Being intentional about diversity
Take a look at the greeting cards designed for women and girls, and you’ll generally see a rather narrow range of themes. Pink predominates, of course, along with unicorns, mermaids, princesses and glitter. Girls on cards are often depicted as slim, white, blonde and without disabilities. Cards for women frequently feature flowers and shoes, assume that all of us are terrified of ageing and that we’re obsessed with wine.
Then take a look at the women and girls that you know and love in real life, and you’ll be struck at how different they are – to stereotypical norms as well as to each other. Women and girls are gloriously diverse in what they look like, in their interests, in their skills and talents, in how they approach life and what they get out of it. Out of the Box Cards aims to reflect and celebrate that diversity, expanding people’s horizons rather than squeezing them into a box. Our vision is a world where the rich diversity of humanity is fully celebrated.
That’s why we’ve created three versions of each of our number cards, showing different girls being active and brave, having fun, climbing and cycling and generally loving the adventure of life. We want as many girls as possible to see something of themselves in these cards, and having someone on the front that looks a bit like them, is a good place to start.
Knights Of are a publishing company that was set up in response to the report from the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education that stated that of the 9,115 books published in 2017 only 1% included a character who was from a BAME background. They ran a very popular pop-up bookshop in Brixton before Christmas and after a successful crowdfunder they are hiring a bookseller to focus on making #ReadTheOnePercent stores happen in as many cities as possible. Their brilliant work is testament to the need for intentionality about making space for difference.
Cards are a micro intervention in someone’s life, but we want to be intentional in offering choice and being as inclusive as possible. We’ve talked about featuring women with disabilities on some of our cards in the future, but before we design any, we’ll run focus groups and talk to individuals who live with disabilities to find out what an inclusive card would look like for them. Of the ranges we have created so far, the one that has generated the most debate is our Mothers’ Day cards. We asked our social media worlds what they’d like to see from a Mother’s Day card, and we got a lot of responses, very few of which agreed with each other. Many women have complicated relationships with their mothers; some find it a difficult day because they would have loved to be mums and yet aren’t for different reasons; others find the assumption that all women are nurturing reductive and limiting. It shouldn't need to be said that women don't all think, feel and act identically. Humanity and our relationships are complicated and responding to that with sensitivity and authenticity is difficult, but we're determined to try and fill the gaps, and provide cards suitable for a wider range of women's and girls' experiences.
We’d love to know what you think of our number cards for girls, and about the other designs you’d like us to develop. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on this site to send us a message.