13-Year-Old Makes A Film Reversing Characters' Gender Roles To Show 'Stereotypes Are Meaningless'

"I mainly just wanted to raise awareness of how stereotypes are meaningless."

Gender stereotypes and boxing people into any one identity is damaging for us all. Some boys like to play with princess dolls, and some girls like rocket ships and fire engines. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, but society would have us believe there is. 

That's why Ella Fields deiced to create a short film, Stereo in which gender roles are reversed. The film was written, directed, and edited by Fields when she was 13 years old as part of an assignment from the Cinematic Arts Academy at Millikan Middle School in Los Angeles.

The ninth-grader then posted it on her YouTube channel on May 28, 2017.



And it has reached over 1.6 million reviews to date.

Taya Fields plays the main character, Jamie, in the film. She dreams of wearing dresses and participating in her school's musical, but her mom tells her she is supposed to be a "strong athlete, and not a wimpy musical theater kid." 

She breaks against the traditional gender ideals by painting her nails and taking a number from the musical theater sign at school. However, the other students accost her, and she runs to safety in the bathroom.

Later, when she is watching the first female musical theater performance on Broadway, her mom comes in and gets upset with her for watching the video instead of focusing on trying out for the football team. She also brings up the dress she saw Jamie admiring in the store.

Jamie responds, "It's an article of clothing. It's a piece of fabric. There is no gender assigned to a piece of fabric."

She continues how she is sick of being stereotyped and told what she can and cannot do just because of the way she was born.

"I want to wear that dress. I want to paint my nails. And I want to star in the school musical, too," she continues. "You're my mom and I love you, but I wish you would support me."

The next scene shows Jamie in the dress proudly walking up to the same sign for the school musical theater auditions. She then confidently rips off a tag and inspires another girl to do the same.

After the response Stereo has received, the filmmaker recently posted a follow-up to the video explaining a bit about herself. She also explained that her goal with the film was to make even just one person realize they have a voice and someone understands them.

She told HuffPost, "I mainly just wanted to raise awareness of how stereotypes are meaningless. Girls can do anything boys can do, and boys can do anything we can, too."

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