Gender bias: Why we shouldn’t call girls ‘pretty’

Parentdish: by Isabelle Khoo —
Verizon’s

Verizon’s latest commercial proves that advertisements can have powerful messages. In the ad, “Inside Her Mind,” the communications company tells us why we shouldn’t call girls pretty, but pretty brilliant instead.

In the ad, a statistic by the National Science Foundation sheds light on the fact that 66 per cent of fourth graders say they like science and math, but only 18 per cent of all college engineering majors are female. While there are a number of reasons for this, Verizon’s commercial demonstrates that social cues play a huge role.

The minute-long video shows a girl growing up from toddler to teenager. While she is young and full of curiosity, she is subtly told to wield a lip gloss instead of a power tool. Comments like, “Don’t get your dress dirty” and “You don’t want to mess with that” are heard throughout, pushing the little girl’s interests away from math and science.

“Inspire Her Mind,” which was spearheaded by Verizon and Makers, was created toencourage girls to pursue their interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through the Verizon Foundation.

The video was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month and already has manysupporters. One commenter said: “I’m probably hyper vigilant about this sort of thing with our daughter… often when I tell her she’s pretty, I launch into a list of other admirable qualities she has so as not to focus entirely on looks being important. I think this ad is wonderful in pointing out an all-too-common scenario.”

Another wrote, “Wow. It’s rare that a commercial gives me chills, but this one did.”

Origional Post here:  http://www.parentdish.ca/2014/06/26/gender-bias-calling-girls-pretty/#!slide=1283232

Categories: Canada, gender

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