Do you let your little boy wear pink? Would you allow him to wear a skirt to express himself? Some parents want to keep the gender lines drawn tight when it comes to their sons and will sometimes go the extra mile to keep their sons in the “boy lane”. So what if your son wants to be a Master Chef or a Baker? Gordon Ramsay and Cake Boss had to start somewhere right?
A company well known for making billions of dollars off of the desire of little girls across the world to bake to their hearts content has a new release on the horizon. Hasbro says it will soon reveal a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven after meeting with a New Jersey girl who started a campaign calling on the toy maker to make one that appeals to all kids. McKenna Pope, 13, of Garfield, N.J., got more than 40,000 signatures on her online petition at Change.org and the support of celebrity chefs including Bobby Flay, who backed her call for Hasbro to make a gender-neutral oven and to include boys in the ads.
She was prompted to start the petition after shopping for an Easy-Bake as a Christmas present for her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, and finding them only in purple and pink. Hasbro invited McKenna and her family to its Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters to meet with its Easy-Bake team where they showed off a prototype of their newest Easy-Bake. The new edition will be black, silver and blue. Hasbro has been working on the new color scheme and design for about 18 months, and decided to invite McKenna to see it and offer her thoughts, said John Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer.
McKenna said the company is doing everything she asked, including putting boys in the ads. “I think that they really met most or even all of what I wanted them to do, and they really amazed me,” she said, adding that her little brother Gavyn thought the new design was “awesome.” As for McKenna’s Christmas present for her brother, she said the TV show “Inside Edition” gave the family an Easy-Bake Oven after learning of her campaign.For Christmas, she said, she’ll probably buy him some mixes to bake in it.
It’s nice to see a child learning that she has a voice and that it’s okay for it to be heard. Nice job, Hasbro!
Words by Sid Powell