Empowering Children Through Clothes

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Published April 20, 2016
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The Montclarion
Photo Courtesy: Mike Mozart (Flickr)
Photo Courtesy: Mike Mozart (Flickr)

Photo Courtesy: Mike Mozart (Flickr)

When I was a pre-teen, my favorite store to shop at was Justice. I loved the sparkly accessories that matched the confident messages written on the shirts, although looking back now, I don’t know why I ever thought a sequined hat looked fashionable. Though I outgrew the glitter phase, I don’t think I can ever outgrow my love for that store.

For those who are not familiar with the retailer, Justice is a clothing store with a wide array of styles to empower young girls. Through their variety of styles, they are able to make sure to cater to every personality that a young girl may have so she can look and feel confident.

That is exactly what makes Justice stand out from the rest. Few stores encourage young girls to build confidence through clothing. Many department stores place meaningless words or phrases on their products. However, Justice makes sure to feature phrases such as “Girls are confident, courageous and caring” and “Kind is beautiful” on their clothing.

Justice also takes into account that not all girls act the same or have the same interests. While many retailers plaster their clothing with popular logos or characters, Justice is showing off positive messages that every growing girl can relate to.

Their understanding of girls having different personalities has been highlighted in their activewear products. The “Play Like a Girl” collection of athleticwear caters specifically to girls who love to play sports. This collection has gear for nearly every sport. Justice not only creates upbeat clothes for athletic girls, but it also ensures to create clothes for every sport they may play.

Currently, they have a collection entitled “Every Girl Is Awesome.” You can’t get more inspiring than that. They have clothes, jewelry and posters that have specific phrases on them about why all girls are great. Justice promotes the message that being different is okay because it means being you, and this collection especially helps girls understand that.

My favorite part about this company is that they didn’t just stop at girls. Justice expanded in 2012 to include Brothers, which sold clothing for boys that also encouraged confidence and individuality. Unfortunately, Justice decided to discontinue this in 2015 and, without Brothers, there is no empowering equivalent for younger boys.

When I try to think of clothing stores geared towards the younger generation that promote the idea of empowerment, Justice is the only one that comes to mind. Justice takes the cake for making young girls feel good about who they are.

There are tons of different clothing stores for my generation and they all cater to a specific look. However, how is someone supposed to know what they like if they never get the opportunity to experiment with clothing as a child?

People are products of their past experiences. If their past lacks opportunity to be unique, they won’t get the chance to live the life they are supposed to. If young children grow up thinking they have to like certain characters or have to act a certain way because they don’t have the opportunity to express themselves, then they will grow up never truly knowing who they are.

This is why I will always appreciate Justice. It gives children the opportunity to express themselves during an age where there is a lot of pressure to be someone else. Though clothing doesn’t have to define you, it’s a small way to make a big statement. It’s one of the best ways to learn how to be you— just like Justice says, “Be YOUnique.”

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