26 Nov

The campaign #BanBossy has been gaining recognition this last year.  At banbossy.com, their aim is to promote leadership skills in young girls from a young age so that they are not afraid to be in leadership positions as they grow.  What sparked this movement is that when boys take leadership roles on the playground, the classroom, or at home they are applauded because it is a gender role that boys will become powerful in CEO, management, or other leadership positions.  When girls exercise the same leadership roles in these environments they are often called “bossy.”  This phrase cuts down girl’s self-esteem and research shows that more girls throughout their lives show anxiety about taking leadership roles than boys.  Why?  Because they were taught at a young age that boys should be leaders, and not girls themselves.  #BanBossy promotes that we should encourage girls as much as we do boys to excel in leadership roles.

#BanBossy trends on all forms of social media websites, but is most prevalent on Twitter and Instagram.  Their website features encouraging stories and video of women and girls taking charge and being in leadership roles.  For instance, Malala Yousafzai, Emma Watson, and even a 13 year old girl who became the youngest girl to scale Mt. Everest.  Even organizations such as The Girl Scouts of USA are promoting #BanBossy on the front page of their website and throughout their organization.  #BanBossy became even more popular when celebrities such as Beyoncé started promoting it. You can watch their video below, which has over 2.5 million views on YouTube.

I believe this campaign has succeeded in promoting leadership roles in young girls and defeating negative connotations such as bossy.  With its wildfire campaign over social media and millions of views on the promotional video parents, teachers, and many others are sure to have had their perceptions changed for the better and will start to encourage young girls instead of labeling them with negative connotations.

The articles we have read in class that best support the ideas of this campaign are Tiggemann and Polivy’s “Upward and DownWard: Social Comparison Processing of Thin Idealized Media Images” and Dill and Thill’s “Video Game Characters and the Socializations of Gender Roles: Young People’s Perceptions Mirror Sexist Media Depictions.”  These articles explain how media constructs identities for women as being sexualized and thin.  Not only are girls being discouraged from leadership roles, the media shows them that they should idolize being sexual and thin. Campaigns such as #BanBossy are doing a wonderful job at bringing these ideals down.


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