Since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has absolutely exploded on the social networking scene, creating an enthusiastic and very active following of Pinners eager to share the latest gluten-free recipes, hottest new runway fashion and best DIY ideas.
A “visual discovery tool” for collecting and organising any and everything of interest using personalised pin boards, Pinterest has tapped into many people’s latent desire to essentially become masters of the universe by acquiring every recipe, hairstyle, home-workout routine, makeup tip and fashion trend known to man.
However, with the majority of the Pinner demographic comprised of women, and the main focus of most Pinterest profiles being cooking, wedding planning, clothes and hairstyles, this simple yet addictive site has garnered quite a bit of negative attention for being sexist and encouraging women to revert to their more ‘traditional’ role of Betty Homemaker.
This has led many to wonder whether the allure of all those eye-catching domestic tips and tutorials circulating on their Pinterest feed will be too much for them to handle—will you be able to resist, or will you slowly but surely find yourself becoming a 1950s housewife of the June Cleaver variety?
Luckily, at Loyalzoo, we’re proud Pinners, and we can safely say no, none of our team members have suddenly turned up at the office wearing an apron with homemade muffins in hand and curlers in their hair.
The idea that Pinterest makes women feel pressured to embrace gender stereotypes is in itself sexist; do you really think women aren’t strong-willed or educated enough to withstand the barrage of recipes and makeup ideas splashed across their Pinterest feed if they have no interest in such things to begin with?
If you take a look at our Pinterest board, you’ll find pins on world travel, local cuisine (not recipes), the British countryside and even quirky coffee art. The uses for Pinterest are as diverse as the interests of the users themselves. In fact, many artists, architects, designers and event planners employ Pinterest as an invaluable tool for drawing inspiration and saving useful ideas.
After just a quick browse through any Pinterest profile, we’re sure you’ll soon find a whole world of unique and even downright fascinating boards that might inspire you to do a painting or renovate your house quicker than they’ll inspire you to whip out your rolling pin.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that gender equality isn’t about women—or men—denying themselves the things they enjoy because they are ‘too masculine or too feminine’; it’s about the freedom to choose to do whatever you prefer. So if there are lots of women out there who enjoy discovering exciting new dishes or the funkiest hairdos, then leave them to it! The women of 2014 are strong and smart enough to run a company and bake some cookies if they want to—Pinterest or no Pinterest.