“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde
When I was in junior high, someone gave my mother, Jo, a jean jacket to give me to me. The woman had selected it for her child but it didn’t fit. Bought on sale, it couldn’t be returned. I loved it (jean jackets were HUGE in the mid 80’s). I noticed the buttons were weird BUT I loved that it had two inner pockets in addition to the ones for my hands and two breast pockets.
When I grew out of it, we went to find me another one. I found a jacket that was almost exactly the same. But Jo refused to buy it for it. It was in the boys section. That’s why the buttons were weird. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand why the jacket being from the boys section makes a difference.
Recently, a group of people got together to create “Clothing without Limits.” Why? Because not all girls want to wear frilly pink princess outfits (and as Amy Schumer explains, being a princess may not be all that fun anyway) and, yes, some girls even love science. Gender stereotyping can have harmful long term consequences. Especially now that we know from brave people, like Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono and Isis King, that gender is really more of an idea than a reality.
But Clothing without Limits isn’t just about gender stereotypes, it’s also about well how many companies make clothes for young girls that just aren’t appropriate. One company was founded simply so a mother could put her daughter in shorts that couldn’t double as hot pants! Newsflash! Girls love to run, and climb trees just as much as boys.
We all know fashion can play a huge part of identity. But clothes should highlight who we are not tell us who we are. Clothes Without Limits lets us remind kids they are a blank slate and they are free to be whoever they damn well feel like.
The goals of Clothes Without Limits are surprisingly simple:
· Raise awareness of the importance of the messages sent by kids’ clothing
· Show the world the true variety of children’s interests (which are not limited by gender)
· Help parents discover more options as they shop for clothes this back-to-school season.
I do have one rather big complaint. Hey, Princess Awesome, is there any reason your “Super Secret Hidden Ninja” dress can’t come in adult sizes?
At least I can still get some awesome adult sized t shirts from Cleverbelle.