"Girls don't play football."
"Boys don't cry."
"She wants it."
These are just a few of the phrases that get ingrained into the minds of little kids every day, who turn into adults that believe them. But the gender stereotyping cycle has to end and it starts with us.
In a PSA created by Stash Creative for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault in December 2013, gender stereotypes become words that can be seen. They make it very apparent how much they box us in — and hurt both men and women, girls and boys.
It shows how these stereotypes stop girls from going after the things they love.
Prevent boys from being sensitive.
And create a culture of men who disrespect women — just to name a few.
Aside from being "boxed" in, gender stereotypes really hold people, kids especially, back. Studies have shown that holding them to gender expectations or roles can cause anxiety, stress and low self-esteem and they can even suffer socially as well.
Little girls told that they're not supposed to play with trucks or even Star Wars Legos lose out on engineering skills (it shows) and even if they don't, they're still vilified for it. A trans teen told to stick to their gender will get beat up after cheerleading practice. Little boys told to "be a man" can and do develop emotional problems.
But this doesn't mean we, or those we love, have to take it. The PSA features theses stereotypes and more, but also shows what happens when we break them.
One word: liberation.