A 13-year-old girl’s video plea to Hasbro to include boys in Easy-Bake Oven advertisements has gone viral. McKenna Pope, an eighth grader from Garfield, N.J., posted a video to YouTube last week asking the makers of the Easy-Bake Oven to “create gender equality” in the product.
In the video, Pope interviews her four-year-old brother and asks him what he wants for Christmas. “I want a dinosaur and an Easy-Bake Oven!” he proclaims, but then adds the latter toy is not for boys “because…they only put girls in the commercial.”
The Easy-Bake Oven has been around since 1963 and has gone through various models of different shapes, colors, and heating sources. According to a fact sheet from Hasbro, the earliest Easy-Bake Oven was turquoise and included a fake stop at the top, mimicking a real kitchen set. In the following decades, the toy went from blue to red, to a microwave-like orange/white/brown combo.
In the current version on store shelves now, the toy oven is purple and adorned with pink and pastel flourishes on the front. The commercial features young girls dancing and singing in pink aprons while baking cupcakes and pretzels, and the Easy-Bake website features video tips on frosting and decorating.
“I thought that as a society, we have far moved past that,” Pope says in her video. “But no, we continue to force the stereotype that men don’t cook; they work.”
Pope has also started a Change.org petition to ask Hasbro CEO Brian D. Goldner to use less gender specific colors in the toy’s packaging and include both genders in its advertising.
Hasbro has yet to comment on Pope’s request.