A message from our Rainmaker, Lindsey Shepard

Dear friends,

I’m thrilled that so many of you have seen our recent video, but it’s hard to tell the full story in 90-seconds. There’s so much more we want to say.

As parents, the toys that we offer to our children come to represent our family values, whether we like it or not.

When we give our kids crayons and paper, it tells them that creating art is a valuable way to spend their time. A new bike or a pair of cleats says that physical activity and teamwork are important. In the best scenarios, these offerings are varied, and the message is “Hey, try a bunch of stuff! You can do any or all of this. You have options.”

Play matters.

The problem, of course, is that not all girls have the benefit of these options.

Big toy companies have the corner on the market, and they spend a significant amount of money to promote the idea that their toys are best for girls. They can afford to get their products in front of your daughter. They can afford to make sure she wants to play with their toys.

They are making decisions about what is available to your daughter, and these decisions don’t always have her best interests in mind.

We assume that everything is okay, because young girls have been playing with the same toys for decades.

The same girls that think boys have brighter futures than they do.

The same girls that suffer from insecurity, and dissatisfaction with their bodies.

The same girls that receive a new fashion doll every 3 seconds.

It’s impossible to ignore these stats.

It’s impossible to pretend that they exist in a vacuum, that there’s no correlation between them and the fact that our girls are losing confidence in male-dominated fields of study as early as age 8.

At GoldieBlox, we don’t believe that any one statistic or issue is the clear winner in the finger-pointing game. This problem is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not just the fashion doll we have a problem with; it’s the impossible standards that that doll represents. It’s not the individual princess movie, it’s the constant barrage of princess culture.

It’s the lack of options that keeps us up at night.

Sexism is sneaky; it shows up where we least expect it. Gender equality is a huge issue, and we’re focused on one small facet: your daughter.

Nothing else matters to us.

We believe your daughter deserves a positive role model that she can relate to, one who prefers high-tops to high heels. One who prides herself on engineering her way out of any problem. One who’s not afraid to get messy; she tries new things, and tries again if those things don’t work out. She likes her dog and eating waffles and hanging out with her friends.

Sounds like a kid, right? Right.

We are dedicated to helping young girls see beyond the all-encompassing, sparkly allure of the pink aisle to discover their true potential. We are committed to the idea that girls deserve to have options for play that don’t have negative side effects.

We’re committed to your daughter, no matter what she looks like, no matter what she wants to be when she grows up, no matter what her favorite color is.

We don’t care about those things; we know she’s perfect, just the way she is. We know she has something special inside of her, just waiting to change her world for the better. We want to encourage her to discover that piece of herself. And we honestly believe that Goldie can help.

Our new action figure is a small step, but it’s a step. It will get bigger.

This is just the beginning, I promise. Stick around.

And, hey, if your daughter decides to be an engineer? I’d be pretty stoked.

Girls FTW,

Lindsey

Filming Goldie

I first met Debbie when she was giving a speech at a local youth leadership camp that I was a junior crew for. Despite it being my responsibility to tell my students to listen, I was feeling the exhaustion of the 8 straight hours of presentations and activities and came into the speaking hall scheming of ways that I could sleep without any of my students or other leaders noticing. My schemes never were needed however, for just as Debbie began talking about her life and GoldieBlox I realized that even if I tried I could not pull myself away from Debbie’s inspiring and passionate presentation about GoldieBlox. As her talk came to a close I thought to myself, “Lilly, she is the one”. Now you might be thinking that the next thing I did was jump up on stage and propose..no no. I realized that day that Debbie was starting something absolutely incredible and her passion and personality would separate GoldieBlox from all the other great ideas that people have. So when I told myself that Debbie was “the one” I meant she was the Oprah to my Tyra, I dreamt that she could be the person I could look up to. So I got all the guts that I had (and sleep deprivation also probably helped) and I walked up to Debbie at the end of her speech, spilling out which seemed like a nervous jumble of words, “Hi..I’m Lilly..love GoldieBlox..summer..work..internship?” After a few moments of awkward silence in which Debbie tried to piece together what I was saying, a miracle happened, she gave me her email (which is equivalent, i’d say, to digits for a guy). And the rest is history.

So for the past couple of weeks I have been in bliss, working at one of the best companies in the world doing what I love best, making movies! At the start, Debbie assigned me to do a video series in which young girls (Goldie in a sense) would interview successful engineers who in their own way broke the “engineer stereotype”. We first set out for our search of the “perfect Goldie” we scoured Craigslist and  audition postings and even tried cold calling modeling agencies. After finding our  first Goldie we scheduled an interview with the magnificent Ian Bennett, a young CEO of a company called Simpirica Spine. Maya and I spent hours thinking of questions and planning out the segments of the video. I then put my own mental health at risk from the fatal fumes of Sharpie markers when I started making cue cards for our Goldie, a young girl, Johanna who to my excitement (and jealousy) had been apart of a Sundance movie. Finally on the day of the shoot, we all met on site at an abandoned office building in SOMA. I was sweating bullets at the thought of directing the shoot, the only people I had directed in the past were my funny bunch of friends who didn’t need much directing as the basis of most of my short films consisted of the usual teenage drama that occurred naturally. Once on set, however, the shoot seemed more of a party (i’m serious)  than a serious movie set; we were laughing, dancing around, even doing handstands and backflips (no joke). Currently i’m preparing myself to go into isolation so I can start and finish editing these videos by the end of the month. Looking forward to it (and I hope you guys are too!)
‘Til next time
Lilly Tahmasebi