When I see a commercial like the new one for GoldieBlox, I am so inspired and feel so empowered even as a grown adult that I have a hard time containing my emotion. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s three girls who build the coolest, wildest Rube Goldberg machine that rivals a booby trap in Goonies. The soundtrack is a revamped version of the Beastie Boys’ song Girls:
Girls…to build a spaceship
Girls..to code a new app
Girls…to grow up knowing
they can engineer that
Girls, that’s all we really need is girls
To bring us up to speed is girls
Our opportunity is girls
Don’t underestimate girls, girls, girls, girls
If you don’t want to run out and buy GoldieBlox and support founder and engineer Debbie Sterling, you might want to check to see if you are dead inside. It makes me want to build some sort of crazy contraption right. this. minute.
I love that her message is so inclusive. It doesn’t forbid you from letting your girl play in a princess dress. The commercial asks you to give your daughters a range of options. Let them use their brains in different ways. So many parents buy into the majority of what is targeted to little girls. In my two years as a mother to a daughter, I have found that so many of the “girl” toys look the same (dolls, purses, crafts) while that boys have a range of cars with their tracks, superheros and all their merch, Legos and other building toys. I understand that girls, very generally, tend to prefer imaginative play. But that doesn’t just have to be about baby dolls and princess wands. I want to expose my daughter to as many activities as I can and let her pursue what she loves. Just because we live in a princess culture in the U.S., let’s not underestimate the potential of our girls.
We get a lot of cardboard boxes in our house since we get the majority of our groceries delivered from Fresh Direct. Our family’s favorite activity is to build and color our new “spaceships.” This video has inspired all of us to take it to the next level. After watching the commercial (which by the way really sells a message more than a product because neither one of them asked to buy something at the end) they already asked how they would do that. Now I’m thinking we need to cut some of those boxes into strips and combine them with my kids other favorite activity — racing cars. They could build an uber-track and see what tricks and levers they can add. Letting my boy and my girl play together with gender neutral toys is the best way to ensure I’m getting a good read on their actual interests and natural strengths, not just what they are expected to like or do.
Living within expectations can be limiting, especially to young children who haven’t been influenced by societal norms. Exploring the unexpected — like GoldieBlox — makes the possibilities endless.