September 15th, 2011

Smart Shirts For Smart Girls!

Categories: Brand, Fans, Fashion, General, Her Universe Brand, Uncategorized // Comments: 37

My mom always told me that one of the worst things you can do to a child is to tell them that they cannot achieve something, putting limits in their minds on what they can do or accomplish. For example, when I was in the third grade, I did a book report on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and I decided that I wanted to be a Justice just like her. Even at the ripe old age of 9, I knew that's what I wanted to do. Most people laughed at me. Seriously, what are the odds of a little girl from Orlando, FL, growing up and being appointed to the most prestigious seat in our country's legal system? Two people that were not laughing; however, were my parents. They supported me 100% and said that I could absolutely become a Supreme Court Justice if I worked hard enough. Obviously, 21 years later and after falling in love with acting, I have now chosen a different career path, but I have since asked my mom why she always supported my lofty ambitions? Simply put, she said that a child believes what you tell them. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, but if you tell a child that they cannot do something or they cannot achieve something, they will believe you.  A child's potential can be squashed with just a few simple words.

Recently, J.C. Penny and

To me, it's sad because all wrapped up in a fashionable, pink sparkly package, girls are being told to rely on their looks and that it's okay not

to excel in school. The shirts are pretty and the stores dictate what's in style, so if Forever 21 says it's okay to be “Allergic to Algebra” girls are going to believe it and use that as an excuse. Trust me, algebra was not my favorite subject. In fact, it gave me my first ever B one semester. I was given the opportunity to take algebra a year early. So in 8th grade, I was bussed to the high school in the morning to take algebra with the high school kids and then I was bussed back to middle school for a full day of classes. My days were long and it was a tough year. Algebra did not come easy to me, and I had to study all the time to get a good grade in the class. Even though it was hard, my parents and teachers told me that I was smart enough to handle the class, and I was expected to do well. I was never given an excuse to believe anything else. Many people do not see the problem with this shirt. After all, how many people go on to use algebra in their everyday life? I've most certainly forgotten most of it. However, that's not the point. I learned so much more from algebra than just numbers and problem solving. Making it through that whole experience gave me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of discipline, and a new found confidence in myself that, at the awkward age of 14, one is constantly searching to find.

With all of the new technology, I feel like kids are becoming smarter and smarter these days. Heck, my 6 year old niece can use an i-phone better than I can. Girls, especially, have so many more opportunities to exceed today than in the past. So many doors have been opened for girls, whereas before they were closed with a sign hanging that said, “For Boys Only.” It's amazing see women run for President of the United States, serve as Secretary of State, and hold high positions in both the public and private sector!  These women achieved greatness through education and hard work. So why do we continue to send messages to our girls that it's okay not to excel in school and that being pretty is more important that being smart?  Let's start making Smart Shirts for Smart Girls! I truly believe that my mom is right, that a child will believe what you tell them. So let's tell our girls that being Smart is Sexy and Brains are Beautiful because an educated girl is a powerful girl… and that's the message we want them to believe!

Ashley 😮


37 Responses to “Smart Shirts For Smart Girls!”

  1. Adam West says:

    Ashley that was amazing! I was so smart in primary school, taking tests that the kids two grades above me were taking. Then in high school I was teased for being smart and being a total nerd so I dumbed myself down to make the boys like me. I acted dumb and pretended I didn’t know things I really did know [It sort of reminded me of Mean Girls actually! ahah]. I stopped learning and I honestly have no idea how I passed high school because I was failing so terribly.

    It’s not until now that I realise that it doesn’t matter what people think! If you’re good at something or like something you just have to be proud and stay strong in it! That’s why I am so proud of all the young Star Wars fangirls I know who are so loud about their passion! And holy cow I have never met a more smarter group of teenagers before!

