A Letter from Piccolina's Founder & CEO
Dear Piccolina Community,
Last Friday I was standing in my kitchen with my two older kids after their last day of school when the news broke that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade. My 8-year-old son read the headline aloud and asked me what it meant. I explained to Theo and his 6-year-old sister Cora that the most powerful court in our country had just announced that once a baby starts forming inside of a woman’s belly, the highest law of our land no longer protects that woman’s right to decide if she wants to have the baby or not … even though the same court already decided 50 years ago that women do have the right to make that choice.
Naturally, I spent the afternoon fielding follow-up questions: Why did the Supreme Court change its mind? Why do just a few people get to decide what choices everyone else can make about their own bodies? If the Supreme Court can change its mind about this, could it change its mind about other things too, like who can get married to each other?
These were all such hard questions to answer, especially in an age-appropriate way. But running through my mind were the many questions my children weren’t asking. How will the Supreme Court’s decision exacerbate already huge racial and economic inequalities that position certain people at a stark disadvantage when compared to others? What other basic human rights are also at risk of being eroded as a result of this decision? What does it mean for my children, particularly my daughter, to come of age in a country where the liberties protected by our Constitution are only guaranteed to people who are members of the same groups that were privileged in 1788 or 1868, when the Constitution and its amendments were drafted?
I started Piccolina because when I became a parent, I realized how easily children’s self perceptions can be undercut by the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) messaging on the clothes they wear and the products they engage with. In my research, I was shocked to learn that by age six, 80% of girls believe that they’re not as smart or capable as boys. Over half of girls believe being “good-looking” is the most important trait to have. Conversely 7 in 10 boys report societal pressure to be emotionally “tough” and physically “strong,” and only 2% view honesty and morality as important character traits. As someone who had overcome a lot of adversity in my own childhood, it didn’t sit right with me to passively watch as so many children were led to doubt their own capabilities because of antiquated stereotypes. I set out to build a brand that set a level playing field for children regardless of their gender (or race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or anything else) – one that would play a small but important role in instilling a foundation of equality and inclusion in the next generation.
In any context, but especially in the context of our brand’s mission, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization comes as a monumental setback. But it is also an opportunity. It is an opportunity for us to clearly identify our values to the children in our lives. It is an opportunity to talk to them. It is an opportunity to listen. It is also an opportunity for us to demonstrate with our own actions how to be good citizens, and show today’s children that it is possible to take collective action to help create the kind of society we want to live in.
With this in mind, we at Piccolina have put together a list of resources to help our community and their families process their fear and anger, educate themselves, and work with their children to take concrete next steps in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs.
Having early conversations with our kids about how their bodies work, how their bodies change and how to keep their bodies safe has never been so important. Here are some helpful resources to explore in doing so:
Teaching our children the importance of charity and giving back is an important part of raising them to be good citizens. We at Piccolina will be donating to Sister Song to support their critical work to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities. Here are some of the other highly capable, but underfunded, groups already in place that have been preparing for the moment when Roe would be overturned:
Encouraging children to participate in marches and other forms of protest when they understand the underlying issues is a way of sharing values as parents, and shows them that we have a responsibility to speak up and be part of the political process. Here are some resources to help you and them prepare:
Just because children can’t vote yet doesn’t mean that they cannot voice their views on things that matter to them. Both houses of congress are meant to represent everyone in their districts, including children. By helping children reach out to their congressional representatives, we can help influence their votes on potential laws and regulations that affect them.
We hope these resources are helpful, and we welcome your feedback as to how we can be supportive to you and your little ones during this time.