• Beck Feiner's Lady Legends Alphabet celebrates some of the most interesting and iconic women. (Supplied/Beck Feiner)
"Our kids just see a very male-dominated world. The Lady Legends Alphabet is a way of taking the gender equality discussion into the class room, our kids bedrooms and even the nursery."
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

8 Aug 2017 - 2:35 PM  UPDATED 8 Aug 2017 - 2:35 PM

What do Amelia Earhart, Beyonce, Cathy Freeman and Dolly Parton have in common? They are all amazing women who have excelled in their fields. And they all represent letters in Beck Feiner's new Lady Legends Alphabet.

The Sydney freelance graphic designer who created a stir earlier this year with her Aussie Legends Alphabet is back with a A to Z collection celebrating the world's most interesting and iconic women.

One mum designed a kids' alphabet full of Aussie legends
"I just felt like A is for apple, and B is for banana was a bit boring."

Feiner says the idea came to her, not from friends or customers, but from society more generally.

"There's a strong push for gender equality going on right now - you can feel it in the air," Feiner tells SBS.

"There's a lot of discussion about it in the media right now in regards to pay equality in business - and in sports."

As mum to a four and a half year old boy, Levi, and a one and a half year old girl, Esme, Feiner wants to raise her children in a world where they are treated equally, and she believes it's important to shape those beliefs and expectations from a young age.

"Our kids just see a very male-dominated world," she says.  

"The Lady Legends Alphabet is a way of taking the gender equality discussion into the class room, our kids bedrooms and even then nursery. You know, start surrounding kids with positive gender messages when they're young that's got to be a good thing.

"Even as a grown up woman, I still need to see other woman being amazing to give me the confidence to keep achieving. What better inspiration is there than women who have gone out and and smashing the glass ceiling in whatever sandpit they play?"

Among the other wonderful women featured on the poster are nurse Florence Nightingale, deafblind activist Helen Keller, SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, and television host Ellen DeGeneres. 

"I wanted to make sure that a diverse range of professions, pursuits, talents, cultures, and ages were represented in the Alphabet," Feiner says. 

"For me personally, feminism in this day and age is being whoever you want to be. You can be a political activist or a country music singer, but I felt it was especially important to give a little bit of a weighting to Aussie Women - because basically Aussie chicks rock!"

Since creating the Aussie Legends Alphabet, Feiner has produced an American Legends Alphabet and is about to release her British Legends Alphabet, keen to show that "the people who make these countries great are of both genders, all ages, races, religions and make their contributions in various ways". 

Feiner sells the posters online, and as a result of the enormous popularity of her original alphabet, the Aussie Legends Alphabet book is due to come out on September 18, and she is in talks to turn the international posters into books in the US and UK.

"I am so excited to see the book on a shelf," Feiner says.

"I have been working really hard with my publishing team to adapt the Aussie Legends Poster into a wonderful children's book. I am so pleased with the result and I can't wait to give a copy to my mum (my biggest fan)."

With that goal ticked off, she has her sights set on showing off her alphabets to Ellen DeGeneres as a guest on Ellen: "I do aim high!" she says with a laugh.

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