Today I am excited to share with you EqualiTee, my awesome new collection of gender-cool merchandise which challenges flawed stereotypes we inherited and lets our little boys and girls be whoever they wish to be.
I am a parent of a 3 year old. In these 3 years of being a parent, I have found myself overwhelmed by our social obsession to differentiate girls and boys, and remind them every living moment that they are somehow different.
“Boys don’t cry!”
“Girls don’t play football!”
These established stereotypes tell us behaviour expected of girls and boys. Our children’s TV shows, clothes, bags and toys all feed gender stereotypes that tell girls to focus on their beauty and boys to be aggressive for social success. Images enacted in popular culture repeatedly dictate conformity to these labels, limiting their creativity, ambition and individual expression.
Having experienced the effects of such social conditioning first hand I felt strongly that we need to question and change this. Last year, I joined hands with my old college friend Reema to create Candidly, a platform to drive candid conversations on issues of gender, media & culture and their influence on children and young adults. We have so far conducted on-ground workshops on abuse awareness, comprehensive sexuality education, body safety, produced digital content and built candid discussions on these subjects.
I felt a strong need to bring the conversation about gender stereotypes among children right in the center of popular culture and today I am excited to share with you EqualiTee, our awesome new collection of gender-cool merchandise which challenges flawed stereotypes we inherited and lets our little boys and girls be whoever they wish to be.
This is the culmination (and the beginning) of months of thought and work and we are starting with t-shirts for kids aged 2-8 years. Our first collection comes in 5 themes – each to convey a powerful message.
- Creativity – own your dreams
- Opportunity – chase your heart
- Activity – together we win
- Sensitivity – boys can laugh and cry
- Equality – sometimes different, always equal
Please do visit the e-shop to know more about each of these themes – https://equalitee.in
Our mandate is to challenge the current landscape. Our mandate is to offer an alternative. Our vision is to help create an equal world for our children, where we celebrate them as unique individuals.
We do hope that we can inspire more parents and children to embrace this idea, more supporters who can promote this message and sponsors who can help us sustain and take this vision far and wide.
If you work with a corporate, a school or with media, please do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more on how you can partner with us.
We could not have reached this point without the earnest support of many of our friends and we want to thank everyone of you for the part that you have played:
Kalyani – for your unrelenting effort in bringing EqualiTee live
Divya – for seeing this through all the challenges
Ben J Pierce – for creating Little Game, a genius work of art that challenges gender stereotypes. I fall in love every time I watch and hear it, big thank you to your team for helping with all the permissions
Amit Pasricha – for being so very kind to bring the EqualiTee story alive visually. For your patience, effort and humour 🙂
Sylvan Trails School, Gurgaon – big thank you for allowing us to use your beautiful space for the photo-shoot
Shilpa Kaicker – for bringing all our old lessons in logistics and planning alive, for opening your home and heart to EqualiTee, so grateful 🙂
Shrey Khetarpal – my friend, sounding board and critic – thank you for pushing me
Anudeep, Shalini, Sandra & Gatik, Megha, Sucharita, Rukhsar, Neha, Rupreet, Vamsi, Deepika and all mommies and daddies who graciously allowed for your young ones to model EqualiTEE. Big thank you.
Aarambh Waldorf School – for lending us your beautiful hand-made dolls. They really brought alive our vision of no boundary in play at the shoot 🙂
Lisa Rath and Itu Chaudhuri – thank you for your support and valuable advice, really helped clarify many things in my own head. I do hope you like the collection.
Raheel, Aishwarya, Shwetha, Richa, Sabita, Gayatri, Manpreet and all friends who helped with their feedback at different stages of development. Deepti Dang – thank you for your encouragement and advice 🙂
Radhika, Prabha and team TARSHI – thank you, we learn so much from you professionally and personally.
Ashish, Nikhil and Avnesh – for being so supportive, dependable and helping shape the story
Reema – for being by my partner at Candidly and my friend
Rohini – for being my teacher, my guide
Rajesh – for your patience, love and unflinching support
We are just getting started and look forward to adding many more friends and supporters in this journey for EqualiTee.