Target: Brian D. Goldner, CEO, Hasbro; McKenna Pope
Goal: Thank Hasbro for designing a unisex Easy-Bake Oven and McKenna Pope for making it happen
Hasbro has just announced its decision to go forward with a gender-neutral version the Easy-Bake Oven. The new design will be black, silver and blue, as opposed to the typical pink and purple that have colored the product for years. 13-year-old McKenna Pope inspired the prototype.
When McKenna’s little brother asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas, she thought it was a great gift for him. However, she was bothered when her brother said that boys don’t get to have one because they are for girls. At such a young age, this boy has already been exposed to gender stereotypes. It is easy to see why the boy thought that the Easy-Bake-Oven was intended for girls. From the colors, the design and the advertisements that only feature little girls playing with it, the product just screams girl.
McKenna knew she needed to do something about it. She didn’t want her brother to think it was wrong that he likes to cook, or for him to get made fun of for being “girly.” She took matters into her own hands, and fought to end the outdated message that cooking is something just for women.
McKenna obtained over 40,000 signatures on a petition to Hasbro asking the company to make a unisex model, and it responded almost immediately. Her campaign even drew the attention and support of celebrity chef Bobby Flay. Hasbro held a meeting to discuss the issue and included McKenna in the process. The new gender-neutral model will be released later this year. Applaud both Hasbro and McKenna Pope on their effort to eliminate gender stereotypes.
Dear Hasbro and McKenna Pope,
I want to thank Hasbro for changing some outdated messages that its Easy-Bake-Oven sends to children. Kids are extremely impressionable, and if they are taught that something is “for boys” or “for girls” at a young age, it could hinder them in their development. While many products offered today may be specifically targeted towards boys or girls, one that involves cooking could send the wrong message. Thank you for being open to change, and I hope that the new Easy-Bake-Oven design will inspire budding chefs, regardless of gender.
I also want to thank McKenna Pope for taking on a large corporation to stand up for what she believes in. At 13, she has already accomplished more than many people twice her age. Thank you for recognizing that the Easy-Bake Oven fostered a continuation of gender roles that society has been working to move past for decades. The world looks forward to see what else you will accomplish.
[Your Name here]
Photo credit: Creative Commons