Comic, talk show host and epic selfie-taker Ellen DeGeneres knows a thing or two about making people feel good about themselves and the world. She advocates on behalf of the LGBT community, tells kids who may feel different that it's OK to be so at an awards show, and constantly gives credit and gratitude to the people society often takes for granted.
It's impossible to imagine Ellen can become even more awesome, but thanks to a partnership with Gap, she has.
She's teamed up with the popular clothing retailer to design clothes and accessories for little girls that empower them — a far cry from the typical clothing seen out in the market. With shirts out there telling little girls their best subject is shopping over math and that instead of being a hero they NEED a hero, Ellen's GapKids x ED clothing line is grossly needed.
Not only did Gap and DeGeneres collaborate on the line, but they're going a step further and have announced a $250,000 donation commitment to Girls Inc., a nonprofit that provides girls with experiences and tools they need to face their unique challenges.
The money will go directly to a 13-week economic literacy program, which will give girls the tools they need to be leaders in the entrepreneurial and business space — which girls don't inhabit enough because they're usually not encouraged to. And when they do decide to become coders or engineers or CEOs, stereotypes and sexism oftentimes push them out.
The goal is to change that.
According to the Girls Inc. website, the mission is to "encourage girls to be themselves and take pride in who they are, we're working to empower girls with the tools to be strong, smart, and bold."
They may just be shirts with saying on them, but the messages we send to kids matters.
Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams elegantly explains one of the many reasons why:
I want my daughters — and yours — to grow up in a world in which they can brag of their math prowess or their rascally natures on their own shirts. Not shirts pinched from the boy's collection, but their own. They can rock them with their tutus and their glitter headbands if they so desire; they can still be pretty. But they need to know that just because you're a girl, you're not limited to being anybody's fairy, princess or fluffy little cupcake.
DeGeneres has also released a "Words of Encouragement" series, comprised of short clips on Gap's YouTube channel promoting overall kindness and acceptance.
According to one of the videos, she explains that we as a society focus too much on differences, and it's creating too much chaos and negativity.
"If we focus on what we all have in common — we all want to be happy — that would be a lot better," she says.