By: Krystle Crossman
When you are raising a girl you want her to know that you think that she is beautiful. That is easy to do. However you should also be letting her know how smart and talented she is as well. Sadly many girls do not get this impression from people. The only things that they hear are the compliments on their looks. Some even hear implications that they cannot do certain things based on the fact that they are a girl. It is time these implications stop.
Verizon has put out a brand new advertisement that is really hitting the nail on the head on this subject. The ad starts with a toddler walking in a field of flowers. You can hear her mother in the background asking, “Who’s my pretty girl?” Then the girl is a little older and exploring in a creek with her puppy. Her mother again is in the background only this time she is telling her not to get her dress dirty. When she is a little older she is picking up animals from the tide pools. She is fascinated with them and enjoying looking at them up close until her father tells her to put them down because she shouldn’t mess with them. Then she is making a planetary project for school and her mother tells her that her wildly creative presentation is too much.
Fast forward a few more years and one of the most demeaning scenes plays. The girl is in her preteen years and is helping her brother build something. She picks up a power screwdriver to help him but her father comes in and says, “Whoa, be careful with that! Why don’t you hand that to your brother.” You can see the utter disappointment on the girl’s face. She then comes across a poster that is about a science fair. She looks at it longingly but then turns her focus to the reflection of the glass as she puts lip gloss on. The ad ends with the line, “Isn’t it time we told her she’s pretty brilliant too?”
The sad truth is that only 18% of engineering and math majors are women yet 66% of girls in the 4th grade state that they love science and math. While instilling confidence in her body image is wonderful, it is great for her to know that she has a great mind as well and has the potential to do amazing things.