7 Videos That Are Battling Stereotypes This SummerAugust 08, 2014
Gender stereotypes and bias are nothing new. Countless research studies have proven the damaging consequences stereotypes can have, especially their influence on self-esteem and confidence.
Thanks to several recent videos, the issue is getting some much-needed attention. Three national corporations and four musicians released videos that tackle gender stereotypes and bias. And just like that, this summer’s hottest trend became women’s empowerment! (Scroll to the bottom for a bonus eighth video.)
- Don’t be sorry — be confident.
This video, which served as the announcement for Pantene’s Shine Strong campaign, addresses the stereotype that women should be submissive and weak. Wait, the world won’t stop turning when women assert themselves and refuse to be overly apologetic?! #sorrynotsorry
- Teach your children well.
Who says a girl can’t be both pretty and brilliant? Verizon’s commercial shows the detrimental aftermath that arises when you undermine a girl’s potential at a young age.
- Doing something “like a girl” isn’t an insult.
This video asked different people to show what doing something “like a girl” looks like. The sharp contrast between the age groups’ responses illuminates the negative effects of enforcing stereotypes.
- Beauty takes countless forms.
John Legend’s “You & I (Nobody in the World)” music video shows many different women celebrating their own beauty. As if the world needed yet another reason to love feminist John Legend.
- You don’t have to bend until you break.
In “Try,” Colbie Caillat demonstrates the profound effects of women shedding external pressures to look and act a certain way. Be forewarned: happy tears are a common side effect of watching this music video, so be sure to have tissues on hand.
- Resist the tropes.
While poking fun at the blatant sexism that continues to persist in music, newcomers Maddie & Tae tackle the issue of exploitation and objectification of women in “Girl in a Country Song.” Our favorite lyric: “Aww y’all, we ain’t a cliché, that ain’t no way to treat a lady.”
- You can’t be one of the guys.
Jenny Lewis’ song “Just One of the Guys” addresses the problem many women face in trying to fit in with the “guys’ club.” The video uses cameos by Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, and Brie Larson to playfully confront gender roles.
- BONUS: You throw like a girl.
In this special Title IX video by AAUW, the woman basketball player is flooded with taunts about how she throws and runs and shoots like a girl. We’ll take that as a compliment! Learn more about the Title IX law that empowers women and girls to fight back against discrimination in sports and schools, and break down the stereotypes that hinder their participation.
There are no “blurred lines” when it comes to battling stereotypes!
This post was written by AAUW Research Intern Elisabeth Carter.
To become a computer engineer, she had to fight an uphill battle, combating stereotypes about women in math and technology.
You can fight back by applying for an AAUW Campus Action Project grant, sponsored by Pantene, to launch a program that fights stereotypes and bias on your campus.
What can you do to navigate the treacherous waters between social expectation, bias, and doing the right thing for women everywhere?