Pretty, sweet, adorable. These are the adjectives typically printed on baby girl onesies. But wander over to the boy’s section and you’ll find baby onesies that read smart, brilliant, and genius.
So why is it that girls can only be pretty or cute, but boys are smart or geniuses?
Inventory and logistics manager Angela Gurney is a proud new mom of a little girl, and she wants her bundle of joy to know that she can be smart and pretty.
And it was while shopping at the popular baby store Carter’s that Gurney realized how important this message is.
“The girl’s section was all pink and sparkles and ruffles, with onesies covered in very superficial labels. The boys section was much more varied in colors and messages like strength, courage, and genius,” Gurney said.
Frustrated by this, Gurney choose to buy her new daughter a ‘boy’ outfit.
And the notion that girls can only be pretty is not something that is new. In June 2014 Dove launched the campaign “Like A Girl” to prove that girls can be strong, smart and brave all while being pretty.
The commercial, which ended up gaining a coveted Super Bowl spot during the halftime show, won a 2015 Creative Arts Emmy for its powerful message.
But like many trending topics, the “Like A Girl” campaign has become a thing of the past, yet the notion that girls are only pretty still remains very relevant today.
“It’s important to shift away from a patriarchal society. If you subjugate more than half of the population, there is no chance of progress. As a global society, we cannot afford to consider women second class citizens,” Gurney said.
From the wage gap that still sits between men and women, to the idea that women need to wear hight heels to be successful in the workplace, the idea that women are worth less than their male counterparts is a social norm that desperately needs a makeover.
“Being constantly objectified from a young age wears on a girl!” Gurney said. “I have resolved to fight for her and to help her find her place in the world, wherever that may be.”