Girls can’t be funny. Girls can’t play sports. Girls can’t own a business. Girls can’t rap. Girls can’t be noble. Girls can’t be independent. Girls can’t be motivated. Girls can’t be self-reliant. Girls can’t be courageous. Girls can’t be smart. Girls can’t. Girls can’t. Girls can’t.
Except we can.
In a new ad by CoverGirl, female celebrities speak out against all of the things they were told as little girls they could not do. Ranging from shocking to laughable to downright disturbing, the ad campaign’s message is clear. The message is strong–and the message is important.
While women all over the world are bridging the gender gap every day, barriers are still alarming and extremely prevalent. While little girls are still encouraged to play with dolls and tea sets, little boys are pushed toward sports and the outdoors. Society teaches little girls to be passive and endearing, but society expects little boys to be outgoing and aggressive. While little girls get gold stars for pretty penmanship, little boys learn the importance of math and science. We’re perpetuating the incredibly archaic stereotype of gender roles, and we’re doing so at the expense of little girls everywhere: little girls who could grow up to be doctors or lawyers or comedians or, hell, rappers. As a whole, we discourage, stunt, and say no to these little girls, even though these girls are half of our country’s future. We need to realize these little girls are smart, capable, and driven–and, most importantly, they can be anything they want to be. We just have to stop telling them otherwise.