Fifth grader Egypt Ufele, who goes by “Ify,” has been making major waves since she debuted her clothing line, Chubiiline, at New York Fashion Week. Ify was one of the youngest designers there, and one of the only designers to include plus sizes in their collections. She says her inspiration was the bullying she had experienced in her life, especially at school.
She told Today: “I was bullied, and they called me all kinds of names. One time I got stabbed with a pencil.” She told The Huffington Post that she started sewing at just five years old, thanks to lessons from her grandmother. She describes her line as, “African print design with an urban twist.” She says her favorite designers include Betsey Johnson and her older sister, Sade Perry, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who she calls “‘The mastermind to teaching me about sketching and researching fashion.’ She loves fashion, she says, for its ability to make you feel good.” Ify’s mother’s support has helped her make this dream a reality.
Ify is inspiring girls and womyn worldwide, and she’s also inspired us to compile a list of other girls who are killing it in their own right. They’re scientists, authors and everything in between. These girls are proving that all womyn’s brilliance should never be underestimated, and should always be celebrated:
Sushma is the epitome of tenacity and dedication. She has overcome insurmountable odds to achieve exactly what she wanted, all with the support of her family. Sushma’s achievements also bring attention to the greater need for all Indian womyn to be afforded the right to education, regardless of their class or status.
Natalie McGriff took The Adventures of Moxie Girl, her comic book about a black girl whose curly hair has magical powers, to a crowdfunding festival in Florida and walked away with more than $16,000! This book honors and represents a whole population of black girls who need and deserve this kind of empowerment.
Jazz has always been a perfect representation of what it means to Wear Your Voice. We’re still in love with her book I Am Jazz, and we’re excited to see that a new one is in the works. Jazz is a great example of the importance of representation for the trans youth community — and the LGBTQ community as a whole.
It’s no secret that the world is in the midst of a serious environmental and economic crisis, but solutions remain elusive. Hannah has successfully discovered a way to use the ocean to provide clean drinking water to those who need it. Her enthusiasm for changing the world is infectious.
Marley’s #1000blackgirlbooks project speaks to the current lack of diverse representation in children’s books and raises hope that these books will help create much-needed change. Each author on her list is a social justice activist and intersectional feminist in their own right. The Adventures of Moxie McGriff, featured above, can now be added to this fantastic, ongoing list!
I’m so excited to share the word about the AutBuddy app, which will be available June 1. It was created by the insightful and brilliant Eashana, who has a younger sister on the autism spectrum. Eashana was inspired to create the app after noticing her sister’s need for a consistent schedule at home and at school. Anyone who has ever loved someone on the autism spectrum knows that it’s huge to be able to leverage technology to better serve this community. I want to extend a special thank you for this invention — it is near and dear to my heart.
Aziza is incredibly brave and strong for shining a light on such traumatizing events and truths. It is clear that she is passionate about exposing the painful reality of life for children in Afghan refugee camps and about creating change. Her elders have played an important guiding role in her work — an element that’s often absent in western cultures. Their support has helped make Aziza a true social justice warrior.
The Sheroes’ Hangout
The Sheroes’ Hangout serves so many important purposes. This cathartic cafe exposes an unjust, harsh reality for women in India. It also provides validation for the emotional and physical pain acid-attack survivors experience. And, by relying on human connection and social interaction, it also highlights the importance of those connections throughout the world.
We encourage our readers to become more knowledgeable about this reality and the others these girls are bringing to light. We also wanted to take a moment to recognize and thank A Mighty Girl, whose work helped inspire this article.