In 2008, Antonia Ayres-Brown noticed something during a routine trip to the McDonald's drive-through. After ordering the restaurant's famous Happy Meal, an employee asked if they should provide a "girl toy or boy toy." This did not sit well with the then-11-year-old, who went home to write to the CEO of the fast-food chain. Unfortunately, the higher-ups did not share her opinion, writing that her experience was unusual. Many middle schoolers would shrug off the response and move on, but Antonia would not stop until she saw a change.
This past Summer, Antonia conducted a study of sorts in which young boys and girls went into various McDonald's and ordered Happy Meals. Then Antonia, now 16 years old, noted which toys were included in their meal. She found that 92.9 percent of the time the children were given the trinket that was designated for their gender. Antonia took her findings to Donald Thompson, McDonald's current CEO. This time, she received some positive feedback.