Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Garner and Michelle Obama are just a handful of the influential women who are calling for a ban on little girls being called bossy.
These women have all exhibited leadership skills like assertiveness, which have helped them achieve the success they enjoy today. But when they were children, these same talents could have led to them being chastised for being 'bossy'.
Watch the video above for the Ban Bossy campaign, in which the stars share their reasons for wanting to prevent little girls being called 'bossy'.
The Ban Bossy campaign was founded by the Girl Scouts of the USA and LeanIn.org, the organisation founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, to empower women to achieve their ambitions.
Sheryl was a 'bossy' child who liked to organise everything from the toys in her room, to how her friends played, she explained in a Wall Street Journal article. She was a confident child, but to this day she remembers being stung by the words of a well-meaning teacher who warned her best friend away from her because she said: "Nobody likes a bossy girl. You should find a new friend who will be a better influence on you."
Sheryl wrote, "Call it the other B-word. Whether it is said directly or implied, girls get the message: Don't be bossy. Don't raise your hand too much. Keep your voice down. Don't lead."
According to Ban Bossy campaigners, labelling ambitious girls 'bossy', has the effect of making them think of their leadership skills as negative qualities. Young women are often put off aspiring to become leaders for fear of being thought of as bossy.
Successful women have had to fight against this negative view of strong women, as Beyoncé says in the video clip above, "I'm not bossy. I'm the boss."
While the campaign originated in America, British stars have been quick to show their support, with Victoria Beckham tweeting yesterday:
- Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) March 10, 2014
Tamsin Kelly, editor of Parentdish, has a 15-year-old daughter. She says: "This campaign is annoyingly naive and reductionist - one word does not sum up young girls' experiences and banning it achieves nothing. I'm frustrated that these women could do so much more than campaign over a little word.
"Encircling girls with the expectation that they can do and be whatever they want will always achieve far more than a few video soundbites. Girls need powerful role models – whether that's mothers, close family or brilliant, high-achieving women coming into their schools to give talks and offering work experience."
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