Jasmine, Belle, Aurora, Ariel... When my daughter was younger, the names were as familiar to me as the members of my own family. I could walk into any one of her classrooms or after-school activities, at any time, on any day, and find a bunch of little girls teetering around in pink plastic heels and layers of tulle, heads topped off with crooked tiaras.
The boys, meanwhile, were all wearing sports jerseys with their favorite players' names emblazoned on the back. They wanted to grow up to be heroes. Our daughters wanted to grow up and be rescued by one.
Co-founders of Timbuku Magazine Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo are hoping to change all that with their crowdfunded campaign for Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, a children's book that features 100 bedtime stories about the lives of 100 extraordinary women from the past and present, illustrated by 100 female artists. How has this not existed before?!
Favilli and Cavallo explain on Kickstarter that it was their entrepreneurial journey that made them understand how important it is for girls to grow up surrounded by female role models. "It helps them to be more confident and set bigger goals," they write. "We realized that 95 percent of the books and TV shows we grew up with, lacked girls in prominent positions. We did some research and discovered that this didn't change much over the past 20 years, so we decided to do something about it."
So in Rebel Girls, the stories of strong, smart, real-life women like Serena Williams, Frida Kahlo, and the Bronte sisters get the fairy tale treatment, each one told through a mini biography and illustrated portrait. These aren't a bunch of damsels in distress sitting around waiting for their princes to come. These are brave, courageous, complex women who weren't afraid to change the game and run the world.
There are astronauts and architects and Supreme Court justices and chefs. Athletes and engineers and musicians and painters. And while I'm happy to report there's not a single princess in the mix, there is one Queen, so you may want to hang on to that plastic tiara.
It's Favilli and Cavallo's goal to get a copy of the book on every young girl's nightstand. The deadline to contribute to the campaign is May 25, though, so if you want to hero-up, click here before the clock strikes 12.