At The Girl Element, we’re taking a stand against gender-stereotypes that limit the potential of our girls. We want to empower our daughters and encourage them to do anything they dream of.
Our vision is to create a range of nightwear for girls who dare to be different. For girls who want to invent, imagine, create and explore. We want bedtime conversations to be full of wonder and curiosity and dreams to be big.
A couple of years ago, I found myself frustrated with the choice of girl’s nightwear available. Everything was cute: pinks and pastels, with designs featuring bunnies, kittens, flowers, fairies and unicorns. The high street brands were just offering typical stereotypical girl’s imagery.
Where were the pyjamas that were going to inspire big dreams? Spark really interesting conversations and open up worlds of imagination?
Where were the pyjamas for the girls we know? The girls who are brave and creative, adventurous and bold, curious and interested?
We encourage girls to be anything they want to be during the day. The possibilities are endless. We bring them up to be brave, bold and fearless, and follow their interests.
But what about the messages we’re sending them at night? That whatever they’ve been doing during the day, at night they have to get back into the small, limiting, undoubtedly pink box labelled “cute”?
The girls we know are so much more than this. Their interests range far and wide from planets and astronauts, to cars and insects. But you just can’t find any of these topics depicted in mainstream girls’ nightwear.
The images children see around them matter. They are surrounded by gender stereotyping in our culture all the time – in colours, clothes, toys, books, music lyrics and TV programmes – subtle clues and messages that influence our children every day unless we actively challenge them. Over time, all these signals combine to tell girls a story about what is acceptable and expected of them. I have always been very passionate about avoiding gender stereotypes for all my children, and feel I have been able to do this in every area except nightwear.
One day, my then six year old daughter challenged me. She said, “Why do I have to wear pyjamas like this? I don’t like pink and I don’t like fairies.” So, we went shopping with a mission to find something different. And we came home empty handed. At that point we raided her older brother’s wardrobe and found some much more pleasing blue pyjamas with cars. But I don’t think we should have had to do that; I think girls should have choice, and that’s how the idea for The Girl Element was born.