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  • I'm McKenna Pope.

  • I'm 14 years old.

  • And when I was 13,

  • I convinced one of the largest toy companies,

  • toy makers in the world, Hasbro,

  • to change the way that they marketed

  • one of their most best-selling products.

  • So, allow me to tell you about it.

  • So, I have a brother, Gavin.

  • When this whole shebang happened, he was four.

  • He loved to cook.

  • He was always getting ingredients out of the fridge

  • and mixing them into these, needless to say,

  • uneatable concoctions

  • or making invisible macaroni and cheese.

  • He wanted to be a chef really badly.

  • And, so what better gift for someone,

  • for a kid who wanted to be a chef,

  • than an Easy Bake Oven, right?

  • I mean, we all had those when we were little.

  • And he wanted one so badly.

  • But then, he started to realize something.

  • In the commercials and on the boxes for the Easy Bake Oven,

  • Hasbro marketed them specifically to girls.

  • And the way that they did this

  • was they would only feature girls on the boxes or in the commercials,

  • and there would be flowery prints all over the ovens,

  • and it would be in bright pink and purple.

  • Very gender-specific colors to females, right?

  • So, it kind of was sending a message

  • that only girls are supposed to cook.

  • Boys aren't.

  • And this discouraged my brother a lot.

  • He thought that he wasn't supposed to want to be a chef.

  • because that was something girls did.

  • Girls cooked, boys didn't.

  • Or so, the message that Hasbro was sending.

  • And this got me thinking,

  • "God, I wish there was a way I could change this,

  • that I could have my voice heard by Hasbro,

  • so I could ask them and tell them

  • what they were doing wrong

  • and ask them to change it."

  • And that got me thinking about a website

  • that I had learned about a few months prior

  • called Change.org.

  • Change.org is an online petition-sharing platform,

  • where you can create a petition

  • and share it across all these social media networks,

  • through Facebook, through Twitter,

  • through YouTube, through Reddit, through Tumblr,

  • through whatever you can think of.

  • And so, I created a petition,

  • along with a YouTube video that I added to the petition,

  • basically asking Hasbro to change

  • the way that they marketed it,

  • in featuring boys in the commercials and on the boxes,

  • and most of all creating them in less gender-specific colors.

  • So, this petition started to take off,

  • like humongously fast, you have no idea.

  • I was getting interviewed by all these

  • national news outlets and press outlets,

  • and it was amazing.

  • In three weeks, maybe three and a half,

  • I had 46,000 signatures on this petition.

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • So, needless to say, it was crazy.

  • Eventually, Hasbro themselves invited me

  • to their headquarters

  • so they could go and unveil

  • their new Easy Bake Oven product to me,

  • in black, silver and blue.

  • It was literally one of the best moments

  • of my life.

  • It was like "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

  • That thing was amazing.

  • What I didn't realize at the time, however,

  • was that I had become an activist.

  • I could change something that, even as a kid,

  • or maybe even especially as a kid,

  • my voice mattered.

  • And your voice matters, too!

  • I want to let you know that it's not going to be easy,

  • and it wasn't easy for me

  • because I faced a lot of obstacles.

  • People online, and sometimes even in real life,

  • were disrespectful to me and my family

  • and talked about how the whole thing

  • was a waste of time,

  • and it really discouraged me.

  • And actually, I have some examples

  • because what's better revenge than displaying their idiocy?

  • So, let's see.

  • From username Liquidsword29,

  • interesting usernames we have here,

  • "Disgusting liberal moms making their son's gay."

  • Liquidsword29, really? Really?

  • Okay, how about from Whiteboy77AGS,

  • "People always need something to 'female dog' about."

  • From Jeffrey Gutierrez,

  • "OMG shut up! You just want money and attention."

  • So, it was comments like these

  • that really discouraged me

  • from wanting to make change in the future

  • because I thought,

  • "People don't care.

  • People think it's a waste of time.

  • And people are going to be disrespectful

  • to me and my family."

  • It hurt me.

  • And it made me think,

  • "What's the point in making change in the future?"

  • But then I started to realize something.

  • Haters gonna hate.

  • Come on, say it with me!

  • One, two, three,

  • Haters gonna hate!

  • So let your haters hate, you know what!

  • And make your change

  • because I know you can.

  • I look out into this crowd,

  • and I see 400 people who came out

  • because they wanted to know

  • how they could make a change.

  • And I know that you can,

  • and all of you watching at home can, too,

  • because you have so much that you can do

  • and that you believe in.

  • And you can trade it across all the social media,

  • through Facebook, through Twitter,

  • through YouTube, through Reddit, through Tumblr,

  • through whatever else you can think of.

  • And you can make that change.

  • You can take what you believe in

  • and turn it into a cause and change it.

  • And that spark that you've been hearing about all day today

  • you can use that spark that you have within you

  • and turn it into a fire.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I'm McKenna Pope.

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B1 US TED-Ed petition discouraged marketed bake chef

【TED-Ed】Want to be an activist? Start with your toys - McKenna Pope

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    Shelly posted on 2016/03/14
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