Little girl who dreams of being an astronaut writes letter begging shop to make Nasa clothing for girls

(Picture: Suzi Fogels/Caters News)

Lily Fogels has always wanted to be an astronaut.

She’s been in love with all things to do with space since she can remember, and dreams of living at the international space station when she grows up.

While she waits until she’s old enough to be an astronaut, Lily fills her room with planet posters, a miniature solar system, and any on-theme decorations she can find.

She’d also quite like to wear space themed clothing, and was disappointed to find that her local department store, Target, only stocked Nasa T-shirts in boys’ sizes in the boys’ section. When she looked in the girls’ section, no Nasa tops were to be found.

That was the first time Lily pondered the idea that Space could be a ‘boys’ thing’ and not something for her to enjoy.

She decided to buy a boys’ shirt anyway, but was left frustrated by the discovery. So she set about writing a letter to ask Target to sort things out.

Lily wrote: ‘I am very upset right now because all your NASA clothing is only in the boys area in my Target and I am a girl.

‘I want NASA clothes in the girls area because girls like space too. It doesn’t need to be different styles just move some from the boys.

‘From Lily a girl who loves space.’

(Picture: Suzi Fogels/Caters News)

Target hasn’t responded yet.

Lily said: ‘I don’t know why I started getting interested in space, it was a long time ago. I love that the universe grows and changes and there is always more to learn.

‘I would like to be an astronaut and I hope that I can have my own room in the international space station.

‘I hope one day I will walk on the moon. My back up job is an astrophysicist and I hope I will find life in space.

‘It’s really unfair that Target didn’t have any Nasa clothes for girls.

‘If a girl who really likes space only shops in the girl’s section, she may not know she can have a Nasa shirt if it’s only in the boy’s area.

‘I was really upset that they didn’t put Nasa clothes in the girl’s section, so my mum told me I could write a letter.

‘Girls like space too and I hope there will be more female astronauts in the future.’

Lily’s mum, Suzi Fogels, 37, says Target’s failure to stock Nasa clothes in the girls’ section holds up the idea that jobs in space are only for men, not women.

She hopes that her daughter’s letter will help to provoke change.

(Picture: Caters News Agency)

Social researcher Suzi said: ‘The message from Target to my daughter is that Nasa isn’t for you.

‘It may not be what they meant, it may be based on a financial decision, but at the end of the day it is the message they are sending.

‘I don’t think being an astronaut is still seen as a ‘man’s job’, but I think men and boys are more encouraged than girls to aim for these jobs, even in subtle ways.

‘Target not having Nasa clothing in the girl’s section is an example of this.

‘If girls aren’t exposed to Nasa or other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related jobs, they won’t know they can aim for them.

‘The Target issue has been an ongoing thing. Last year we went to our local target looking for clothes for Lily’s brother and there was a Nasa shirt.

‘Lily was super excited, so she went to the ‘girls’ section to find one but there wasn’t any. So, we bought the one from the boy’s section.

‘The sizing was different, but it was fine. Then earlier this month we went looking for sleepwear and again found Nasa pyjamas but only in the area that was clearly targeting boys.

(Picture: Suzi Fogels/Caters News)

‘I think Lily was more confused to start with, it makes no sense to her that boys would be provided with Nasa clothes that fit and she isn’t.

‘I told her, that it was an opportunity to try to create change so tell Target that you don’t support their position.

‘I think it is time for change. If we aren’t contributing to equality, then we are part of the problem.

‘Small decisions by large corporations can make long-lasting changes to our societal structures.

‘It is creating mixed messages. At home and school, we don’t tell children that what they can achieve is gender based, but slowly they get exposed to those inequalities.

‘I am always so proud of Lily. I think she is amazing.’

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