February 4, 2014

Seven-Year-Old Girl Tells LEGO They Need More Girls Having Adventures

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!?!
Thank you.
From Charlotte

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.

Image via @SocImages, h/t NA

5 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved it when I read about her letter! ^^

    You hit many studs on the head; the only reason I didn't like the idea of the 'Friends' line was that it implied that girls didn't play with LEGO beforehand. Of course this is utter rubbish (my half-sister - and our mother - would collectively thump the 'blue-sky thinkers' who 'brainstormed' the idea).

    Of course it's a fad with so many other toy companies...But it's amusing and sad that humans who haven't yet reached double-digits understand gender equality better than some 'grown-ups'.

    But there is light! Hopefully girls like Charlotte will grow to be successful enough to be able to make changes for the greater good in whatever they end up doing. And let's hope she knows about the current LEGO Cuusoo candidates under review; one is the lot of female scientists (3:10 in the video below:)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QT5zu1x65Q

    Plus, not sure if you heard, but last year, many of our UK retailers have scrapped the labelling of 'boys' and 'girls' toys and are now just catagorizing them by toy types. Jolly good! ^^

    AM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a problem across the toy industry - from manufacturers to retail stores. I love that the UK is taking the step of just making toys for everyone; it's progressive and I hope it catches on through the rest of the world.

      But, like you said! The more girls like Charlotte who speak out, the better off we all are.

      And holy crap, I want that LEGO female scientist set!

      Delete

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

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