypes of girls as passive and helpless. Melissa is passionate about helping her daughter and all girls see themselves as strong and capable. She says, “Pigtail Pals tries to get away from the ubiquitous pink and purple princess-diva-drama queen trend. It is our intention to show girls that they may be bold, adventurous and heroic just like the boys! A Pigtail Pal doesn’t wish upon a star and wait for her prince to show up. A Pigtail Pal gets into her rocket ship and finds that star all on her own!”

Pigtail Pals offers t-shirts with themes that are often impossible to find for little girls, depicting them as race car drivers, firefighters, doctors, and paleontologists. The design you see above is on the race car driver t-shirt from Pigtail Pals. I remember when my oldest daughter was younger and fell in love with dinosaurs. In vain we searched for a t-shirt that she could wear to express her passion. They just weren’t out there, unless she wanted a black one with bloody mouthed T-Rex on it. No thanks. Pigtail Pals offers a t-shirt that will fit the dreams of your little girls to be brave and adventurous! They also have all kinds of other products that promote the Redefine Girly idea. They have a whole new line of adorable colored t-shirts and dresses with all kinds of cute and positive messages, there are even pirates! And, Melissa announced that she’s coming out soon with a boys line. I guarantee you that you will love this positive, optimistic, strong view of girlhood. Melissa has become an online friend of mine over the past six months, and I love her passion for helping kids develop a bigger vision for themselves. Go ahead,  check it out, you will not be disappointed!

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6 comments on “Positive Pick: Redefine Girly

  1. Phillip
    September 19, 2010

    Did you see the “Has Oprah heard about this” section of the website? I am sure that since you are an LP, a professor, and extremely well versed mother of 3 girls, you could make a very persuading pass at the producers! I am glad to see there are other forces like pig tail pals that are working in the same direction as you!

    My favorite tee was the astronaut one, but the carpenter one, “I broke a nail” was kind of cute too!

    • drshew
      September 19, 2010

      I did see that! This is Oprah’s last year on air, too, so I’d love to see Pigtail Pals and the others of us who are promoting a different view of girls get to talk about it. BTW, I’m not an LP, I’m an LSSP. I’ve thought about getting it, but haven’t done so yet because I haven’t needed it.

  2. Wes
    June 5, 2011

    One interesting thing I found about this post is the description of the gruesome dinosaur t-shirt marketed to boys. Boys toys are just as stereotyped as girls are. While girls toys teach a message of passivity and helplessness, boys toys of a certain age almost unanimously teach the lesson that conflicts are resolved through deadly violence. The true promise of feminism has never been limited to providing girls with options in an ugly patriarchal world, but to free us all from the ugliness. It will be an exciting day when the movement gets to confronting the bleak options the businessmen that run the toy companies provide the next generation of boys.

    • Jennifer Shewmaker
      June 10, 2011

      I agree, Wes. I’ve written in many posts about gender stereotypes and how they impact both boys and girls by limiting their vision for themselves.

  3. Suzette
    June 6, 2011

    Brava! I’m so glad to find there’s others out here who think like we do. Thanks for a great post, and for pointing out Pig Tail Pals, I’ve followed her and read her blog for a couple of years now. She’s great and so are you!

    • Jennifer Shewmaker
      June 7, 2011

      Thank you for your support, Suzette! it’s so important to find a community as we strive to push back for more positive options for our kids.

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