Cary Williams always took it as a compliment when she was told that she “fights like a boy.”
“In a sport where you get hit in the face you learn the true difference between a man and a woman,” said the former Olympic-style boxer, and coach and owner of the Santa Monica boxing club The Stables, Cary Williams. “We are biologically different and also different in many other ways. Thank goodness!”
But along with the compliments she would receive, she would also get comments that she didn’t find so complimentary.
“As a fighter, I was told often that I was too pretty to be a boxer. Which really meant in their mind, that I was not capable … fast forward five years and it dawned on me that I was not the only girl/woman experiencing these comments. There were business owners, surfers, managers, racecar drivers, writers, bodybuilders and the list goes on.”
And so, due to her experiences with this kind of response to her boxing, Williams created the Too Pretty brand in late 2015 with a few lines of t-shirts and halter tops. “They were a hit. No pun intended,” Williams said.
Williams has since taken her brand to social media.
“I feel like in order to keep the brand authentic and create a community and culture around it, social media must be one of the main avenues,” Williams said. “With social media you can engage with those who follow you and that is what should be happening. The #tooprettymovement launched April 1 and has really taken off. Our social media platforms started to grow and the #tooprettymovement began.”
Williams that that, currently her movement is in full effect with an Instagram project.
“Girls and women are posting a black and white photo of them holding a cardboard sign on which they have written what they are ‘Never Too Pretty’ to do. They use hash tags #nevertoopretty, #tooprettymovement and #thebeautyinstrength and explain what it means to them. We then ask them to send us the pics and text and post [them] on our profile.”
Amanda McGrew, a P.E. teacher and basketball coach at the Willows Community School in Culver City got involved with the Too Pretty brand after taking an introductory boxing lesson at William’s boxing club in Santa Monica.
“She could tell I was an athlete of some sort, and she reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in discussing the brand and what it stands for,” McGrew said. “Being so involved in youth physical education and athletics, I thought it was an incredible message for young kids, females especially.”
McGrew said that the brand is important because it gives young girls a new perspective.
“It allows them to be comfortable in their own skin, and reminds them that they can be whatever they want to be and should be proud of it. The power of social media has done wonders for the Too Pretty Brand movement. It allows young girls all over the world to see other women of all ages, demographics, and backgrounds who are proud to be who they are.
“The other women involved with the Too Pretty Brand are amazing role models for females who might struggle fighting against a stereotype or a stigma that they can’t seem to get away from. I have honored and proud to be part of such an incredible brand, with a message that makes me want to keep working hard and connecting with my students and athletes.
Williams hope for Too Pretty is that it touches those girls and women who are in or thinking about getting involved in something that is not traditionally “for gals.”
“To empower them so that they know they are ‘never too pretty’ to do anything! Financially my hope is to grow large enough that I can support girls and women out there who are starting something. It could be a business, an art project, a sport, etc. Overall the goal is to support all of my sisters out there of any age.”
Williams is launching a Kickstarter campaign for the brand May 1. The rewards that will be available are all new to the brand, including a new youth t-shirt, women’s sleeveless flowy shirt, women’s slouchy long sleeved shirt, men’s long sleeved hoody t-shirt, Too Pretty designed boxing gloves and hand wraps as well as a training day with Williams. All of the items will have unique gold designs and the slouchy long sleeved shirt will have a one-of-a-kind design created by artist Kyra Kendall.
For more information on Too Pretty, go to https://tooprettybrand.com/.