I am always drawn to ad campaigns, articles and stories about ways we can instill gender equality in children and how to raise young men and women without typecasting their surroundings as "girlie" or "boyish". I'm definitely guilty of defaulting to "you look so pretty" with little girls and buying toy trucks for boys, but improving the message is important - we need to approach raising boys and girls more equally, specifically without marginalizing girls into believing that strength, smarts, energy and leadership skills make them a tomboy, know-it-all, wild or bossy. There's no doubt then, why these amazing photographs caught my eye.
Taken by Kate T. Parker, a mother, wife and commercial photographer, Parker says "I suddenly realized, wow, all of my strongest images are of my girls just being themselves — their freckled, emotional, sometimes dirty, messy selves.” How badass do her daughters and their friends look in these pictures!?
And what I love even more about Parker's viewpoint is that she doesn't mean to exclude anyone - "the project, she clarifies, is not about “taking out” girls who like the color pink and act in ways that might be considered traditionally feminine. Quite the opposite, actually: “Whatever your kids are, celebrate that.""
Isn't it awesome to imagine a world where a girl who loves to run around outside and a boy who prefers playing with a toy kitchen doesn't seem "off"? A world where kids get to be their authentic selves without culturally encouraged norms pushing them to behave, dress or think a certain way? I think we're in better shape than we've ever been before, but there's still a long way to go. Baby steps for our babies though right!?
ps - If you're interested in some AWESOME kids clothing that totally does away with gender stereotypes (but still looks adorable), click HERE.