    You’re totally inspiring me to make some smart girl clothes for myself now ^_^

  2. Bridgette Gallagher says:

    Wow! What a great commentary! I was very lucky to have very supportive parents who also encouraged me to do whatever I wanted and to be who ever I wanted. I was always an advanced math student and by my freshman year in college I was placed in a third year calculus class. I was the only female, non-math-major in that classroom but I never once felt embarrassed or nerdy. I felt pretty good about myself and it’s because I never felt like I didn’t belong there. Like I said, I was lucky. But it makes me sad to see girls encouraged to be stupid. We need more women like you in the fashion industry to put the right message out there. Thanks for everything you do. You truly are an inspiration!

  3. Endor says:

    So true!

    I have to agree with what you have to say about Algebra…..even though I like how the Allergic to Algebra shirt is funny, it’s not sending a good message at all; rather, a bad message.

    Keep on creating clothes for us, Ashley! 🙂


  4. Andrea says:

    What a powerful message. As a mom of an 8th grader and a 6th grade science teacher I see what you are saying daily. Thank you for voicing this so well!!

  5. Erin says:

    I completely agree with all of this. It is a situation I am currently dealing with. Clothes for Smart Girls would be awesome!

  6. Jedi~Chick says:

    I totally agree Ashley!!!!! 🙂 Despite how much I dislike math and algebra, I agree, that shirt gives off the wrong message. We are smart girls, and we need clothes that show that off! Not that we are brats who are ‘too cool for school’. 😛 Thanks for this post, it was excellent!!!! 😀 Love you!
    Jedi~Chick <3

  7. Lauren says:

    Ashley, you are awesome and smart. Thank you so much 🙂

  8. Jen W. says:

    Thank you for this! I managed to avoid the trap of thinking pretty was better than smart also because my parents raised me to believe in myself. I think there should be more great shirts for smart women! Maybe they can be added to the Her Universe line?

  9. Mary Lara says:

    It was great reading this!! Women can do so many awesome things, but we keep getting this message that looking sexy is the ultimate goal, and learning comes in somewhere after that. I actually enjoy math and science, and people think that is weird. The stereotype is that girls don’t do that. I love that you’re sending the message to young women that they can do amazing things, and accomplish huge goals, and not just go through life being “eye candy.” Thank you Ashley for all you do for us girls!!!

  10. JVD says:

    I agree! Happily, there are smart shirts for smart girls. I am not affiliated with this website, but I love its response: T shirts for girls that say “Pretty’s got nothing to do with it!”

  11. ~lilashley~ says:

    I agree 100% I actualy am a year ahead in math and I am proud of it!!! It is really cool to me and I love being the “math wiz” even though I am Homeschooled I am proud of being advanced and I like how you (Ashley) are encouraging us girls to step up and do good in school!!! Thank you sooo much Mrs. E YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!

  12. Savanna says:

    I absolutely agree!!! Girls don’t need to be playing dumb. We can do anything!!

  13. michelle/jedigirl1990 says:

    Love this post its so true. Growing up it was confusing i was told two different messages (of course i knew which one was right) my parents constantly told me that looks were not everything and that i could do anything i wanted to do but school and the rest of society was telling me that looks were way more important. In school i didn’t look at myself as extrodinarly smart not even close but i worked hard and got good grades so everyone thought i was smart i was like nope i instead of talking to boys and not trying i’m actually doing my homework and applying myself. I love this message that girls can be anything they want to be and that we really should start showing girls its cool to be smart. very well said thanks Ashley

  14. lazypadawan says:

    We have a culture that wants to make the movie “Idiocracy” come true.

  15. K. E. E. says:

    I hate algebra too but I don’t impress on others my hatred for it.

    While I don’t consider myself smart I do a lot of reading.

    You should design a smart girls shirt.

  16. Ley says:

    I never will understand why girls would ever want to wear such a shirt even if they did hate algebra and homework. It just screams, “Hey, I’m bad at school and proud of it! But that’s okay because I am waaay cuter then you.” That’s a nice message to send out to the world.

    -Ley <3

  17. Nikki says:

    LOVE this post, Ashley. I also love the fact that you have these ideals in mind when you create clothing for us. It’s amazing how sexism still permeates society, despite the social advancement of women.

