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

30856 Folder Collection
Shelly published on March 14, 2016
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