Great British Bake Off 2016 contestants: Promo shots spark controversy with 'backward' gendered icing

The decision to use blue icing for men and pink for women has disappointed fans

Jess Denham
Tuesday 16 August 2016 09:03
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Female bakers were given pink icing to whisk and male bakers blue icing in the new promo shots
Female bakers were given pink icing to whisk and male bakers blue icing in the new promo shots

The Great British Bake Off has sparked controversy after revealing this year’s new contestants in gendered publicity shots where the men whisk blue icing and the women whisk pink.

Fans of the hugely popular baking show were quick to notice the “backward” use of the colours in the photos, with many taking to social media to voice their disappointment with a programme praised for “blithely ignoring gender stereotypes” by encouraging men to take up baking.

“Looking forward to GBBO but how disappointing promo shots use pink icing for women and blue for boys…how 19th century,” wrote one fan, while others pointed out that last year’s contestants were all shown whisking pink icing regardless of their gender.

The BBC has said it “won’t be commenting” on criticism about the gendered icing.

This year’s Great British Bake Off looks set to be more intense than ever, with judge Mary Berry revealing that the new bakers did not bond as quickly as they have done in past series.

“They know the standard that it is, which is now pretty high, and I think they were slower to bond this year than they were in the past,” said the 81-year-old, with her co-judge Paul Hollywood adding that previous winner Nadiya Hussain’s success has “put the pressure on them more”.

“They started quite nervously but once they settled down they got into it. Then the baking started to flow and the standard got really really good,” he said.


The Great British Bake Off returns on 24 August at 8pm on BBC One with presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins back for more innuendo-laden fun.

Let’s hope all gender stereotyping is left at the tent door and fans can enjoy more of the equality the show is famous and loved for.

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