Letter from My Daughter to the Designers of Disney Children’s Underwear
Please see below the letter dictated to me yesterday by my 4-year-old daughter. I only inserted the date, greeting, and closing; the rest contains exactly her words as she said them to me for the letter she plans to take to school tomorrow to see if anyone else at her preschool wants to sign it before she puts it in the mail.
December 1, 2012
Dear Designers of Disney Children’s Underwear:
Girls and boys should be able to choose their underwear, not the designers. I wanted Buzz and Woody underwear and Mickey Mouse underwear, but I’m a girl and could not find any Toystory underwear for girls, only for boys, and there was only Minnie Mouse underwear for girls. I want Mickey Mouse and super heroes! It’s just not fair! Girls can like Buzz and Woody and Mickey Mouse, too. Boys might like princess underwear and there isn’t any for them. Boys should be able to buy princess underwear, and they can’t. Designers should make both kinds for boys AND girls. I’m right.
Wow… Well when she’s right she’s right. Smart young lady you have there.
December 3, 2012 at 2:57 am
Yes, she knows when she’s right and sticks to it. I’m very glad she has such strong opinions.
December 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm
Good for her. 🙂
December 3, 2012 at 3:07 am
Yes, I couldn’t agree more. 🙂
December 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm
Now, that’s cute! I don’t blame her, I’d be mad too. I can’t imagine why manufacturers don’t make girl’s clothes in the fun little boys’ characters. Mickey is the famous mouse in the family. Who wants to be Minnie? I got the Dale Evans outfit instead of the Roy Rogers one that my brother got! We were best buddies, and I was never a girl in our adventures! The whole system is nuts. I like LL big time! Give her a hug! (tip: let her wear the boy’s underwear…)
December 3, 2012 at 4:17 am
I agree the system is nuts! I’ll pass on your hug for sure. The thing is that the underwear made for boys doesn’t quite fit her properly or we’d have no problem letting her wear it. Some ingenious designer needs to come up with a unisex fit and label the packages so the sizing is clear for both boys and girls weights, so that any child can choose any design they want. A note about Minnie: one of the first things L noticed about her is that it would be impossible to walk in those shoes! And she’s right, they’re absolutely ridiculous! When is Disney going to update that Mouse?
Of course, there is another whole issue here that we’ve also talked about with L, which is the commercialization of these characters to begin with. She doesn’t have to choose Disney underwear at all, if she really wants to protest. … But at 4 years of age, the characters are so appealing, so she can at least let the company know how she feels.
December 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm
Yes! Yes! Yes! That has got to be one of the most optimism-producing thing that I have seen/heard in a while!
Little girl, you ARE right! Way to go, little girl!
And you, Melanie, must be doing something right too. 🙂
December 3, 2012 at 6:01 am
My little one will be very glad to have your support. Thank you. I’ll look forward to sharing it with her later today. She has very strong opinions, and my partner and I like to encourage her to try to find a way to do something about those things that she rightfully considers unfair.
December 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm
I’m so impressed. And she said all that on my birthday, too. 🙂
December 5, 2012 at 5:19 am
Happy Birthday, belatedly! 🙂
December 6, 2012 at 2:35 am
Smashing letter and quite right too! 🙂
December 3, 2012 at 8:30 am
Thanks, Adrian. My daughter will be glad to hear that! 🙂
December 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Well bless her heart – she IS right! What a great letter and I just bet the other kids will want to sign that letter before it’s put in the mail………..
Pam (and Sam)
December 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm
Thank you, Pam and Sam! She’s eager to see if children in her class and in other classes will sign. One of her teachers at school has already said that she will sign, too. I’m curious to see how many signatures she’ll get.
December 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Good for L. She is so right!! Be sure and let us know if she gets an answer.
December 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm
I’ll be sure to share news of any reply she gets. Mainly, at the moment, I think she is enjoying taking action, which is important in itself.
December 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Good for L. I hope her one girl crusade goes viral!
It all starts so early doesn’t it? Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to the feminist movement when it comes to marketing 😦 – like two steps forward and three back.
December 3, 2012 at 4:05 pm
Thank you! It will be interesting to see what comes of her efforts. You’r right that it all starts so early, disturbingly early. I often think about the point you’ve raised… In some ways, we’ve made no progress at all.
