Emily can be seen cheering women weightlifters and wishing she was just as strong as them and even visualizing being a weightlifter.
A video of a toddler being inspired by women at the Tokyo Olympics is going viral. "These women are so strong!" says Emily as she watches women's Olympic weightlifting with her Dad. Emily's desire to be as strong as these women is evident in the video and she keeps muttering as much to herself. "I wish I had strong hands," says Emily as she looks at her own palms, wishing she could be as strong as the women on TV. Emily is totally enraptured by the strength of the weightlifters. "They are so strong. They can lift heavy things," says Emily.
She is also seen cheering the weightlifters on. At one point, she gets off the sofa and walks towards the TV, and encourages a USA weightlifter on the TV. "You can do it!" The video was captured by her Mom and posted on TikTok. She can be seen jumping up and down, cheering the women. Many women were inspired by Emily and said they couldn't wait to see her at the Olympics. One woman wrote, "I'm crying because I wanted to be 'stronger than Daddy' but was always told that girls don't do that...please encourage this. She's so enamored."
At one point, Emily also visualized doing it and says, "When I was the strongest Emmy, I used to go there and play 'dropping,'" said Emily, referring to weightlifters dropping the barbell. Many pointed out that Emily's confidence and determination to be as strong as the women on TV is why representation matters. One person commented, "The way she got from, "I wish I had to be the strongest" to "I used to go there" so encapsulates the importance of representation. From aspiration to post-imagination of having done it herself. I love it." Another person added, "A good example of how important representation is and that girls need role models so they can imagine being strong or doing a job "untypical" for women." Many joked about how Emily had given a peek into her past life of being a weightlifter.
A study revealed that conditioning can start early in life that often can lead to limiting their own potential and limit their scope. The research showed that children as young as four-year-olds showed a strong gender bias towards jobs, with girls choosing occupations stereotypical-associated with women and boys choosing ones associated with men. It was found that even pre-schoolers were reluctant to work traditionally not associated with their gender.
This shows that sexist conditioning starts early and can affect children from a very early age. This also resulted in many choosing career paths stereotypically associated with their gender. This kind of conditioning worked both, further adding to the stereotype that some jobs gendered. A study gathering evidence across 50 countries showed that as a result of this gender segregation by year 10, far fewer girls pursue maths and science. A similar pattern was noticed in boys as well, with very few of them taking up careers in social welfare, nursing, and teaching — professions associated with women.
Emily's video is giving women a lot of hope with some even hoping they had the kind of role models that the toddler had, to look up to. Emily will certainly not be short of supporters if she ever does become a weightlifter and make it to the Olympics.
You can watch the video here: