Before they’re even born, girls are surrounded by pink.
Blame it on baby showers and overly eager friends who want to dress the newborn up like the dolls she’ll probably start playing with soon.
A stereotype that comes along with all that pink is that girls are meant to be beautiful, makeup-loving, and princess-admiring while boys wrestle and play in mud. Toy commercials feed the stereotype with ponies and glitter for girls and G.I. Joes and Transformers for boys. When kids grow up, those toy-induced stereotype sometimes morph into different career paths.
Debbie Sterling, a Stanford-educated engineer and the CEO of Goldieblox, wants to change that.
She says only 11% of all engineers are women. While it’s well-known there are fewer women in tech, a lot of programs aiming to fix the problem focus on college or high school students. Sterling believes the issue begins much earlier.
Broadening children’s interests doesn’t mean girls shouldn’t aspire to be feminine. GoldieBlox, which makes interactive games, uses a cute blonde as its logo. But her blonde isn’t a Barbie who sits around and waits for Ken. It’s a blonde who is building cool things.
Sterling’s realisation isn’t ground-beaking, but her video about it has hit a nerve. It was posted two days ago on YouTube and currently has more than 3 million views. Its mission is to make the pink shelf in toy stores less pink.
Here are the lyrics:
You think you know what we want, girls.
Pink and pretty it’s girls.
Just like the 50’s it’s girls.
You like to buy us pink toys
and everything else is for boys
and you can always get us dolls
and we’ll grow up like them… false.
It’s time to change.
We deserve to see a range.
‘Cause all our toys look just the same
and we would like to use our brains.
We are all more than princess maids.
Girls to build the spaceship,
Girls to code the new app,
Girls to grow up knowing
they can engineer that.
That’s all we really need is Girls.
To bring us up to speed it’s Girls.
Our opportunity is Girls.
Don’t underestimate Girls.
Here’s the video.