Empowering our young girls! Thanks ASDA
Yesterday I popped in to a local branch of a well known supermarket chain, ASDA. As we were browsing I couldn't help notice some of the girls clothing. So I took some photos.
In the recent past there’s been somewhat of a furore around gender based clothing and, personally, I’ve found that girls clothing and shoes tend to be far less robust, warm or functional than boys clothing and shoes. My daughter and I tend to check both the ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ aisles in the shops when choosing clothingand shoes because she often found the boys clothing far more comfortable for her to wear.
In September this year John Lewis came in for a lot of flack after they removed boy's and girl's labels on their childrens' clothing range. Some people thought it was "PC gone mad" but I appreciated that before puberty, at least, children have no need for gender based clothing or toys. The fact that some clothing had completely inappropriate slogans on them has horrified me as well as many other parents and I have noticed various blog posts and campaigns about this.
I have witnessed a few people being angry in recent years and sharing online about their displeasure regarding inappropriate slogans on childrens' clothing and adult styling in childrens' garments. But I am pleased to see a growing awareness around gender stereotyping. And our voice appears to be heard. We have to keep voicing our opinions and never forget that we deserve to be heard. Seeing the clothing in ASDA shows to me the power of the public opinion.
So, although I still have some reservations about the warmth of the winter clothing available for girls I was delighted to see the clothing I share here.
"Happy being me" "Girls can change the world" "Always be yourself" "Girls are the future"
I was delighted!! I just wish I had taken the time to check out what the boys section was like...
In my massage clinic I have a wee sign hanging on the door handle which declares:
"Well-behaved women rarely make history"
I urge you to stand up for what you believe in, for what is right. Because if we don't we do our youngsters a huge disservice. Don't be complacent, don't sit back and allow corporations to ride rough shod over us. We have the benefit of the internet now to use our voice, to share with others, to email our politicians, to write to businesses and tell them when they are getting it wrong.
Today I saw a great video on Facebook and then the website, No Means No Worldwide about a project currently ongoing in Nairobi. Just one example of how important it is we talk to our youngsters before they grow up. Girls are being taught to say no and boys are being taught that women are not objects for their gratification.
I'm afraid that even those inappropriate slogans on clothing feed in to the global narrative that women are objects to be used and abused. They were part of the insipid culture that still keeps women paid less than their male counterparts, that teaches boys to expect girls to act and look a certain way, that expects girls to conform to idealised beauty standards, that teaches our children from an early age that because they don't look a certain way they can never be good enough.
As a body worker, a birth worker, and Body Image Movement Global Ambassador equality, justice and honesty is important to me. I want to see our girls and boys, our women and men being treated fairly, honestly, equally, without judgement, unconditionally... and without Photoshop!
Let's keep our software programmes for creating positive, empowering artwork which inspires and supports. If we have to have slogans on our clothing let them lift us up!