From before they are even born, society seems to force children to identify with either "pink" or "blue", and all the dolls/cars/plastic kitchenettes/plastic guns that come with it. Luckily, Pink Truck, a Boston-based clothing company, is stepping up to put an end to that tired old pastel dichotomy with a range of t-shirts for girls (and women!) who love pink and love trucks.
Dana Babbin, a former prosecutor and mother of twin girls, founded Pink Truck after seeing her daughters, now five years old, already struggling with gender stereotypes as toddlers when they gravitated towards shirts that were in the boys department, simply because they had trucks and other "boy"-oriented iconography, on them.
Now, her girls — and other infants, toddlers, and adults like them — can rock bibs, tees, onesies and hoodies in white, grey, blue and red shades, each emblazoned with a powder-pink truck, cruiser, or tugboat. Nothing overly saccharine or in-your-face masculine in sight; just cozy cotton pieces that embody the brand's motto: "It's time to change gears."
On her website, Babbin explains that for her daughters, the perfect outfit consisted of a truck tee and a tutu (admit it — that does sound pretty perfect!) but she was sick of sourcing clothing for her girls in the boys department.
"I grew tired of shopping in the boys' section, forced to put my sweet little girls in boxy boy-cut tops, just to satiate their affection for snow plows and dozers," Babbin writes. "Hence, the birth of Pink Truck, where girls can be themselves, even if it means getting dirty and playing with trucks."
To adults (I guess that's what I am, technically) there might not seem to be a huge discrepancy between a boy's t-shirt and a girl's t-shirt. In fact, for many of us, our favorite tees are "borrowed" (permanently) from the boys. But the subliminal message for children of having to shop in a different department is that they are somehow different, that their preferences are somehow not the norm. The geographical difference between the boys and girls departments may be in reality just feet apart, but for a kid, 'across the aisle' may as well be 'across the sea'.
That's why Babbin's mission, to let girls dress as girls even if that means wearing a truck t-shirt, is so important. It's about quietly accepting a child's personality and letting her just be.
Because what's even more beautiful than these tees are the big, huge, confident smiles of the girls and women wearing them!
Images: Pink Truck