There's more to women than cosmetics and the color pink, and one high school student relied on social media to spread the word.
A "Battle of the Sexes" seems old-fashioned since it pits men and women against each other, but a high school in California welcomed some friendly competition between its students. At such an event at La Serna High School in California, the gym was split into a boys’ side and a girls’ side and decorated by students in the Student Leadership Organization, Seventeen reported. The boys’ side included posters of famous male inventors and leaders like Abraham Lincoln underneath a sign that said, "Who REALLY runs the world."
The girls' side didn't use the same tactic, according to Seventeen. Instead, their part of the gym was covered in various shades of pink along with posters made to look like lipstick, a bikini and a diamond. Senior Mindy Pflug was offended by the outright sexism and expressed her well-earned disapproval on Twitter.
.....I am beyond appalled pic.twitter.com/tMpLUKkk26
— Mindy Pflug (@MindyPflug) May 18, 2015
Some on Twitter have responded saying students had the opportunity to offer ideas for decorations. Another explained that there were more decorations on the girls' side that weren't pictured.
— white star (@ryann_virginia) May 19, 2015
@MindyPflug we had a HUGE poster that clearly stated "Who Run The World.. Girls" so don't make it look like we only put cosmetics up
— Alexa Gaxi (@_98lexa) May 18, 2015
@MindyPflug we really just wanted to get all students involved and have fun, we were not saying or referring to a genders worth
— gillian, (@gilllsthefish) May 18, 2015
Others offered their support and applauded Pflug for speaking out.
@MindyPflug We need more girls like you in the world! Thank you for speaking out against gender stereotypes!
— Hanae Togami (@hanaetogami) May 28, 2015
I'm so happy Mindy's actions received attention!! AWARENESS IS IMPORTANT! Without awareness or education, no change can come!!
— blue (@cutielokzz) May 27, 2015
@MindyPflug you go! So many of us support you and stand with you. I know many of us would not have the courage to speak out just as you did.
— baby dre (@AndreaMaariaa) May 27, 2015
For Pflug, the posters conveyed a sense that women were only characterized by their looks. She told Seventeen that the problem affects more than her school.
"The posters sent the message that a boy's worth is attributed to their triumphs in life, while my worth is only based upon appearance. This highly contributes to the harmful gender roles already in place in society," she said.
Whether or not there were other posters that adequately characterized women, Pflug is right about one thing: the often shallow representation of women goes beyond the walls of her high school.
La Serna High School officials did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment.
UPDATE: La Serna High School's Vice Principal of Business and Activities Randy Castillo provided the following statement to The Huffington Post:
"La Serna High School and our student body as a whole supports equity for everyone. Period. In this case, the decorations that were created to support this activity, which was innocent and designed by students to get everyone involved, did not reflect the culture of inclusion that defines our campus."