Not so pretty in pink: Dresses with a big message for little girls 7 years ago

Not so pretty in pink: Dresses with a big message for little girls

A children's clothing brand, Princess Awesome, made Kickstarter history this month. The company had for the last two years been operating out of a basement where creators Eva St Clair and Rebecca Melsky made their dresses for little girls that carry a big message.

The mothers were on a mission to bring a new dimension to children's clothing. They felt frustrated by the "pink is for girls" message that dominates the toys and clothing markets and reenforces reductionist and negative stereotypes about what is 'girly'. The dresses use motifs like trucks, cars and mathematical formulas in a variety of styles and colours.

St Clair and Melsky are aware of the impact clothing has on how we interact with our children particularly girls. St Clair describes how "when people meet a little girl in a pink, sparkly dress, they talk to her about how sweet and pretty she looks. If she's wearing a dress with robots or trains on, they'll talk to her about them instead... about technology or engineering. That opens up her mind."

The determined duo wanted to create options for "a different kind of girly girl because girls shouldn't have to decide between dresses and dinosaurs or ruffles and robots" and were soon struggling to keep up with demand. They took to the crowd-funding site, Kickstarter with the hopes of raising $35,000 to invest in expansion of the business. The project became the most successful children's clothing project in Kickstarter history, as of yesterday the total amount pledged has hit over $140,000 through contributions from more than 2,000 backers.

There is obviously a huge market for the clothes that challenge gender stereotypes, with much debate around this topic currently. One mum recently gave her daughter's dolls a make-under which really highlighted what unrealistic and unhealthy images of femininity we are selling to the next generation. Little changes make the big ones possible so we'll be ordering from Princess Awesome. They are cute and perhaps less of a gamble than trying to raise a gender-neutral child as some parents have attempted in recent years.

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