I'm sure I've got something pink in my closet somewhere — a sweater, perhaps, but truth be told, I prefer orange.
As a girl, I was hot for red. Red sweats, red shorts, red gingham dresses, red track jackets, red shoes.
But I had to fight my way through a sea of pink pastels splattered with stars and hearts to find anything not approved by the girly-attire propagandists. Girls were supposed to be girly.
I remember arguing with my mom to buy me boy shoes because the colors were more fun. I wanted the aqua and navy stripes. I lost that battle.
A team of designers operating out of Austin, St. Louis and Chicago are making that fight a little easier for girls today.
An Austin mom was profiled in the Austin American-Statesman on her new clothing line for girls. Her line, Girls Will Be, co-designed by a St. Louis graphic designer, is for girls "who don’t want to be defined by pink and purple."
There's a red tee with a silhouette of a baseball cut for girls not boxy boy shapes. A red tee with a baseball for girls is kind of revolutionary. Why? Try to find one.
There's a green shirt with robots, a blue shirt with sharks and a navy shirt that celebrates multiple sports. No pink, "I play like a girl" cutesy yada yada. Just a nice simple shirt with a nice simple messages.
Girls will be girls and some girls don't want to be drenched in hearts, flowers or sparkles.
Some days, I personally dress like a rainbow sprite, but I'm just as likely to put on black rimmed glasses, a dark jacket and jeans. It's my choice.
Too bad young girls are less likely to have the option.
According to the article in the Statesman:
Sharon Choksi ... was inspired by her 8-year-old daughter Maya, who at 3 decided that the pink and purple aisle, otherwise known as the girls’ clothing department, no longer suited her.
It was hard for Choksi to find girls’ clothing that wasn’t pink or purple, that embraced Maya’s interests while not making it too “girly.” She would find a girl’s shirt with a soccer ball, but it would be made out of flowers. Ick.
Maya would ask questions like: Why do boys get all the cool stuff?
Choksi and her sister Laura Burns, who lives in St. Louis and is a graphic designer, and brother David Burns, who lives in Chicago and has an architecture degree, decided to start Girls Will Be.
It's a curious thing how we raise our children. Pink shirts and baby dolls vs. blue shirts and trucks.
Many girls will grow up to be mothers for sure, but many will also grow up to be truck drivers, software engineers, police officers, Olympians, neurologists and university presidents. And maybe they'll wear pink, but at least they'll have a choice.