I Vowed My Daughter Would Never Be a Stereotype

I was a young mom — I had my daughter when I was 23 years old. I never knew a love like this existed before I gave birth to her. It isn’t something you can describe in words, but only something you can feel. I couldn’t wait to share my wonderment of the world with her and to teach her things that I had learned throughout my life, helping her to grow into a self-reliant, strong, and confident young woman.

One day I was in the pediatrician’s office for a well visit and came across an article in one of the magazines that really struck a nerve with me. It described how a majority of young girls did not excel in math and sciences, explaining that most girls fell behind boys when it came to test scores, comprehension, and utilization. They were also not going after jobs in science and engineering.

From that day forward I vowed that my daughter wouldn’t be a statistic. She would never be a stereotype. We exposed her to science…and then something great happened — she loved it! We made volcanoes explode in the kitchen, explored outer space with our telescope, and polished rocks with our rock tumbler. Family members even sent her their x-rays from recent surgeries so she could examine them!

My daughter is now in her first year of college to become — you guessed it — a scientist. As it turns out, if you expose children to math and science, it just may stick.

Mattel is now taking this same message to young girls with a new Barbie ad that encourages them to use their imaginations to become anything their hearts desire. The company has come a long way in how they are portraying the iconic doll, moving beyond the usual Barbie stereotype. This is perhaps one of the most positive commercials I’ve seen for young girls in a while. Way to go Barbie!