Melissa Atkins Wardy is an author, founder and CEO of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies (PPBB), co-founder of the Brave Girls Alliance, and mother of two. In 2009, she founded her children’s apparel company, PPBB, to help parents fight against gender stereotypes and create an environment free of limitations for their children. Four years after launching PPBB, Melissa joined several other moms to form the Brave Girls Alliance, a gender equality advocacy group dedicated to educating parents on the powerful influences of the media and corporations on children. In addition to the Redefining Girly blog, Melissa has appeared on CNN, Fox News, the Boston Globe and Ms. Magazine. Through the Brave Girls Alliance, her blog and her forthcoming 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.
Though Melissa is an author and an entrepreneur, she is, first and foremost, a mom. She lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, with her husband and two children. The stay-at-home mom began challenging the media and marketplace’s messages to girls about how they should act and dress after having her daughter. Soon after having her son, Melissa saw that messages to boys were equally powerful and harmful. She has created an online community where parents can advocate alongside others for change. Through her book, Melissa is working to provide practical, specific parenting tools for fighting back against the stereotyping and sexualization of children, and little girls in particular.