LEGO, let this seven-year-old tell you how it is. Charlotte visited a LEGO store and made some astute observations about gender imbalance on display. The store had the typical blue section for boys and pink section for girls, but the differences go further. The girls' sets featuring ladies shopping or playing sports or going to the beach while the guys get to go on adventures. Like Charlotte says:
Dear Lego company:
My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I love legos but I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls.
Today I went to a store and saw legos in two sections the girls pink and the boys blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.
I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!
I agree with her and wish LEGO would take a more universal approach. Indeed, browsing the selection of LEGO Friends (you know, the LEGO products for girls) sets available I notice a few themes:
- Business sets like a lemonade stand, a juice bar, and a pet salon
- Lots of cute animals
- Beach house, beach buggy, house, and high school sets
- A few more adventurous themes like a flying club, dolphin cruiser, and pink "Adventure Camper"
Nothing's wrong with any of those sets. I'm a fan of cute animals and pastels, but it's the lack of variety. It goes both ways. If you look at the LEGO City line, presumably marketed to boys, you'll note such sets as:
- Police patrol, fire trucks, and several rescuing variations
- Space shuttle launch sets with no female minifigs
- Race cars
- A "Camping Van" that is not pink
- A town square set with some businesses
The sets for boys and girls are vastly different and though parents and kids can ignore them and buy whatever they like, LEGO is sending a message. I love the bricks and understand they inspire creativity and imagination in kids of all ages, but I wish the gender lines weren't so definitively drawn.