A young 11 year old Auckland girl Florence Akauola, won the first place in Villa Education Trust speech competition, held in Remuera recently. She was one of seven speakers at the competition judged by Simon O’Connor, Di Moffitt and ACT leader David Seymour.
She gave a powerful speech on gender stereotypes and mentioned that being a girl does not define everything about who she is. She is The Mt Hobson Middle School student who hates wearing dresses and Barbie. Her favourite colour is definitely not pink. She mentioned that she would rather play sports or have sword fights than dress up as a fairy and dance around.
In her speech, she said that society is limiting its expectations of who someone should be based on gender. Right from our first breath, our parents find out our genders and next thing we know, they start decorating the nursery pink for girls or blue for boys. She feels that no baby who is born enters the world demanding a pink blanket. However, every aspect of society feels that little girls love pink.
This is featured in every ad on TV, every toy outlet store, every person that sees us and tells us, what a pretty little princess we are. All of these labels mislead, and cover our eyes and our hearts thereby we begin to lose sight of who we really are. She feels that we need to break these stereotypes else we will never fully realise the untapped potential in every little princess.