As much as we love Disney Princesses and their brand of girl power, one organization is seeking to "redraw the balance" when it comes to women's representation in animation, and show that female characters can be more than just a pretty face.
Inspiring Girls, an international charity founded in 2013 by Miriam Gonzalez, launched a new campaign for International Women's Day titled "It's Time to Get Animated," which addresses gender disparity and stereotyping when it comes to cartoons. The group is also introducing characters such as Angela the Astronaut, Cathy the Carpenter, and Carla the Coder in the hopes of encouraging studios to create such cartoon featuring female characters in prominent roles.
One statistic reveals that only 29 percent of all animated characters are women. And, of those characters, a staggering amount of them are either sidekicks, princesses, or damsels in distress. Another sad statistic reveals that only 20 percent of animators behind the scenes are women.
"There is an inner role model inside every single woman, and young girls should look up to them to realize the possibilities they have in life," Gonzalez said, explaining that Inspiring Girls was started to give girls around the world access to female role models — no matter where they live.
"This campaign reveals how from a very early age, children receive a stereotyped vision of the world," Gonzalez continued. "The lack of female leading characters in animation is just the reflection of an unbalanced society and affects the self-confidence of girls that continues later on in their lives."
A female animator named Sophie Marka directed the nearly 90-second film above accompanying the cause, in which we get a glimpse of the three female animated characters previously mentioned.
"It's important for children, especially young girls, to see female role models, because it's creating an image in their head so they know that they can do certain things and become what they want," Marka quipped. "Children should see women in animated films because films should be the reflection of our society. For me, it's really important to talk about this subject to raise awareness."
The best part about this whole initiative? You can get involved by creating your own female animated character — from their look to their profession — on the organization's website.