Easy Bake Oven Will No Longer Be Just For Girls, Thanks To a Savvy Teen
Teen McKenna Pope walked into her 4-year-old brother's room to find him cooking tortillas on top of a light bulb. She knew then and there that she would get him an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.
That is, until she went shopping and realized that the pink oven was overly girly and her brother wouldn't like it. She wanted to show him that it's "it's not 'wrong' for him to want to be a chef." So she did what an enterprising teen does these days.
She started a petition and Change.org and then she went viral.
"My little brother has always loved cooking. Being in the kitchen is his favorite out of school activity, and he yearns to have the opportunity to cook on his own, or at least with limited help." reads the petition that after three weeks gathered 45-thousand signatures.
Some well-known chefs, including Bobby Flay got involved, and Pope was featured online and on TV. On Monday, Pope gathered up two boxes of signatures and went to meet with Hasbro. The executives at Hasbro were happy to announce that they had silver and blue Easy Bakes coming out and they had been working on the new designs for 18 months.
It's funny that Easy Bake got caught in this one, as the one from my childhood was mustard yellow. (I loved that thing, though the cakes tasted horrible -- yes, I was always a food critic). Also, cooking is definitely not the domain of women, most of the chefs we see on TV and in restaurant kitchens continue to be male.
The heavy gender-identification of toys is increasing, not decreasing in modern times. Which is strange considering that male- and female-dominated professions are becoming more diverse. Toys and toy stores are stratified by colour, just in case parents aren't sure where to shop or what to buy for their sons and daughters.
I guess it will be up to the next generation to show us old fogeys that all toys can be played with and loved by both boys and girls. I hope that when it is time to shop for my grandkids that I won't be stuck in corridors of pink and blue but in places that are more interesting and creative and that appeal to the playful kid in all of us.
What do you think about Hasbro's decision to go gender neutral (again)?
Want more chaos? Last year, I wrote about the 5 best toys of all-time. I love that list.