Subscribe

#InMyShoes: How a girl's quest for dinosaur shoes is leaving a big footprint on Twitter

Eight-year old paleontology enthusiast Sophia Trow wants the shoe manufacturer Clarks to know that their lineup of girls shoes needs more dinosaurs, prompting a campaign by female scientists.

  • close
    Brenna Hassett, a bioarchaeologist at London's Natural History Museum, snapped this photo of her Chuck Taylors with a pterodactyl figurine posted on top in support of a young dinosaur enthusiast who complained to Clarks about their selection of girls footwear.
    Photo courtesy Brenna Hassett
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

A young dinosaur enthusiast in Middlesbrough, England, isn't happy with Clarks offerings of girls shoes, and she seems to have found some company.

“DEAR Clarks, I don’t like how girls have flowery shoes – I like dinosaurs and fossils, so I think that other girls might as well,” wrote Sophia Trow, age eight to the multinational shoe retailer, according to published reports.

TrowelBlazers, an online community for female archaeologists, geologists, and paleontologists, has lent their support to her campaign, posting pictures of their footwear to Twitter under the tag #InMyShoes.

In an email interview, Brenna Hassett, a founder of TrowelBlazers and a bioarchaeologist at the Natural History Museum London, writes, “When we saw the story about Sophie Trow, who wanted to purchase dinosaur themed shoes but was told they were not made for girls, we thought we could step in and show Sophie that 'dino shoes' aren’t the only way to have a connection to dinos.”

“I tweeted a picture of my shoes with our office pterodactyl figurine perched on them to make the point, with the hashtag #InMyShoes,” Dr. Hassett writes. “Happily, we have an amazing community at TrowelBlazers who jumped in to show their support for Sophie by sharing their own pictures.” (It should be noted that the pterodactyl was not a dinosaur.) 
The rest of the TrowelBlazers founding team –  NHM  paleobiologist Victoria Herridge, University of Bordeaux archaeologist Becky Wragg Sykes, and University of Georgia archaeologist Suzanne Pilaar Birch – also stepped-up and posted their footwear in solidarity, as have many others from around the globe.

According to Hassett, their hope is that Clarks, who also make a line of ichthyosaur-themed footwear for boys called “Stompasaurus” will “jump at the chance to show Sophie their other cool paleontology related shoes and that scientists everywhere, men and women, will keep making the effort to show that it can be for anyone.” (Ichthyosaurs weren't dinosaurs either.)

“Our mission is to reset imaginations, and to show that despite common perceptions of what might be 'appropriate', women have been making contributions to the fields we work in for much longer than most people realise,” Hassett writes. “We are absolute supporters of efforts to improve the numbers of girls and women in science, especially earth science, and really believe that role models are crucial to overcoming 'stereotype threat' – the added pressure that comes with being in a minority group.”

She adds, “It was absolutely one of the best moments in TrowelBlazer history when we read that Sophie's mum had shown her our responses, and that Sophie thinks she might want to be a scientist when she grows up.”

Hassett and her colleagues strongly believe in the axiom that “if you can't see it, you can't be it.”

She concludes, “I think it's incredibly important for women who can act as role models, especially in areas where women are unrepresented like the sciences, to make an effort where they can to show girls like Sophie that dinosaurs are something anyone can be into.”

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK