Target is inspiring little girls to think big with a very popular T-shirt.
Cat & Jack, Target’s brand line for babies, toddlers, and kids, is currently selling a pink T-shirt for girls, emblazoned with the words “Stay curious” underneath images of a chemistry beaker and test tubes. The back of the shirt reads, “Marie Curie, 1st woman to receive a Nobel Prize, discovered the elements radium and polonium.”
The shirt has been a hit on social media, with many praising the retail giant for its progressive message.
Seeing this science shirt brought me so much joy My niece will proudly wear it in a few years.
— Kellie Milleson (@MsMilleson32) July 6, 2017
— Soraya (@shasfari) July 8, 2017
— MegN (@MegN_AZ) June 30, 2017
Yahoo Style could not reach a Target representative for comment and it’s unclear if the item is a new addition to the Cat & Jack line, which is in its second year. Other girls’ T-shirts in the line promote the messages “Change the world by being you” and “Strong like Mom” and images such as rockets and dinosaurs.
Target triggered similar love in recent years when it eliminated gender-specific bedding, clothing, and toys. “Who are we to say what a child’s individual expression is? We really wanted to develop a collection that would be universal,” Julie Guggemos, Target’s senior vice president of design and product development, told the Star Tribune in 2016, in regard to its gender-free bedding line Pillowfort.
Target customers continue to keep the brand on its feet. In June, Katie Hinde, a college professor and scientist in Phoenix decided to rearrange some store merchandise after noticing that the girls’ section was a little too pink and sparkly. “Did I just take a bunch of NASA tank tops from the boys section & put them in the girls section? Yes. Yes I did,” she tweeted in a soon-to-be viral message.
Did I just take a bunch of NASA tank tops from the boys section & put them in the girls section? Yes. Yes I did. pic.twitter.com/hXHBbaog2W
— Katie Hinde (@Mammals_Suck) June 12, 2017
Hinde later explained on her blog, “From the home, to the classroom, to the store, our culture reinforces limitations on children due to their sex/gender. As a scientist who works on inclusivity in academia and science, I spend a lot of time thinking about the pipeline. I am particularly concerned about the scarcity and disparity of science & science fiction oriented toys, clothes, and outreach for girls. A situation that reinforces, and is reinforced by, widespread gender norms.”
A female CEO of an engineering and technology nonprofit recently penned her praise to Target after a shopping trip with her 8-year-old daughter during which she was awestruck by the feminist messages in the girls’ clothing department, which she estimated could directly impact 1.5 million girls around the country.
While independent companies such as Girls Will Be and Jessy & Jack have been promoting the advancement of little girls for some time now, it’s equally important that the major players (like Target) catch up.
In March, a 5-year-old girl named Alice Jacob wrote a passionate letter to the Gap, asking the company to make some “cool” girl shirts to offset its pretty, pink selection.
“Dear Gap,” the girl wrote, “My name is Alice Jacob and I am almost 5½ years old. I like cool shirts like Superman and Batman shirts and race car shirts, too. All your girl shirts are pink and princesses and stuff like that. The boys’ shirts are really cool. They have Superman, Batman, rock-and-roll and sports. What about girls who like those things like me, and my friend Olivia? Can you make some cool girls’ shirts please? Or, can you make a ‘no boys or girls’ section — only a kids’ section?
Days later, Gap CEO Jeff Kirwan responded to Alice, promising to “work on even more fun stuff that I think you’ll like.”
If a kindergartener can help advance gender equality, there’s hope for us all.
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