“Inspire Her Mind”


We have all been in Samantha’s shoes at least once before. Either we weren’t acting the way gender norms believed we should be or we were pushing the limits of gender norms. When we challenge gender norms we are immediately questioned and judged by others. Boys are supposed to be “manly” just like their fathers and girls are supposed to be “girly” just like their mother. Many of us fear the reaction of others when we go against the gender norms. Just because gender norms work for so many doesn’t necessarily mean they work for all.

It’s heart breaking to see how Social Learning can affect children in a negative way when they are forming their gender identities. We learn to behave certain ways based on rewards and punishments we receive from the people around us. This Verizon commercial is a perfect example of how punishment was given to a young girl when she was forming her own gender identity, which then steered her away from something she really enjoyed.

6 thoughts on ““Inspire Her Mind”

  1. I love this commercial and how it takes something we are all so used to seeing in everyday life and challenging it. I can relate to this on a personal level which is why I enjoyed seeing it so much. My younger cousin wants so badly to be a tomboy. Every chance she gets, she is outside running around, getting dirty or asking me if she can come camping or hiking with me. My aunt has other ideas for her. She is constantly pushing her to keep hair hair long and well done and takes her to get her nails done every other weekend. Thankfully my cousin is able to express her outdoorsy, nerdy side when she comes to my house so though she is being influenced by the social learning theory to be how her mother wants her to be, she also has access to an environment where she is able to further explore her more tomboy-like interests.

  2. This was a perfect example for what we are talking about and reading for class! We have been learning and talking so much about gender norms and what happens when we test them. At the end of this commercial it shows how girls are being pushed away from things that they truly are inspired by to fit these gendered norms. This commercial shows many example of them pushing the little girl away from certain things because those aren’t the things that little girls are supposed to be in to. I agree 100% that this is sad because anyone should be able to chase after a dream that inspires them. I personally never debt with this issue growing up. I was

    • always a “tomboy” growing up and loved playing sports with the boys in my neighborhood. I have always been extremely competitive and my love for sports grew and grew as I got older. I relate this video to myself and sports because it has shaped me into the person I am and has gotten me to where I am. My parents have and always will be my number one fans and they have been beyond supportive. I believe parents should support their children and push them to try things out of the norm. An open mind will get you far these days!

  3. This is very intriguing! It’s one of those things that you don’t realize until you look back and think about it. I didn’t have a sister, but I did have a cousin who was treated similarly to the girl in the video. My uncle would always make sure she was safe and not doing exactly the same stuff that we did. I believe all parents should be as supportive of their children as possible. No matter their sex or gender they should be allowed to be adventurous and try new things.

  4. This is a great choice of text to analyze. I find it interesting that not only is she not supposed to do activities that are classified for boys, like working on a rocket, but the commercial implies that girls really aren’t supposed to engage in any sort of hands-on activity. This is upsetting because it not only seems unfair, but it puts girls in a position to grow up dependent on men for so many things that they don’t really need anyone else for. Girls should grow up believing that if the sink breaks, they can try and fix it. If work needs to be done on the house of the yard, she can take care of it. She isn’t going to be forced into relationships or dependencies that she doesn’t need.

  5. I think this is a very interesting commercial. It is heartbreaking to see parents being unsupportive of their children just because their interests contradict with what is normal. I think many parents strive to teach their children what is right in the eyes of society instead of letting them form their own opinions. This in turn causes their children to become more introverted and become a mold of society instead of expressing their true selves.

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