  18. Well said, Ashley! As a mom of an 11 year-old girl, it’s so important that they know they can do anything, including be beautiful AND do their homework!

  19. Anna says:

    I so agree Ashley. My whole life is surrounded by little girls who look up to me and that is a very big task. Because they watch everything that I do and want to be just like me, and if I tell them that it’s ok not to excel in school and that being beautiful is more important than knowledge. Then how will their future end. It if so very important that these young girls understand that even though school is hard it is very important and by leaning all this it can help them achieve anything.

  20. Lillian Skye says:

    WOW! Your article was very eye-opening, inspiring, and informative! You’re absolutely right: just because we’re girls doesn’t mean we can’t be smart! It’s time that clothing lines started realizing that instead of capitalizing off of the modern word’s standards for teenage girls. I admit: what girl doesn’t love her phone or computer?

    But why can’t other companies actually make shirts that reflect who we are: intelligent girls and women who are confident in who we were made to be and each beautiful in our own special way? They can take THAT to the bank! I don’t know about the people who designed those shirts, but I wouldn’t want to be seen wearing a shirt that makes me seem like I’m an unintelligent teenager that doesn’t appreciate school , that’s not who I am! And I certainly won’t wear the shirt just because companies try to push that “dumb is the new pink” for teens. No way!

    J.C.Penny and Forever 21: We ARE intellectual and we are most certainly NOT settling for anything less!

    There are tons of intelligent role models for women out there, both in history and today. Have you ever heard of Eliza Lucas Pinckney? In the 1700’s she changed agriculture in colonial South Carolina, where she developed indigo as one of its most important cash crops, while managing multiple plantations despite the loss of her husband! Without her we wouldn’t have our blue Star Wars burnout Tee, girls! :o)

    What about Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom? Or Amelia Earhart, amazing female pilot? Or our very own Mrs. Ashley Eckstein: the founder of Her Universe, the first ‘Geek Chic’ clothing line! :o) If they had been worried about what others might think, or afraid to accomplish their goals, they would never have reached the heights that they did.

    Let’s be intellectual, Geek Chic, and proud of it!

    ~Lillian Skye

  21. Dave Parfitt says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post Ashley. As the father of two girls, I couldn’t agree with you more. These shirts remind me of when they came out with the Barbie that said “Math is hard!” Why haven’t we learned yet? Let’s not put anyone down. Life is hard enough as it is. You are so right that smart is sexy, brains are beautiful, and there’s nothing wrong with intelligence! Dave

  22. Luke Skywalker's Girl says:

    With you 100%!!!!!! Intelligance is SO important. I’ve never liked the feeling of being dum and stuff. One of my friends wore a shirt to dance that said: “Smart Cookie”. It was SO cute!!! I loved it! We definately need some shirts that show other’s that being smart is beauty. No knowledge comes to the foolish. We should stand out and say: “I’m smart, and proud of it”.

    You’re so awesome Ashely!!!!!! Thanks SOOOOOOO much!!!!

    ~Luke Skywalker’s Girl

  23. Trish Wilson says:

    That was a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I try to do the same for my children…letting them know they can be anything they want to be. You are a wonderful role model for young girls (especially to my Cali). Thanks Again!

  24. Maddy says:

    I showed my mom this post and she completly agrees with you, Ashley. It is making girls think its okay not to do well in school.

  25. Leiahan says:

    Totally agree with you!

  26. Lillian Skye says:


    I hope you had an amazingly blessed and joyful day :o) you deserve it!

    “So blow the candles out, my dear, make all your dreams come true! A very merry BIRTHDAY tooo YOU!” ~ a special birthday song sung by the Hatter, Hare, and me 😉

  27. Thanks LillianSkye for the birthday comment–I didn’t even realize it was today.
    Anyway, thanks so much Miss Ashley for inspiring all us girls! I get so frustrated at how everyone just follows the crowd and wears what the commercials yell at them to wear. Drives me crazy. In fact, when I first saw this post I saw the tshirt and thought maybe you were supporting that?? I’m so glad I started reading (should’ve done that first) and saw that you definitely don’t agree with those kinds of clothes. And have a happy happy birthday!!
    Also, lazypadawan and LillianSkye are so right. It’s ridiculous what it’s coming to. Forever 21 also did a Skool Sucks shirt that practically celebrated bad grades. It’s insane.

