Since the celebrity chef revolution of the early aughts, food has been more visible in pop culture than ever before. But despite dozens of TV programs that glamorize butchers, bakers, and sous-vide duck breast with truffle jus-makers of both genders, Hasbro still only targets girls with the commercials and packaging for its Easy-Bake Ovens – which come only in shades of purple and pink. (Not like there aren’t any boys who like purple and pink, but still: the feminine slant is clear.)
But 13-year-old crusader McKenna Pope is determined to change that. In late November, she launched a petition urging Hasbro to manufacture and promote a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven, all for the sake of her cooking-obsessed little brother, Gavyn. “I want my brother to know that it’s not ‘wrong’ for him to want to be a chef, that it’s okay to go against what society believes to be appropriate,” she explains. “Please, sign this petition, help me in creating gender equality, and help the children of today become what they’re destined to be tomorrow.”
She also attached a video that shows off how freakin’ cute little Gavyn is:
Two weeks later, the petition has garnered over 41,000 of the 50,000 signatures McKenna set as her goal. Celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay and Top Chef alum Manuel Trevino are also supporting McKenna’s campaign. Yesterday, Flay’s PR firm even posted a video featuring Trevino and several other chefs congratulating McKenna for fighting the good fight.
Though Hasbro hasn’t commented on the campaign yet, the Associated Press says McKenna is scheduled to meet with executives from the toy company next Monday. Let’s hope the meeting ends with plans to release a cool new stainless steel Easy-Bake – and ads that feature little boys and girls happily munching on lightbulb-baked cookies together.