Cairn Guidance is pleased to announce a new partnership with AXE to address gender stereotypes, bias and harassment by offering a no-cost program, Generation Unlabeled, for the school setting. Our partnership and new curriculum was publicly announced at SHAPE America in Tampa last month with a sponsorship of the General Session, a performance by Carlos Andrés Gómez and a vendor booth in the exhibit hall.
You probably think of AXE as the body spray that your students layer on in the hallways, but they’re much more than that! As the go-to grooming brand for middle and high schoolers who are learning to style for themselves, AXE offers a wide range of grooming items including deodorant, body wash, and hair products designed to help guys look and feel their best.
However, they recognize that some of the ads they created in the early 2000’s negatively reinforced stereotypes that would not be acceptable by today’s standards. In 2015, AXE went back to better understand the effects of negative stereotypes on their core young male audience. Partnering with Promundo, a global research leader, they conducted a study and found that 72% of young guys reported being put in the “Man Box,” a set of beliefs about masculinity that place pressure on men to act a certain way. Along with other findings, this statistic helped AXE reinforce their core mission to inform young men that there’s no one way to be a man.
Armed with research, they re-worked their marketing campaigns to champion a portrayal of guys that don’t fit traditional standards of masculinity (see “Is It Ok For Guys…” on YouTube). From there, AXE brought this message into high schools through their Senior Orientation program, an in-school workshop that encourages students to shape their school culture through self-expression and inclusivity with the help of marquee talent partners like John Legend and Super Duper KYLE. Now in 2019, they’re taking their mission a step further...
Building on the success of its Senior Orientation programs, AXE now wants to reach students at an earlier age before they’re exposed to the social pressures of high school with the creation of this specialized curriculum that will be implemented in middle school health classes across the nation. Generation Unlabeled’s four interactive lesson plans cover a range of topics – from toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes to harassment – asking students to analyze today’s society and culture, themselves, and conclude with a call to action, like creating a new school policy. By directly educating teens and empowering young men to define what masculinity means for themselves, our goal is to foster the first generation of students to grow up in a society without toxic masculinity.
These no-cost lessons will be available this summer, so please keep in touch. We will be offering incentives to those that implement the lessons in the classroom, as well as looking for pilot teachers to provide on-going feedback and student work samples to ensure this program is creating the outcomes we hope to achieve!
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