Melissa Atkins Wardy has been working as a child advocate to media content creators, a parent educator, author, and small business owner since 2009. As the founder of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, Melissa was at the front of the gender equal children’s apparel market when the company launched eight years ago. She has used her large social media community to leverage more respectful and responsible media for children from toy makers, movie studios, apparel companies, and retailers.
A tireless effort to help parents fight gender stereotypes and create an environment free of gender limitations for their children, coupled with the ability to meet media creators in the middle, made her a sought-after parent voice for industry leaders like Mattel, Disney, Dove, and Amazon Kids. Through her blog and her book, Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween, Melissa has become an expert in girls’ advocacy.
She now travels the country speaking at schools, universities, corporations, Girl Scout functions, members of Congress, and parent groups about having the courage to raise Full of Awesome kids in a culture filled with harmful media messages, unfair gender stereotypes, racism, and relentless marketing to young consumers.
Melissa’s work has been featured on CNN, NBC News, TODAY, NPR, New York Times, Huffington Post, Mashable, BuzzFeed, Ms. Magazine, Marie Claire, and numerous local television and radio stations.
Melissa is a graduate of the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a B.A. in Sociology. Years in the corporate world were left behind in order to become a work-at-home entrepreneur and mom, and now a homeschooling parent. She lives in the beautiful borderland of west Texas with her husband and children, and can usually be found on a hiking trail with her family or troop of twenty Girl Scouts.
Redefining Girly is more than a book; it is a movement.
Let’s change the way we think about our kids.