Jane Cosmetics at 2014 Championship

This could be an unpopular opinion, but I couldn’t care less about what FIRST sponsors advertise providing that we aren’t being led to believe that hollywood makeovers are relevant to what my team is doing.

Obviously, as a guy my opinion on this topic doesn’t have much impact…

That said, one of my students, Madeleine, won Dean’s List this year and had a chance to meet and talk with Lynn Tilton. From what she told me, she came away from it incredibly inspired. Having such a great role model involved in FIRST - a strong, confident female who has been incredibly successful in a high-powered world typically dominated by males - can only help us. Madeleine isn’t really a girl to go giddy over makeup or makeovers, and I’m sure if given the choice she would rather of had one of the other companies Lynn owns present (especially if it involved seeing the guts of a helicopter or car). I hope Madeleine gets on here and posts her thoughts, after having a chance to decompress from the weekend :slight_smile:

IMO, we need to do everything we can to pull in more girls. While giving robotics girls a makeover might be interpreted as giving the wrong message, how awesome would it be if we could get some info about FIRST distributed with makeup? Imagine a girl going into a beauty salon before a dance her freshman year and reading a pamphlet for FIRST… Could that be a good way to reach someone we normally wouldn’t reach? I don’t know if there are any plans for further cooperation with the companies, but this would be one possible example of how these companies could help us spread our message.

I’m sure the business woman in question is very successful and inspiring and I commend her for that. I also am not at the championship event. That being said, what I take away from this is that she is a successful woman who has many companies yet choses to show the company that targets women. Rarely are makeup advertisements telling women “you’re cool just the way you are, but here are some products that make you conform to stereotypical beauty standards.” I get targeted ads, which explicitly say “look younger, hotter, sexier, etc.” The only mainstream cosmetics company that “embraces women” is dove, who doesn’t sell make up but skin care (which is arguable half cosmetic and half comfort).

Her make up company may not be explicitly saying “hey we want you to be sexier” but by offering make overs and commenters saying “girls are more confident wearing make up”, we are saying “you’ll be more confident if you are prettier/sexier/etc.” I don’t see a company offering the boys a place to do bicep curls, bench presses, or push ups (body building is the commonly considered the male equivalent to make up).

And this is inappropriate. In an arena that says “look, your brains are important” and where dean often says “this has more career potential than bouncing a basketball,” we are telling girls that they’re looks are still a large part of their value. It’s not explicit, and that’s the point. Make up is most commonly used to achieve the beauty standard (clear skin, large eyes, full lips). By saying that “it’s good that make up makes the girls more confident”, we’re saying that being pretty makes them more confident (and this a huge can of worms revolving around the issue of a girls worth being tied to her appearance).

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Which other of her businesses should she have shown off? I doubt they would have let her bring in a few helicopters.

Why not? Aircraft manufacturers use scale models for displays all the time.

Yeah, lets put a couple Apaches near a bunch of other booths and pits.

As an avid Society of Women Engineers collegiate member who has attended several SWE conferences, I think this is an incredibly smart move for FIRST. When I heard about the makeovers at championships, I was very excited. If I had been there, I know I would have made a special trip to visit their booth. Bringing exciting activities to FIRST that interest all it’s participants is imperative. At SWE conferences we have had makeup handed out by companies in the past because of the chemical engineers who work on them, and I love it!

If it’s a scale model, there is nothing wrong with it as it would fit between the other booths and pits. Plus Apache helicopters are very cool and probably the most advacanced helicopter in the world. The technolgy in the Apache is phenomenal, most people when they think of the Apache, they think its just another gunship helicopter, but it is much more, just take a look at the link at the bottom. Remarable feat of engineering.

It would be cool though if Boeing had a real Apache helicopter at competition :smiley: :smiley: , but that wont happen.

as a woman of FIRST, I would like to say that I have no desire for a more femine FIRST and find the whole idea that we, as equal competitors, are being represented by a cosmetics company a little insulting. I’m sure that they did not mean to imply that our worth as members of a team could be judged by our outward appearance, but that is how it feels when they choose cosmetic companies and models to represent us. I don’t see why we need to be represented separately. I am a member of FIRST robotics, why can I not simply be represented by FIRST?

Because, you know, boeing would bring a whole airplane and nasa would bring a space craft. Really?

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Because thats all Boeing and NASA can show off.

You, FIRST or anyone is not defined by any one sponsor. I’ve seen efforts to boycott virtually every single founding sponsor of FIRST because each company violated someone’s moral framework. If for instance, you go to Bing (because after all, Google is evil) and search “why should I boycott <sponsor>” I’m sure you’ll get plenty of reasons why FIRST shouldn’t have that company as a sponsor.

The perception that someone who wants to use cosmetics shouldn’t be on a robotics team is as silly as saying someone who’s on the volley ball team or hockey team or dances ballet cannot be on the robotics team because they couldn’t be “geeky” enough.

Our love of science and technology is what brings us together. Let’s just leave it at that an not start carving out exclusions.

Personally, I’m for more inclusion, let’s ask the sugar beet farmers, the Emu ranchers, the P90X guys and the International Association of Hermits to sponsor FIRST as well.

