“This book is dedicated to every kid whose dreams are big and outside of the box.”
Although we’re not fully able to grasp it, gender stereotypes are forced upon us from a very young age. Walk into any kids store and take a look at the baby stuff. Chances are things like clothing, toys, and so on, are divided by colour and, therefore, gender. Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. Except it isn’t, or it shouldn’t be at least. Not all girls have to like pink, and you’re not any less of a man if you do like the colour pink.
Growing up, a young girl is exposed to all kinds of twisted gender constructs. I would say one of the strongest examples of this, at least for me, was in the form of Disney princesses. As much as I loved these films growing up, I was pretty horrified later on in life at the examples we were setting for young girls. There’s a complete lack of consent in Sleeping Beauty, Ariel from The Little Mermaid literally gives up her freedom of speech, and every Disney princess ends up happily married. Not to mention the fact that the majority of these princesses (at least when I was growing up) were straight, white, able-bodied, underaged ladies.
In addition to that, princess merchandise can be impossible to escape too. Everywhere we look, pop culture is telling young girls that they can only be happy after they’ve landed a husband. But that doesn’t just happen over night; you have to compromise nearly everything about yourself first. If you don’t believe me, I’d like to refer you to one of my favourite episodes of The Simpsons. In “Lisa vs Malibu Stacey” (episode 5.14), Lisa is disappointed by the new talking Malibu Stacy doll’s sexist phrases (such as: “Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl” and “Thinking gives you wrinkles”). Lisa takes it upon herself to track down Malibu Stacey’s creator and they decide to create a new talking doll, Lisa Lionheart, voiced by Lisa herself. Lisa saw something wrong with the representation for young girls out there and decided to do something about it. You know who else did? Laura Winters, co-founder of Equalitoys.
Her Highness Builds Robots is a 42 page colouring book. What’s so different about this colouring book, you ask? Inside you’ll find seven diverse Princesses.
Priya, Rafa, Holly, Diamond, Taylor, Jae and Juanita aren’t like your regular Disney Princesses. They’re pursuing exciting and empowering professions in addition to being princesses. Robot designer, chemical engineer and a sculptor are just some of the varied positions these princesses boast.
The idea for this colouring book was ignited when Laura saw how much current ones were lacking. Similarly to Lisa, she wasn’t happy with the representation and disliked the fact that all the princesses in the books were seemingly focused on marriage alone.
Equalitoys’ colouring book aims to pair the fun of colouring a ball gown with the real life opportunities women have today. Whether it’s building things, designing buildings or graduating from higher education, Her Highness Builds Robots has got to be the most inclusive colouring book on the market. This is the perfect gift for any child or parent in your life who wishes that princesses reflected the diversity, creativity, and intelligence of women in the 21st century.
You can visit Equalitoys Etsy store here.