As part of Kellogg’s Special K’s new “Strength Is” campaign, which aims to emphasize nutritional health over calorie-focused dieting, the cereal brand surveyed more than 2,000 British women about their most hated pet name. Nearly 60 percent listed “bird” as the name they most wished people would stop calling them. Doll, chick, babe, and queen bee rounded out the top five. And while women were primarily concerned about men using the terms, more than a quarter of those surveyed said that being called pet names such as “babe” or “doll” by other women was also “patronizing” or “belittling.”
Women were also quizzed on which words they found most derogatory. “Hormonal” led the pack after being selected by 68 percent of respondents. “Drama queen,” “bitchy,” “high maintenance,” and “hysterical” also made the top five. Nearly 50 percent of women named terms such as “ball breaker,” “diva” and “highly strung” as particularly offensive.
“It is very important young women in society grow up learning that you are not a ‘ball breaker’ if you are successful – you are simply a strong woman succeeding,” said Nicola Roberts, the Girls Aloud star who fronts the “Strength Is” campaign. “Women are too often called ‘bossy’, ‘feisty’ or ‘attention seeking’ — now is the time to change the conversation and rewrite the vocabulary we use to empower women and not let others define us.”
Read the full story at the Liverpool Echo.