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Color me feminist!

September 17, 2009

girlsnotchicksI loved coloring books when I was growing up. I was very particular about what colors I chose to color Cinderella’s dress or Mickey Mouse’s ears. I wanted to color in the lines so badly, but there were always a couple of marks left outside. I guess that was the creative in me; I was thinking “outside of the box.” Besides thinking of colors and lines, did I ever stop to think about what and whom I was coloring on those pages? Hmm, probably not the way I think about stuff now because (to be honest) I just wanted to color those darn pages (doesn’t everyone when they’re five years old?). The majority of the characters that I colored were princesses who ended up with the guy (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White) and girls wandering through a forest (Little Red Riding Hood), all of which satisfy stereotypical gender roles. If I had a little daughter, would I want her to look up to these same type of characters as role models?


From the Girls Are Not Chicks coloring book

Absolutely not. That’s why Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak created the feminist coloring book, Girls Are Not Chicks. In an Exhibiting You exhibit from the International Museum of Women, this book is described as:

a coloring book that celebrates girls as thinkers, creators, fighters, healers, and superheroes. It examines a variety of traditional characters and images and allows children to imagine and color in new and unexpected roles for women. For example, this Rapunzel comes complete with power tools, a roll of duct tape, a Tina Turner album, and a bus pass! Now, you can also paint outside the lines with Miss Muffet as she stands up to that spider and considers a career as an arachnologist!

Girls Are Not Chicks exposes the limited gender portrayals in children’s media and offers young girls and boys a range of alternative possibilities. By displaying diverse images that reinforce positive roles for girls, creators Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak have hit upon a playful way to examine and confront the pervasive gender stereotypes that exist in different aspects of our lives.

Bunnell and Novak are set to come out with a second feminist coloring book titled Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…. Check out their website here and more about the exhibit here.

  1. Masculon the Powerful permalink
    September 17, 2009 4:16 pm

    Now we just need a coloring book with men taking care of babies, being nurses, and wearing dresses.

    • September 17, 2009 4:20 pm

      EXACTLY*. You’re missing the point of the coloring books. This is not about men and boys; it’s about having positive role models for girls and saying that it’s okay for girls to do what’s typically labeled as a “boy thing.”

      *Saracasm here

  2. September 17, 2009 5:06 pm

    I think it’s just about the coloring… (sarcasm…..)


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