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A teenage girl in New Jersey has won a campaign to man up the Easy-Bake Oven. McKenna Pope, who launched a petition last month to get Hasbro to make a more boy-friendly version of the oven—currently available in girlie shades of pink and purple—met with the toy maker Monday at its headquarters in Rhode Island. “

They showed me a prototype of a new oven. It’s black and blue and silver,” she says. “It kind of looks like an appliance you would legitimately have in your kitchen.”

The eighth grader’s quest for a more manly stove started when she found her 4-year-old brother, Gavyn, trying to cook a tortilla on top of a lightbulb. Deciding the young chef needed an oven of his own, she and her mother went to Target, only to find the Easy Bake packaging geared solely toward girls.

Pope posted her petition on the siteChange.org, saying she found it “quite appalling” that “boys are not featured in packaging or promotional materials.” She added,

“The oven comes in gender-specific hues: purple and pink. I feel that this sends a clear message: women cook, men work.”She collected nearly 45,000 signatures and got the attention of chefs includingBobby Flay and Manuel Trevino, who gathered fellow chefs together to create a video called Everyone Can Cook.

“I can understand not wanting to cook on a pink oven,” Joshua Whigham, a chef at The Bazaar in Los Angeles, says in the video.Pope didn’t expect such support. “I thought maybe I’d get a few hundred signatures and a generic response from Hasbro,” she says.

Hasbro confirmed in a statement that the new oven is in the works, and will be unveiled at the Toy Fair trade show in February in New York City. The toy will be available for sale in the fall of 2013.

That’s when Pope’s brother will get his oven. “Given the widespread interest in McKenna Pope’s story, we extended an invitation to McKenna and her family to visit Hasbro and meet with our Easy-Bake team,” the company said. “During her visit, we showed her a new black and silver Easy-Bake Oven design that has been in development over the past 18 months.”

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article courtesy of TheDailyBeast.com

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