Debut picture book – Li Na is my name
Posted 11 months ago and submitted by Lisa Wee | Share link:

Gender stereotypes – Not again! No matter which part of the world you’re from, you’d have been told how to behave as a boy or a girl from a very young age.

At the age of 5, I got my first dungarees. I wore it whenever I could because of the sense of comfort and freedom it gave me. It gave me the opportunity to track through mud, to run and to climb trees with my brothers. Then a new word started to appear around me. “Don’t be so tomboy, Lisa”. As a 5-year-old, I didn’t understand the word but I could sense the disapproval that went with it in the odd looks exchanged between the adults.

That was my first encounter with gender stereotyping. As I grew older, I continued to hear statements like Boys are tough and girls are pretty. They confused me. It was as if being a boy is better than being a girl. A boy must be more intelligent and capable than a girl since his activities are highly regarded and described as being adventurous, having ambition and showing leadership, whereas girls are sentimental, submissive and must be pretty.

These stereotypes can cause unequal and unfair treatment toward a girl or a boy because they don’t allow people to fully express their uniqueness as individuals. They can be harmful because they create an illusion that girls are emotional, hence, the drama queen. Boys are tough therefore they don’t have emotions. Aggressive behaviour in boys and a more docile manner in girls are encouraged as the norm.

Breaking down gender stereotypes allows everyone to be their best selves. It is because there is no ‘right’ way to be a boy or a girl. Remember, we are role models for our kids. Shared domestic responsibilities between women and men in our home help our kids not to gender-type activities.

Promoting successful women in male dominant jobs such as scientists or successful men in a female dominant jobs like nursing will create a positive and inclusive society. Childhood should be about discovery and diversity. Kids should explore who they are without being judged. This is one of the reasons why I wrote “Li Na is my name”, debuting in March 2022 under an UK publisher, Dixi Books. I wanted to add a voice to kids who are on the journey of discovery that being different is a good thing. They can be brave to be themselves.

Lisa Wee
Children's Illustrator
Ang Mo Kio, Singapore
Tel: +65 82455433

Lisa Wee, a debut author/Illustrator writes quirky, quaint and sassy stories. Her characters are sharp-witted and daring. Many of them have a mind of their own and are not afraid t… Show more.

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Profile updated 5th February, 2022
Member since 4th December, 2018
Winner of CYAS Stars illustration award with judges from Scholastic Australia, Bronze Award Japan Illustrator Association 2020 Award, 50th Anniversary Mary Poppins FanArt Walt Disn…
Kristen Kish(Top Chef winner in colllaboration with Upwork) World Vision International, Ladybug Magazine, Mighty kind magazine, Tool of the Minds, ABV publishing, Dr Shan Woo Liu, …
Your vision for the book is unbelievable. I am just in awe of some of the things you came up with. The dog mapping of walking through the house and hangers in the closet. It is truly magical. (Holly Bonner - Blind mom monster detective) Everyone loves your enchanting artwork! The colors are wonderful. Our readers will love looking at the happy children and all the details. Thank you, Lisa, for a GREAT job on this project!! (Ladybug magazine)
— Holly Bonner, Ladybug magazine, Freelance Illustrator
Hilary Harwell of KT Literary
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