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Tuesday
Dec202011

Imagine An "Astronaut makeover" For Little Girls

By Michele Yulo

Awhile ago, I wrote a post that asked "Where are the astronaut makeovers for little girls?" I was specifically asking the question in response to a Disney princess makeover I had seen on television that featured a little girl getting the surprise of her life when a makeover specialist showed up at her house to transform her into her favorite Disney princess.

As my daughter (who has never wanted to be a princess) and I watched, I wondered how many girls might actually be open to a different makeover if we introduced them to other options starting early on. I say that because, by the time kids are two, they begin to understand their gendered place in the world from what they have absorbed up until that point. For instance, research shows that girls and boys are not born thinking that pink is for girls and blue for boys, but once they hit the age of two they accept that as normal. It is then that girls begin choosing pink while boys categorically reject it.

After I posted my article, someone asked me "what would an astronaut makeover entail?" Well, let's imagine for a second what that might look like:

A "makeover specialist" surprises a young girl at her home and says, "Are you ready for your astronaut makeover?" The little girl couldn't be more excited and says, "Yes!" She is whisked off to her makeover where she meets...an actual astronaut! She is then helped into a spacesuit. Perhaps there is a special room where she "moon walks" (not the Michael Jackson kind) and a simulated rocket that she walks into and finds herself suddenly weightless. She is shown the inside of the spacecraft and how everything works. Maybe she has a video conversation with someone from NASA.

I believe the possibilities are endless.

I discovered that NASA has an app in which you can see yourself in a spacesuit. So here's what my daughter looks like. How cool is that?

It can be done. We can offer girls more than princess, can't we? We've actually been on the moon, so it shoudn't be that hard! A lot of us say, "girls can do anything they want," but we need to show them we believe what we say. And then they will believe it too.

Reader Comments (4)

What is the URL for that app? I would love to share it with my daughter!

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

Here's where you can find NASA's apps: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/iphone/index.html

December 20, 2011 | Registered CommenterMichele

What a FANTASTIC idea for a TV show. My boys would LOVE to be made over as rocket scientists or "agricultural engineer" (that from the 7 year old in response to what do you want to be when you grow up - really listening to too much NPR in the car). It could be the new Fetch.

As to the comment about boys in baby doll ads. I've got two boys ages 9 and 7 and a 2 year old girl. We try to have a "gender open" household. My oldest son had pink crocs for years (from ages 3 to about 6 or so) and both boys had baby dolls/strollers when they were little. The way my daughter plays with her babies and the boys played with theirs is SO different. My daughter will sing to hers, pretend to change diapers, and put them to bed. My boys would see how far they could throw them. I have the videos to prove it :)

Thanks for a great discussion on cultural norms and marketing to children. I LOVED playing with My Little Pony and now I call them "My Little Hooker Horse" and refuse to allow them in my home.

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuckie-Girl

I LOVE IT!

The possibilities are ENDLESS!
I would have hated a princess makeover when I was little ( even more now) I wanted to be DOING stuff, not sitting in a chair having hair and nails done..ugh.

It would be awesome if you could call up a company and say, "My kid wants to be a scientist, or a football player or an architect and have them create a fantasy makeover around it..sure, it would take some creativity and imagination, but isn't that what we're missing here?
:o)

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