  28. This is an awesome post! Why should girls say they are dumber than boys? Although I do hate algebra wearing it on a shirt isn’t cool at all.

  29. I completely agree!!!!!

    I honestly think that it’s rediculous to tell girls that it’s cool not to do your homework.

    I’m also a year ahead in math. When I was in 8th grade, I used to have to go over to the high school to take math too, except the Algebra kids at my school don’t get a bus. We had to walk all the way across campus to get to the high school, while the kids who had to go to the high school field house for Athletics got a bus. That, to me, is giving the same message, that beauty and being athletic is more important than being smart.

    It would be so great to add smart clothes to my wardrobe!

    Thank you for another wonderful post!

    May the force be with you!

    <3 Duchess Satine Kenobi

  30. AwesomeGirl says:

    Wow, I’m actually sort of in the same situation. I recently moved, and at my old school I took advanced classes. Here there’s only one advanced class and it isn’t that advanced, so I take grade 8 math. Next year I have to go to the high school. With 4 or 5 other kids, all boys. -______- sux. Anyway, happy b-day! 😀

  31. Hey Mrs. Eckstein!!! I am soooo excited because I’m going to get to meet you at Fan Days next week!!!!!!! I’m trying my best to get together $20 so I can pay for a signature. 😛 I already have half. At first I wasn’t too happy when I thought you couldn’t come, but as soon as you were added to the list, I ran and begged my parents to let me go! CAN’T WAIT!!!! (Sorry that I didn’t write this on the facebook page or twitter, but I have no account on either site. ;))

    I guess Her Universe won’t be there though since the website doesn’t say anything about it. That’s a pretty big disappointment, but I’ll be happy as long as you come! 😉

  32. ~lilashley~ says:

    Hey I am going to Fan Days too!!!!

  33. Anakin's Sweetheart says:

    I agree with you 100% on this!!!
    Its sad how many people are becoming very lazy and don’t want to learn. I love to learn!!! I’m the one to read Manga comic books one day and Shakespeare and Treasure Island the next. The “Allergic to Algebra” is a cute desgin but the text not so much. Math is hard, I admit it. I have a hard time understanding it but once I fully understand it and without too much stress of figuring it out it can be one big lodgic puzzle to me.
    I would love some “Smart Girl Clothing” its a really good idea. For girls do need a good education for a good job once they are women. Thank you for this wonderful blog post Ashely!!!

    ~♥Anakin’s Sweetheart
    P.S, please do some Anakin merchandise!!

  34. Alice says:

    Very true. Reminds me, actually, of a t-shirt I saw online one day with a Star Wars theme – it said “May the mass x acceleration be with you” on it. I was laughing my head off, but I was so shocked about the amount of times I had to explain the joke to people – they just didn’t get it! Sometimes I feel in a world like this so many people take the easy option. I grew up (and am still growing up ;P) in a family that has got where they are through using their brains and not taking the easy way out – my mother has 6 sisters, most of which are achieved business women or doctors, and my father is a heart surgeon. I admire my family very much for having the guts to get where they are. It makes me proud to be who I am. And the mass x acceleration joke still gets me. 😉

  35. Arliss says:

    Wow, this is something I’ve never truly thought about, and I’m so glad you blogged about this Mrs. Eckstein!! It’s SO, SO true. I don’t want to lose my love for learning because I’m more concerned about how I look all the time.

    You just gave me a nice sharp wake-up call. 😉 Thank You!!

    Love, Arliss <3 <3

  36. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  37. jedi_jade says:

    i get all a’s and love star wars and video games. i often get called weird. u just have to be proud of yourself!