PinkStinks: A healthy revolution

Majora Carter. Janine Benyus. Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Ever heard of them?

Probably not. But besides embodying change and breaking down gender barriers, these women all have one thing in common: they’ve been featured as role models by PinkStinks, a British organization that provides young girls with alternatives to media messages.

By promoting real role models, Ema and Abi Moore–the sisters and founders of PinkStinks–encourage girls to feel good about themselves without needing to being rich, famous, beautiful, and fake. To the Moore siblings, the culture of “pink” is more than the color: it is a message that puts girls in boxes and limits them from reaching their full potential.

As for the role models they pick, women like Carter, Benyus and Aderin-Pocock move beyond the “pink” message.

Carter is an environmentalist who founded the Sustainable South Bronx Organization, Benyus is a science writer and president of the Biomimicry Institute, while Dr. Aderin-Pocock has a doctorate in mechanical engineering and makes handheld mine detectors and optical systems for the James Webb Space Telescope. Slightly more inspiring than the female role models the celebrity-obsessed world typically glorifies, right?

PinkStinks not only lauds women like this, but critiques the messages aimed at girls on a daily basis. For example, the organization analyzed a message on a Scrabble game box for girls that was colored in pink and displayed the game tiles spelling the word “fashion.” To revolt against the stereotypical images like this, PinkStinks also has an “Approved” section on their website, which applauds products that are not gender-biased.


And it doesn’t stop there. Aware of unethical advertising strategies aimed at young girls, PinkStinks actively campaigns against alarming commercial messages in the U.K. A recent one was against the Sainsbury Company’s sexist dress-up clothing for children which labeled doctors and pilots as boys’ items, and princesses, beauticians and 1950s nurses as girls‘. Thanks to PinkStinks, the company responded and changed their approach to dress-up clothing!

In addition to the campaign, PinkStinks also maintains a blog and a “Name and Shame” section to keep its U.K. audience aware of many of the outrageous commercial tactics that they are surrounded by.

While the Moore sisters are busy countering the culture of pink, their online store enables us to keep the revolution public. T-shirts titled “Future Role Model” and “I am no princess” can be found on their site.

It looks like the women behind the U.K.’s PinkStinks are making some major, global changes.



While the Moore sisters are busy countering the culture of PINK, their E store enables us to keep the revolution public. T-shirts titled “ Future Role Model” and “ I AM NO PRINCESS”can be found on their site http://pinkstinks.spreadshirt.co.uk/. In addition, during the Soccer World Cup Season this month, you can resist the media obsession with wives and girlfriends of soccer players (WAGS), by wearing a PINKSTINKS shirt titled “ WAGS:Women against gender stereotyping”.


-Sheena J

3 thoughts on “PinkStinks: A healthy revolution

  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    Last Christmas my family and I decided to buy presents for children instead of ourselves so we took a trip to the local Toys R Us near my parents’ home in Orange County. What I thought was going to be a fun experience turned into an offensive and outraging look at how we apply gender roles to children before they even know what gender means.

    I was horrified walking through the girls’ toy aisle. Mind you the boys and girls have separate sides of the store. The boys were action figures, cars, guns, motorcycles, soldiers, Harry Potter while the girls side was full of toy vacuums, kitchen sets, “real life-like” dolls, ironing boards, brooms, pink bikes, pink barbie jeeps, eveything was pink! and Hanna Montanta. It was basically a training section of how to be a woman according to very old and very out dated societal standards and ideas.

    I’m glad this organization is working to break these stereotypes and call awareness to the gender separation that is completely absurd.

  2. I’ve never been into girl toys, until I became older. However I was 20 and at the time, where it’s okay to want to experiment with Bratz like makeup and clothing, maybe not the clothing so much. Okay okay, I really liked their video games.

    I’ve always been into video games since I can remember. What troubles me is hearing stories of girls being told by their parents, they can’t play video games or do any other “boy” type activities. That’s just beyond me, women should be able to do whatever they want!

    As far as princesses are concerned, I like Disney’s Fairies. They focus more on friendship and working together, not sitting around waiting for your prince to come. I think Disney may have created the fairies, as an alternative to the princesses, because there may have been some parental backlash about them, or media backlash. I really did love Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, because she really did come off as being independent.

    About halfway through the movie, I had forgotten Tiana was supposed to be a princess, because she was so self-sufficient. If anything the film showed, how the prince had been limited by growing up in an environment where his every whim was catered to, and he wasn’t able to do much for himself.

    I think one of the best ways to find a boyfriend is to be friends first, and how is that going to happen if girls and boys are raised to have little in common? Many happy relationships I’ve heard of, have started because a women met a man who was into the same type of video games they were.

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