7 Shirts I’d Like My Daughter to Wear

August 15, 2013

Last week, the Children’s Place was under fire for selling a shirt that reinforces a gender stereotype that still somehow persists — the unfortunate myth that girls can’t do math. The girls’ shirt cited the wearer’s best subjects as shopping, music, and dancing but not math, because “nobody’s perfect.”

It is already difficult to get girls who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to pursue these fields; our daughters shouldn’t be surrounded by clothing that tells them they are terrible at such subjects. By their teen years, girls already have formed opinions on what careers they should aspire to, often driven by what is “appropriate” for their sex. Gender stereotypes only further hinder girls from pursuing STEM fields and lower the confidence they need to enter into a male-dominated workforce.

When the shirt was called out, it sparked a social media movement. Parents and consumers alike voiced their outrage on Facebook and Twitter, calling the shirt “sexist,” “garbage,” and “not cute.” Instead of empowering our girls to go out and change the world and be proactive, consumers saw a company glamorizing empty-headed materialism. Following the shirt’s public shaming and the outcry on social media, the Children’s Place pulled the T-shirt from its stores and offered an apology.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this incident is that this is certainly not the first time a store has gotten in trouble for selling clothing with a similar message. Shirts like those sold by the Children’s Place only hurt our girls. So let’s try to fix these deeply rooted stereotypes and start buying shirts that show how smart our daughters are.

Here’s my list: the seven shirts I’d like my daughter to wear.

1. Heroine: Marie Curie Tee

A red t-shirt with designs and Marie Curie examing a test tube.

Girls can honor Marie Curie — a pioneer of nuclear physics — by wearing a shirt that illustrates her success, the Heroine: Marie Curie tee. Shirts like these are perfect for a science-loving gal.

2. Love Smart T-Shirt

A pink t-shirt that says love smart in cursive.

This simple Love Smart T-shirt lets girls know that being smart is something to be proud of. And yes, this shirt comes in colors other than pink.

3. Buddha Tee

A little girl wearing a gray shirt with buddha, designs and words, like courage.

Kids should know they have inner strength to push through anything. This Buddha tee states, “A child without courage is like a night without stars.”

4. I Am the Future Tee

A little girl wearing a t-shirt that says "I am the Future."

The I Am the Future tee shows that children do hold the future in their hands, and the earlier they know they can make a difference, the better.

5. Future Librarian Tee

A yellow shirt that has glasses on it and the words "future librarian."

If your little one loves books and reading, let it be known that she can aspire to work with many, many books with the Future Librarian tee. Maybe one day your little lady can unlock this imaginative treasure for others.

6. SATees

Onesies handing on a clothes line that have a single word on them each -- mellifluous, puerile, recondite.

It’s never too early to expand a child’s vocabulary, even when they are in diapers. SATees are shirts emblazoned with vocabulary that describes your little one’s traits.

7. The Girl Loves Math T-Shirt

A pink shirt with the words This Girl Loves Math

The This Girl Loves Math T-shirt refutes the stereotype that girls can’t do or even like math. Show off your strengths!

When you head back-to-school shopping, remember that empowering girls is of the utmost importance. Girls can dream big, and no stereotype or shirt should discourage them.

This post was written by STEM Social Media Intern Latosha Adams.

AAUW Intern By:   |   August 15, 2013


  1. Avatar Charlotte Crawford says:

    Where can I buy them?

  2. Love the SATees! Wish I’d seen those years ago. Other good sources for positive message tees are A Mighty Girl and Pigtail Pals. Now if we could only get all of these message tees in stores and not just online.

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