Visible Women

How this 10-year-old girl struck a blow in the battle against sexist marketing

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Moya Crockett
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When Hannah-Marie Clayton spotted casual sexism on her cereal packaging, she demanded a change. 

If you’ve ever spent any time with children, you’ll know that many of them have an uncanny knack for spotting injustice. This might mean complaining about their sibling getting more pudding than them, but it could also mean asking hard questions about issues such as homelessness, racism or sexism. Because children haven’t had a chance to become jaded or passive about the world’s big and small inequalities, they often want those inequalities explained to them in a way that makes sense – and then they want to do something about them.

This week, a 10-year-old schoolgirl was victorious in her campaign against sexist cereal packaging. Hannah-Marie Clayton, from Bournemouth, had noticed that boxes of Kellogg’s Coco Pops bore the slogan “Loved by kids, approved by mums”.

Clayton rightly observed that the message was offensive on two counts: not only did it imply that women were the only ones capable of putting cereal in a bowl for their kids, it also excluded fathers who were involved in their children’s morning routines.

In a letter to Kellogg’s, she wrote: “I feel that quote is sexist, men are also able to make breakfast.

“My dad does it a lot for me because my mum works away a lot and is not always there for breakfast.”

Watch: Jameela Jamil’s advice for her younger self

Clayton continued: “I would recommend instead of putting ‘mums’, put parents or carers. It would just mean a small change.

“In this world today we shouldn’t just rely on women.”

Metro reports that Kellogg’s has now replied to Clayton, and pledged that its packaging will be updated.

“I wanted to let you know that we’ve recently renewed our research and our new pack design will refer to approval from both mums and dads,” wrote a Kellogg’s representative.

“Apologies for any offence caused and thank you for your feedback, which has played a part in our decision to change.”

Proof, if it were needed, that speaking out against everyday sexism can make a difference. Bravo, Hannah-Marie – and keep it up.

Stylist’s Visible Women campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of women and girls who’ve made a difference, celebrating their success, and empowering future generations to follow their lead. See more from Visible Women here.  

Main image: Getty Images

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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