December 4, 2012 at 1:28 am
What a wonderful idea and what a gutsy girl! I hope she gets her wish, and I hope you let us know what the folks at Disney say in their reply–surely there will be one!
December 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Yes, our little one is full of spunk, no question about it! 🙂 I do hope we’ll get some sort of reply. I’ll keep you posted.
December 4, 2012 at 1:29 am
Go L! You tell ’em!
December 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm
🙂 Thanks! She will!
December 4, 2012 at 1:29 am
Wow, that is such a cool, well-reasoned letter! Yes, go L! Hope they realise you’re right.
December 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm
Thanks, Richard. I’ll be sure to share your note with my little one. I hope they realize she’s right, too. Even if they do, I have this feeling that realizing it and acting on it are going to be two different things….
December 4, 2012 at 1:33 am
We need decisive people in Congress-maybe some day she’ll get there.
December 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm
You may be on to something there, Allen. There is no question she’s decisive. 🙂
December 4, 2012 at 1:34 am
Bravo! I hope they have the decency to reply, even if they don’t make policy changes.
I’ve no hopes for any changes, though. Years ago I read a book (I wish I could remember what it was) that talked about (among other things) underwear. As I recall the story, the owner of Jockey noticed that a significant number of women were buying Jockey Shorts men’s briefs, simply because they couldn’t find sensible, well made cotton underwear in the women’s section. (I will admit to being one of them—a female friend put me onto it.) He ordered Jockey to make a line of cotton briefs for women. The experts (in and out of his company) told him he was nuts—women liked lace and frills and would never buy them. But he was the owner, he overruled the experts and they came out with Jockey for women. As I recall, he picked up a quarter of the market for women’s underwear in no time at all*.
But here’s the thing—despite the evidence in their faces, the experts continued to say firmly that women wouldn’t wear plain cotton briefs. So I imagine Disney is quite capable of saying with absolute conviction that little girls only want princesses, not spacemen.
(* But there is one thing about them… Jockey for women briefs aren’t nearly as sturdy as Jockey for men. Hmm… I wonder what men do with their briefs that requires them to be better made?)
December 4, 2012 at 12:23 am
I hope, too, that they’ll reply. If they don’t, she’ll at least have gotten something out of all of the conversations she’s had with people about it.
It’s so interesting what you write about Jockey. I’ve been a Jockey customer for over two decades. I laughed out loud about your question in parentheses. If I were maintaining a different kind of blog, I could see a fabulous blog post title in there somewhere. 😀
December 4, 2012 at 1:48 am
Heh—yes, there is a blog post in that, maybe I’ll get round to doing one. Though it would be better if I could find the original story about Jockey; I thought I knew where I got it but it doesn’t appear to be where I thought it was. Oh well.
But meanwhile, tell your daughter that I say that she’s right and Disney is wrong, wrong, wrong. (A relationship she’ll likely have to get used to in life with more than just Disney!)
December 9, 2012 at 5:07 am
Hear, hear! It’s good to see one so young standing up for their rights and fighting gender stereotyping.
December 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm
Thanks for the support, Finn! I’ll be sure to share your message with my little one!
December 6, 2012 at 2:09 am
Very strong thinking of that little girl.
December 6, 2012 at 8:51 pm
She has a strong head on her shoulders that one! 🙂
December 7, 2012 at 1:41 am
Bravo to your daughter. I totally agree with her.
December 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm
Thank you, Maralee! She’ll be glad to hear that. 🙂
December 7, 2012 at 1:41 am
Excellent. Among the Mass Media Principles that I encouraged my students to understand and use were
” All Mass Media contain values, beliefs and ideologies” and ‘All Mass Media convey intended & unintended messages.” In our society even toys & underwear become part of Mass Media.
I guess mom will have to buy some plain underwear & nightshirts and use those iron on photo applications to create some heroic underwear & nightshirts for a media savvy little girl. 🙂
December 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm
Yes, you’re absolutely right about Mass Media. Good idea– the iron-ons!
December 11, 2012 at 3:08 am
I want to like this a thousand times!
December 11, 2012 at 7:15 am
She is such an smart girl.
It made me smile 🙂
December 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm