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Browsing through the children's book section, you might notice a common theme among the books targeted toward girls:


So. Much. Pink. Image by Robynlou Kavanagh/Flickr.

And, look, there's absolutely nothing wrong with pink and princesses. But let's be honest: There aren't a whole lot of job openings for princesses these days. What about books that tell girls they can grow up to be anything they want, like firefighters and police officers?

Enter Charles C. Dowd, a dad who decided it was about time to remind our girls they can do — and be — anything. And he's doing it with this awesome board book.

All book images by Charles C. Dowd, used with permission.

Dowd was inspired to write "The A to Z Guide to Jobs for Girls" after he and his son, a junior in high school, were talking about college majors and career options. His younger daughter piped in, and before he knew it, they were deep in a conversation about why boys can do certain things that girls cannot.

"That led to a conversation about traditional and stereotypical gender roles and why none of that really applies in modern society," Dowd told me. "It also pointed out to me that regardless of how encouraging my wife and I are, our daughter is still being influenced by friends, teachers, media, and everyone else."

And so the book idea — with the tagline "You can be anything you want to be!" — was born.

'Cause the thing is, girls can be anything they want, like a chef:

Or a heavy metal guitarist:

Or a librarian:


Dowd doesn't hate pink and princesses nor does he have a problem with our kids' varying interests.

But, as he says, society "likes to tell kids that there are boy things and girl things, but in my opinion, they're all just things."

"Why can't girls play with normal Legos? Why do they have to have special pink ones?" he wonders. "It makes no sense. Why can't a girl play with Hot Wheels? Why can't a girl aspire to be a professional athlete? Why can't girls be strong?"

All good questions!

And the fact is, gender bias in books is real.

Florida State University led "the most comprehensive study of 20th century children's books ever undertaken in the United States." This probably won't come as a shocker, but what they found is that there's a gender bias toward male lead characters — even in books about animals.

Janice McCabe, assistant professor of sociology, led the study. She noted:

"The widespread pattern of underrepresentation of females that we find supports the belief that female characters are less important and interesting than male characters. This may contribute to a sense of unimportance among girls and privilege among boys. The gender inequalities we found may be particularly powerful because they are reinforced by patterns of male-dominated characters in many other aspects of children's media, including cartoons, G-rated films, video games and even coloring books."

Let's fix that — for all of our kids.

At the end of the day, Dowd's goal is simple: "I just think it's important to teach kids (and adults for that matter) that gender really doesn't have anything to do with choosing a career path. If a person has the drive, determination, and the talent, they can pretty much pursue any career path they choose.


Dowd is running a Kickstarter so he can publish the book. As of the end of September 2015, he's pretty close to being funded. If you're interested in supporting him and getting your own copy of "The A to Z Guide to Jobs for Girls," you can head over to his page and make a contribution.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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