I agree. I previously stated that our worth as members of a team can not be determined how we look. That goes both ways. It is ludicrous to assume that because someone wears make up that they are any less valuable as a member of FIRST and I am genuinely sorry if it came across that way.

When I was visiting with an FTC team that I previously mentored, they were telling me all about going to the Jane Cosmetics booth and getting their makeup done. What I saw was young girls who were excited that they could have fun competing with their robot and get some free makeup at the same time. They didn’t go get makeovers to make themselves feel better, or because they felt inadequate without it; they were simply happy about the fact that there were two things they enjoyed at the same place.

I didn’t hear or see Ms. Tilton at any point in time, so I can only talk about their exhibit in the pits and the way it presented the company.

I generally don’t wear makeup, and I’m having some issues with my eyes right now that mean I couldn’t have gotten my makeup done. (Which I probably would have, assuming there was time, even with the teasing I would expect from my team for acting so out of character. I like being able to dress like a slightly different version of myself.)
But I was still curious, so I stopped by their booth on Thursday or Friday. I talked with one of the exhibitors, and basically said, “This is the last thing I would have expected to see here. Why are you here (what do you hope to achieve)?”
The answer I got was something to the effect of “We are trying to empower young women by showing them that they can be both beautiful and smart/involved in STEM.” Which is a good sentiment, that you don’t have to give up part of your identity to be a part of this community. But it rubbed me the wrong way by implying that we aren’t already pretty, that it matters, or that there is only one standard of beauty (that, of course, just happens to be helped by their products).
I also didn’t get a very good vibe from their exhibit, because it was set up too much like a makeup store (as opposed to a demonstration of their technology, though I’m not sure what that would have looked like) for comfort, so that probably didn’t help. Any time it feels like someone is saying “Buy this!” it puts me a little bit on edge.

That being said, because it’s the last thing I (and, I assume, others) expected to see associated with FIRST, I agree it would be a good outlet for recruiting from a slightly different segment of the population. They just need to tweak the subtext and premises of their message.

As a guy who at least tries to be receptive to gender issues, this is where I have to sit on the topic.

Garnet Squadron was 50% girls this year, and was actually 100% so starting out (by coincidence, not by design). I didn’t see or hear any big fuss from our girls one way or the other. When I walked by their booth, I didn’t see any carnival-barker-esque tactics going on. It could be enjoyed or ignored* at will, and that felt fine to me (all I’m-not-a-girl biases known).

*Okay, so you couldn’t ignore their sponsorship on Einstein–but that’s no different from UTC or Qualcomm or any other sponsor there. Doesn’t count.

To stir the pot among those with objections to Jane’s presence as it was: Is there a scenario where a makeup brand could have a presence at Championship that wouldn’t draw your ire?

Just remember, as Jeremy Bem states in an interview with his mother, “…it’s okay to have conventional desires as well as unconventional ones.”

Let me start off by saying that as a girl in FTC and FRC robotics I am really excited that FIRST is trying to get more girls involved! Additionally, as an FLL mentor for a few years now (some of the teams I work with are all-girl teams), I think the sentiment that “girls can be beautiful and smart/involved in STEM” is a valid one to communicate. However, I think that there are more effective ways to go about getting more girls into FIRST.

From what I’ve read and seen from personal experience, the most effective time to get girls involved in STEM activities (and keep them involved) is around 4th-6th grade, or elementary and middle school. Perhaps I got into the makeup world a little late, but it is my thinking that by the time girls are old enough to be interested in/wearing makeup, it is already too late to be effectively targeting them for FIRST. I think you need to catch them before they’ve even begun to deal with the pressures and weird dynamics of societal ideas of beauty or insecurities about appearance. I hope that in the future FIRST can work with organizations like GoldieBlox, a company aiming to inspire more girls to become engineers by developing toys, to get more girls involved at younger ages.

Don’t offer makeovers and have representatives on hand to discuss your research, development and manufacturing roles. Pretty straightforward stuff.

I have to say that I was a bit taken aback when I saw the display that Jane had set up in the pit area. I also had the reaction at first that this could be sending the wrong message, depending on the way the information was communicated to the students. Here is what I would have liked to have seen from Jane:

We employ chemical, manufacturing, programmers, packaging, etc. engineers and graphic design, marketing, project management, etc personnel.
Here is our workshop showing students how to make homemade lipgloss, chocolate asphalt, etc. that they can take with them.
The message is that females can design and configure the electrical, mechanical, software, and be on the drive team and not just perform the Team fund raising, chairman’s award presentation, finances, etc. tasks.

I want to see the 30% female involvement increase to 50% and I want to see that 50% be hands on the robot vs. 90% of the 30% performing all the other skills required for a successful team.

With that being said, if you are a girly-girl who loves tech and gaming, please do not give up your femininity either. A pink phone case is your individual taste and you have every right to have it as well as wear make-up, a skirt, or heels. We only request you to be classy and not trashy in your choices because trashy is still sending the wrong message in today’s still male-dominated engineering workplace.

If you want to talk to a female engineer who has served on a design team for various space missions, please come find me at an event or send me a PM.

BTW, NASA had hardware in Atlanta one year. I believe it was the Robonaut vehicle.

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