Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Educator, Author

Positive Picks: Finally, Girls as Agents!

Girls can change the world tee

In my last post I shared a disheartening objectified ad campaign at a chain store that targets adolescents. On Friday’s I like to share positive picks, so today I wanted to spread the word about some t-shirts that I saw at Justice for Girls. On a back to school shopping trip with my daughters, I was feeling frustrated with our forays into several stores. My youngest loves Phineas & Ferb and we had to go to the boys section to find t-shirts with those characters on them, even though lots of girls like that show. The girls section was filled with shirts that said things like “too cool for school” and “sassy.” Ugh.

So, imagine how refreshing it was to walk into Justice and see the tees below. It was so nice to see clothes for girls that promote positive ideas, and even address issues that girls may be dealing with at this stage of life, such as dealing with rumors and bullying. The cute graphics combined with the positive message make a powerful statement to girls about who they can be and what they can be about. Instead of “Cute” or “Flirt,” which promotes a shallow view of girls that’s focused on them as objects, these shirts have a message of agency, which is the ability to make choices and behave in an active, assertive way in ones own life. Yes, finally, clothes marketed to girls that promote agency! Rather than focusing on how one looks or attracts others (cute, flirty, etc.) or sending the message that girls can’t be smart or good at school (I heart school…not, I hate math, etc.), these products focus on the power that a girl has to make changes in the world around her. Now, that’s agency!

I was so happy about these positive messages that I talked with the manager of the store and to a public relations representative. They said, “Our mission is to enhance a tween girl’s self-esteem by providing her the hottest fashion and lifestyle products, in a unique, fun, interactive environment. We hope these positive messaging t-shirts help to fulfill that mission.” I’d say that with these products Justice is meeting that mission. I would love to see more companies promote positive, socially responsible values rather than jumping on the lazy “sexy sells” bandwagon. If you know of other companies that use creative marketing to promote positive messages, I’d love to hear about them.

Justice spread happiness tee

Justice positive tee

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