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Moms smash gender-stereotypes with new clothing line

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

D.C. moms Rebecca Melsky and Eva St. Clair are mad that there simply aren't many options for girls' clothing that isn't "girly". I put that word in quotations because I believe it is a descriptor that puts girls in a gender-stereotyped box and impacts their entire lives. Melsky and St. Clair feel the same way, which is why they started their own clothing line aimed at breaking down these stereotypes. It's called "Princess-Awesome", and it's rocketing to stardom, one spaceship dress at a time.

Their idea was to create dresses for little girls that are outside the box of gender-stereotyping. Right now, girls' clothing is for the most part frilly, covered in cute animals, bows, flowers, and is often in the pink or warm color family. But what if a girl loves trains? Or cowboys? Or math? There is no reason why girls' clothing should pigeonhole them into what our gender-inhibited society dictates is appropriate for them to like. These constraints come from a totally obsolete societal notion, and as the brilliant #Likeagirl campaign exhibits, absolutely affects the mindset of girls as they grow up into women.

It makes them think they can't, or aren't supposed to do the same things as boys, and ultimately inhibits their ability to achieve. While it may seem like a small thing, putting airplanes, and pi symbols, and dinosaurs on dresses gives girls the opportunity to break through all this by letting them express what they love without being told, "it's not for girls." Princess-Awesome is taking the stereotype "like a girl", ripping it into pieces, and creating something entirely new, and far from "girly".

Not only did they have an amazing idea, these two women are a powerhouse business partnership. Melsky, a teacher and mom of two, and St. Clair, a mom of four who has a background in website management, started their little operation in one of their basements. They actually did all the sewing and creating themselves at first, but after they opened their online store and quickly sold 75 percent of their stock, they realized they had to think bigger. So they started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help escalate production. Their goal was to move their basement business into a factory, and get the Princess-Awesome line out into the world in a real way.

Their initial goal was $35,000. Within three days, they almost doubled it, making Princess-Awesome the highest funded children's clothing project on Kickstarter to date. The clothing line definitely lives up to its name, huh? Their Kickstarter appropriately reads, "we believe that if a girl likes purple and also likes trucks, she should be able to wear a purple truck dress. And if a girl likes princesses and also aliens, then an alien princess skirt is for her." These dresses are also designed in a fabric that allows girls to run, jump, dance, climb trees, you know, all the things pretty much every girl likes to do.

Their website is unfortunately closed right now because, surprise surprise, they burned through all their original stock, but their plan is to open up shop again in the summer once factory production is in full swing. Get ready to see big things from these awesome women. If that sounds like a long time to wait, here's a taste of some of their wonderful, "girly" smashing designs.

The ever popular "pi" symbol dress

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

Does your little girl like math, and/or strange, never-ending numbers? Then this is the perfect dress for her!

The Dinosaur dress

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

Maybe she'll be an archeologist when she grows up...

Periodic table dress

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

Is she always making concoctions at the dinner table? Chances are she'll be way into chemistry someday.

For girls who like planes, trains, and automobiles...

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

Chances are, if she likes to go places, she'll love to do it in one of these.

The art enthusiast

Gender barriers broken through by these moms and their awesome non-girly girls’ dresses

Beautiful and bold. Just like her.

Images: Princess-Awesome

More on gender-stereotyping

How gender-neutral parenting encourages healthy development
Inspirational children's book blasts outdated gender stereotypes
The Mamafesto: We need to stop putting our kids in pink and blue boxes

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