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I'm officially disgusted with JC Penney. This is 2011, right?
Niri Jaganath's profile photoMaria Erland's profile photoLiz Gumbinner's profile photoSean Naughton's profile photo
So gross. I have refused to buy "Princess" tee shirts or "Brat" or "Spoiled", etc. for my daughter too.
Disgusting. And did you see how they actually describe the t shirt? "Who has time for homework when there's a new Justin Bieber album out?"
I clicked on the link and it's no longer available!
It's no longer available,but you'd think that was an easy one. They either don't bother checking what's on their products, or thought it was funny. Either way, not worthy of my business.
I thought we had left this kind of thinking behind. Remember "Math is hard" Barbie?
Wow, hadn't seen these. What a horrible message to send to girls AND boys! 
No, it's sexist. They don't make shirts like that for boys.
I think you might be giving the brain surgeons at the clothing label a lot of credit.
I had not seen this 2nd t-shirt! It is sexist - there is no doubt. Do you think it is a coincidence females are so poorly represented in engineering fileds etc? It is because your "fate" is being told to you. I remember getting Fisher Price toys - listed best by ages - at 4 years toys for boys toy computer - girls - dolls???? Fighting this type of stigma in this age is quite embarrassing!
I do think that we can't help but be influenced by messages in the media, in fashion, in music. As parents we try to teach our kids well, but it gets easier if the lessons out in the world help support us.

I wrote about it more in depth here:
I had the opportunity to sit next to the Editor-In-Chief of Shape magazine, Barbara Harris, back in 2000 on a flight from New York to Los Angeles. I took the opportunity (because she is seriously cool) to ask her why Shape didn't feature images of a broader cross section of women. I loved the magazine, but I thought they had a responsibility to reflect that women of all "shapes" could and should be interested in being healthy. Her response? She had tried. Several times. And each time the magazine had an overwhelmingly negative reaction. Not from the advertisers or designers; but from the women subscribers!!! I was horrified and I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped open.

Because she truly cares, she works/ed with an organization called "The Body Positive" whose mission is to do exactly what you are talking about Liz. From their website is this: "The Body Positive's mission is to implement educational programs that transform individual and societal beliefs about weight, body image, and identity. The result is a growing national movement of healthy, confident individuals contributing to positive change in the world". They produce a series of DVDs & curriculums to help "students define body image as part of their self-esteem, examine stereotyping, and obtain skills to resist teasing and feeling ashamed of their bodies" and emphasize "what adolescents can do to find their own paths through confusing social messages". (Notice that boys are not excluded... they are affected too and should be part of the solution)

Connie Sobczak (founder of The Body Positive) wants women and girls - including her own daughter, Carmen - to focus on changing the world, not their bodies, and sees body acceptance as the final frontier of women's empowerment.

I know that I'm going to do my best to try and start a program in my children's school. My daughter, 8, is extremely self confident and I want her to stay that way. Especially since her best friend just recently told me that her own grandmother tells her that she should stop dressing like a boy because boys will only like her if she's pretty and dresses like a girl. Thankfully.. when I told the friend (a gorgeous, sensitive, extremely bright and loving 8 yr old) that her grandmother was completely 1,000% wrong(!!!) her response was a quick and emphatic... "Oh, I know!"

I just worry that she won't know that for long.
Sometimes kids are smarter than we think...that gave me hope!
Premiering on the OWN Network in October is a documentary that reveals the damage mainstream media does to women. The documentary is called Miss Representation and was created/directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Her intent was to show expose how American media erodes female self-worth.

"In the film Newsom (California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom's wife), Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem and others lament the way today's TV, film and Web content teach us that our worth is based on our desirability. The film shows how women leaders are trivialized (witness Glenn Beck calling Hilary Clinton a "bitch"), and notes Hollywood greenlights few female protagonists (and fewer still whose happy ending doesn't involve landing a man). It also reminds us that these movies and shows keep getting made because we watch them. Let's hope Newsom's debut helps us change more than the channel."
I realize this is an older post but its something i deeply consider often..

While the overt kind of verbal violence, i.e. Glen Beck calling Hilary a bitch, is easy to identify, misogyny exists in ever subtle shades of grey. The subtler aspects of being consider "less valuable" as a person are not so blatant.

Role / Gender identity is a double edge sword and it cuts women on both sides. How does a culture celebrate beauty and intelligence at the same moment. Does so pretty and still doing homework sell? Is being smart more valauble then being pretty and why can't we communicate both?

Ultimately culture shapes the pathways for identity choices. Lady Gaga and Katie Couric may not be in the same boat, but they are in fact on the same river. Every child needs to pass through the evolution of their own personality / identity but it is helping them to create the largest possible vision for their life that is important.

Yet life is long and by 6 years old most of our fundamental concepts about the world and our place in it are fixed. How do we prepare girls for the vision of what and how their life be can. The focus should be on our uniqueness within a world of diversity, the value of our expressions to nourish each other and our contributions towards the greater good. - within the spectrum of infinite diversity we are all the same...

What does the holistic celebration of womanhood look like?

Why is that vision so compelling that girls should aspire to it?

food for thought.
Sean - you need your own blog. That is all.
Liz, forgive my blathering. I appreciate your feedback.
That wasn't a criticism! What you wrote is awesome. I hope you start a blog so we can hear more from you.
Liz, YOU are AWESOME. It will be a long time if ever, that I have the grace, elegance, sensitivity and wit that shines through all of your countless expressions. I took your input seriously.. and started.

your feedback is always appreciated.
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