StereoType Blog

Embracing Equality Everyday for Everyone

Elizabeth Brunner, Founder of StereoType Kids, shares how 2023's Women's Month theme of Embracing Equity is a main pillar for the brand. Equity leads to Equality and that inspires and empowers us ALL.


When I started StereoType my mission was to challenge and change gender norms for my own kids so they wouldn’t have to deal with a world that refused to see them as equal individuals. It’s an enormous task to try and change the outside world for your kids, but I could not accept the current reality that was reflecting a limit for one child over another.

Being a mom of girl-boy twins, I was always hyper aware that they are seen and treated differently outside of our home. I remember walking to the grocery store with my son when he was about 6 months old. He was strapped to my chest in a carrier while my daughter was home with a caretaker. It was my chance to spend some one-on-one bonding time with him rather than the normal chaos of managing a double-wide stroller in a very small space. As I roamed the isles collecting groceries a woman approached me with a warm smile and said, “What a beautiful baby is it a boy or girl?” I told her it was a boy and her reaction was, “you are very blessed to have a son.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, so I smiled and moved on but thinking back on this exchange, I understand the idea of having a son in her mind was more valuable than having a daughter. This could have been because of cultural differences or just her own way of thinking, but for me it was the beginning of noticing how my son and daughter were treated differently based on their gender, even as babies.

When we talk about equality we have to start from childhood, and the ways we’ve been taught and even conditioned to think that we are not equal to the opposite gender.

The seed is planted very young in girls, babies even. We are taught at a young age that we have fit into a mold and we must stay within parameters, and never question or stray from them. It’s reflected in the outside world too, we have a “role” to play and we must not upset or question the status quo. We have to be “good girls”  and never make a fuss but rather go on without complaint.

Expectations of women and girls are wildly impossible to live up to while also being extremely limiting in giving us space to explore who we truly are. It can feel impossible to embrace equality when we as women are handed a script instead of pen and paper to write our own story. But here’s the thing, we can rewrite the script anytime. 

The best way to support equality is to start in the home with ourselves and our own family.

Our kids are great at leveling the playing field since they are naturally curious and know what they are innately drawn to without overthinking it. They don’t label the way we do as adults, they love what they love and that’s all the information they need. They don’t get bogged down with limiting thoughts of what is for boys versus girls - they simply remove any need to define and simply follow their interests. It’s a lesson for all of us in letting go of what “we think” is right versus wrong based on what we’ve been taught to believe. How can we as adults adjust our own way of thinking so we become an advocate not just for our kids but ourselves? How can embracing equality be a quality that bonds us as humans instead of separating us into genders? If we are willing to reflect on our own limiting beliefs then we can start to unpeel the layers that make up a foundation that may need retrofitting.

While the outside world doesn’t always reflect the kind of equality we wish to have for ourselves or our children, we have the power to create equality in our own homes. If you are raising kids to value themselves for who they are authentically then it makes sense to balance out the equation by teaching them about equality. When we create an environment where we are equal in value as humans living on this planet, we remove the need to create labels. The role is simply to be as is, and to allow the unknown of who you are to be known by following a natural course of self-discovery. It’s a daily quest of listening to the inside instead of being propelled by the outside world and what it tells you to be and do to. 

For me personally, it’s been a process of understanding that it's not my job to mold and shape my children, it’s my job to support them as they discover their own individual identities. They are not my project, they do not exist to fulfill a vision or dream I have for them. I’ve shifted myself to understand that equality truly means that they are equal in value and should be defined by no-one, only themselves. It’s not an easy mountain to climb because it means questioning everything I’ve been taught to believe. However the peaks are expansive and the view is breathtaking once you realize that your efforts are worth those precious moments of seeing in a whole new way. It’s not just for your kids, but for the child in you that still exists in a space of wanting to know more. It’s not too late to create a new way of thinking for yourself, a new world of true equality.


Elizabeth Brunner is the Founder and CEO of StereoType, a gender-free kids' fashion brand that challenges the norms and stereotypes of traditional clothing.

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