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Street Team Intern: Weeks 7-13

My official time as an intern at the Indiana State Museum is over now. As I mentioned in my Instagram post on my last day, it was great experience! I spent the summer meeting new people in my industry and getting an inside look at what having a ‘real’ job is like.

I am very proud of the work I did at the museum, and have received praises from both of my supervisors to the point where I have been asked to continue coming to the museum as a volunteer to assist with their marketing efforts.

My favorite part of being at the museum was the sense of appreciation and welcoming I felt from the staff I interacted with. They of course are used to meeting new interns every semester, with a constant flow of us college kids coming in and out. It would have been very easy for the staff to brush me off, give me a simple ‘hello’ and otherwise ignore my existence. Instead, they happily introduced themselves, shook my hand, and continued to speak kindly with me at each passing.

Throughout the summer I generated social media content, wrote media tracking reports, pitched stories to the press, and wrote press releases. All of these things are important to my future career and practicing these PR tactics helped me grow more confident in myself and my abilities.

I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to work with the museum in the future!

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Why “girls plus” should not be a clothing section

 

I have belonged to a separate category, according to the fashion industry, since elementary school. As young as 10 years old, I remember searching stores for the section that had clothes for girls like me. My wide blue eyes would take in all the pink and sequins and glitter that make up the girls’ clothing sections and fall sad as I checked the tags, seeing sizes that my round tummy and chubby legs wouldn’t fit into.

More often than not, finding those sizes meant I had to find a different part of the store and read signs until I found one reading “Girls Plus” or something else insanely demeaning. To this day, as a grown woman, I am forced into back corners to find the three or four racks of clothing that are made for women like me.

It’s still disheartening, but because I am a grown up I understand that larger sizes do not mean less worth as a human being, no matter how many times per day messaging like that is pushed towards me like an unappetizing meal I’m supposed to eat out of politeness. For young girls though, like the one that I was not too long ago, such realizations do not come easily.

Girls plus should not be a section.

Girls with belly rolls and full cheeks should never have to feel sad about their bodies. Girls who have attained hips a little sooner and a little bigger than their friends should not feel that they are different, should not have to look for special signs and special sizes and their clothes should not be more expensive.

We are young and naive and frightened that people who see us buying girls plus clothes see us as strange. We think that it’s strange that we have to look for special signs and special sizes and that our mothers have to pay more than other mothers do.

Girls who walk into stores looking for their back to school outfit should never sit in a dressing room crying because the biggest skirt they had wouldn’t fit their waist. Think about all these girls, looking for the girls plus, and their self-esteem. There is so much waste, so many wasted tears and frustrations and steps to separate sections.

We grow into young women who avoid mirrors and photos and don’t smile at our reflections. And it takes years to remember what it’s like to not care about the number on our tags and we’re still confused about why our clothes cost three times as much. We believe that there is an “us” and a “them” and the them is girls who have never had to worry about finding the girls plus and have never cried in dressing rooms.

Those sections told all the girls that there is a “them” versus “us”. We get used to back corners, separate sections, and feeling like there is too much to us. That our bodies are too big and that they are wrong, and that the store had to go to all this trouble of making a separate section just for us.

We are not girls plus, they are not girls plus, they are just girls. Therefore, there should be no plus section.