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#HeyWorld: Take Pride in What Makes You Unique

Values, CompanyTara R. Hunt, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Gap and Ellen DeGeneres have an empowering message for girls everywhere.

"Be your own hero." "Let's inspire." "Girls know being a girl means being whatever you want."

These weren't always the messages women heard as girls — and, even if they were, they weren't often emblazoned on our clothing. But the GapKids x ED collection, a collaboration between Gap's kids division and Ellen DeGeneres' new lifestyle brand, is changing the game.

The line hit stores and online Aug. 18. The campaign, imbued with empowering messages, stands to strike a resounding chord with girls having back-to-school anxieties: Be true to yourself, "regardless of naysayers or outdated stereotypes," as Gap says.

The campaign features six girls, Alexey, Relz, Ryann, Bellatreas, Torrae and Asia, pictured and filmed in their element, be it skateboarding, drumming, robotics or entrepreneurialism. If you're not inspired yet: The girls range in age from 7 to 12.

"I think if we shine a light on real girls doing incredible things, that'll encourage other girls and boys to do incredible things," says DeGeneres, noting that the opportunity was "the perfect way to celebrate girls just for being who they are; and to encourage them to unleash their passions; whether it's math, soccer, singing, dancing or simply singing while dancing in their bedroom."

The idea is to provoke feelings of strength, empowerment, and just plain fun, no matter what your talents or interests might be. Torrae, for example, has a strong desire to help others, which pushes her to build robotic hands for kids who need them. Alexey loves music and shares her incredible drumming skills with the world.

As Hilary Duff, one celebrity sending words of encouragement via the #heyworld hashtag on social media, said: "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."

Or, take it from this heartwarming tweet to GapKids recently, which proves that girls have the power to inspire others, even as they derive inspiration from great role models like Ellen.

"#heyworld, meet M. She reminds me to follow one's gut instinct. Grateful for that," says Aran Goyoaga via Twitter handle @CannelleVanille.

As part of the campaign, the brand is also donating $250,000 to the Girls Inc. Economic Literacy program, a 13-week course that teaches girls entrepreneurial skills and how to start investing in their communities. Purchases in the U.K. and Japan go toward CARE, an international humanitarian nonprofit.