April 17, 2015
Over the next few months, we'll be featuring guest posts and interviews with a variety of women around a variety of topics related to Princess Awesome. Gina Dobson is the founder of the childrenswear company, Sunrise Girl.
Do you remember that free-flying feeling you had as a child when you jumped on a swing, pumped your legs as hard as you could, leaned back, and shot up into the sky? Your stomach would rise and fall. Higher and higher you would sail, feet pointing at the clouds, feeling strong, capable, and free.
If you watch children play on swings, it’s common to hear cries like, “I’m a rocket ship blasting off into outer space!” or “I’m Superman flying off to save the day!” There is no limit to where their imagination will take them. That feeling of limitless possibility, of confidence and freedom without boundaries, is what I want for my daughters and for all girls who make up our next generation of explorers, scientists, teachers, engineers, discoverers and thinkers.
When I look at my daughters, currently five and seven years old, I see wondrous potential. What lies in their future? What kind of path will unfold for them? What choices will they make and where will they lead? What passions and abilities will they discover? As a parent, I want to open doors for my children and to introduce them to new experiences, new places, and new ideas. I want to encourage them to think big and to try new things in order to discover what excites them and where their future passions might lie.
Unfortunately, I believe that the messages sent to our girls through the media, advertising, clothing and toys rarely encourage or support these traits in girls. More often, I think girls are presented with a narrow and limited set of interests and told these are “girly” things and what (all) girls like. When this message is repeated enough times, in a variety of ways, and if parents aren’t working to counteract it, I believe that our girls absorb it and they believe that this limited set of options equals what it means to be a girl.
Fortunately, there are some great organizations working hard to counteract these harmful and pervasive messages. Groups like Brave Girls Alliance, I Am That Girl, Girls Leadership, New Moon Girls, and Girls on the Run are just a few that are dedicated to making sure doors stay wide open for our girls. They support the development of leadership skills, positive self-worth, physical strength, emotional well-being and more.
I am proud to be a part of a growing movement focused on creating positive changes in children’s clothing. This movement includes mom-founded businesses like the amazing Princess Awesome, the fabulous Jessy and Jack (whom you met here in Guest Post Series #6), and others who are profiled in this recent article. They are all working to create more clothing options for our kids that combat gender stereotypes.
I recently started a clothing line called Sunrise Girl to celebrate the wide variety of amazing things girls can do. Our shirts feature the passions, skills and talents of real girls to inspire others and send the message that there is no limit to what girls can do. Being “girly” truly means doing just about anything! We share the story behind every shirt and introduce you to the real girl who inspired each design. You can meet Lena, who loves superheroes; London, who built a treehouse in her backyard; Madi, who tears up the soccer field; and more.
That wonderful feeling of limitless possibility described earlier is what we aim to capture in the shirts we create at Sunrise Girl. We hope to inspire those who wear our shirts, and those who see them, to follow their passions and embrace their potential.
Do you have a girl with a passion, talent, or ability that you’d love to see inspire others? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about her. We’d love to know what your super girls are up to and what you would like to see featured on our shirts in the future.