The worst thing you can ever do to a child is to tell them who they can or cannot be. Gender stereotyping can cause children to suffer silently and limit their full potential to be extraordinary. What society want out of a person should never be the way to define anyone.
1. Laurel Wider, a mother and psychotherapist, was shocked to hear her son say that boys aren't supposed to cry. So, she took matters into her own hands and created a toy that teaches boys to embrace their sensitive sides.
When she created WonderCrew, her only mission was to empower boys to connect to their softer side and really shine in expressing their creativity as well. These action figures are 15-inch dolls that help boys embark on a creative adventure and children of both genders absolutely love them.
"Wonder Crew is a part of a new conversation about boys' potential and how feelings and connection are a valued piece of their identity," said Wider. "I wanted to create a play experience that empowers them to go anywhere and be anything."
2. Alice Brooks is grateful to her father for sparking the creativity in her when she was just 8 years old. Most children would scream if they got a saw for Christmas from their father, but not Brooks, she built a doll from scratch and graduated from MIT and Stanford 10 years later. She received her funding for her brand Roominate from the hit TV show "Shark Tank" and after striking a deal, her quest to bridge the gender gap was a success.
"I was lucky that I found my passion at such a young age, but so many girls never think about engineering as an option for them," said Brooks. "I believe we need to give girls more options so they can find what truly interests them."
3. Owner is IAmElemental, Julie Kerwin, hated the fact that there weren't many heroines for little girls and that made her frustrated. She loves superheroes and her company strive to create more female action figures to reinvent the superhero industry.
She believes that female superheroes should be more about strength and power than just about looks. Little girls around the world now have a whole new outlook of superheroes. As a mother of two beautiful sons, Kerwin is even more empowered to teach boys to understand the value of playing with strong female action figures.
"Many female action figures tend to be more hooters than heroine," said Kerwin. "By making females the protagonists of their own empowering stories, you can change the way they think about themselves and the world around them, we cannot move towards gender equality if we don't teach boys what it means to be a powerful woman."
4. When you're a mother, you would do anything for your child. Including going into the toy business. Jodi Norgaard, a mother and owner of Go! Go! Sports Girls, created her brand to encourage young girls to stay healthy and active.
"Girls are strong, smart, and adventurous — but instead, many toys geared towards them are focused on how they should look," said Norgaard. "Girls love sports and we need more representation of that."
There is absolutely nothing wrong with girls being girls and loving their dolls but Norgaard's idea is to present young girls with many other options. She believe in teaching children of the endless possibilities that this world could offer, a place where children can let their imaginations run wild and they can be whatever their path leads them to.
Giant toy company, Lego, has also introduced Lego Friends that caters to girl and it has been largely successful. It's been a long road to change gender stereotype and it seems as though we're off to a positive start. So just remember, if your little boy want to excel in ballet, be supportive.