Creative Child

An Open Letter to Children’s Clothing Designers

by Allie Garcia

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In my effort to problem solve, I thought about purchasing the boys’ clothing that I liked and having her wear that. This has worked for us in the past, because infants do not necessarily have varying body types and usually look adorable in Ninja Turtle tee-shirts and tu-tus. But, as my daughter gets older, I question the message that we are sending to her.

Do I want her to know that our culture sees bravery, intelligence, space exploration, chemistry, adventure-seeking, and paleontology as “boy things?” That if she wants to partake in these things then she is a girl wearing boy clothing, or doing boy things, instead of just being a girl?

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I am an elementary school teacher at a STEM school - we intentionally include Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into all aspects of our curriculum. Recently, the staff was trained in how to implement STEM, during which time, a director of this initiative spoke to us about the number one problem in the upcoming workforce: the lack of women available for STEM related jobs. Our daughters are not being empowered to know their value and worth in the field of work that is most demanding their gifts and abilities.

Manufacturers of children’s clothing, here is what I am asking of you: offer the next generation of women the opportunity to find dignity in the labels that you are placing on them.

Let our daughters know that they can be ballerina paleontologists and princess space explorers and that they don’t have to work against the artwork on their t-shirts to show how brave and intelligent they are.

Related Article: Communicating Positively With Children

Allie Garcia has worked for the last seven years in the field of special education as teacher, mentor and online instructor. She has a masters degree in special education and was awarded as Clark County School District's New Teacher of Year. In January 2014, her life was forever changed by the birth of her baby, Mila Skye. On most days, Allie can be found changing diapers, having kitchen dance parties, and laughing at toddler antics with her sweet husband and crazy puppy in Henderson, Nevada.

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