LEGO Friends, the line of pink and purple LEGOs
designed and marketed to girls, is frequently slammed in new media
as an example of everything that is wrong with the gender
stereotyping in toys. The most recent, in
Huff Post parents, says the toys deliver a "weirdly
gendered" message. I truly don't believe in gender
neutral toys. I think kids are going to play with what
they want to play with.
BUT I am a fan and will defend LEGO
I didn't want to be. The
former feminist in me wanted to dislike
them. I didn't have pink and purple LEGOs and I had no problem
playing with them. I loved them and we built whatever our
imagination wanted. In general, I feel LEGOs have gotten a
little boring with everything in kits and cross marketed to certain
movies or themes. What happened to the big box of bricks you
created with on your own? I would have rather had a box of those
rather than LEGO friends.
BUT I am a fan and will defend LEGO Friends
because I have a daughter that loves
Before you say "Of course she does! They're
marketed to her!" you should know that she does not watch
commercial TV. In fact because she has a big brother who is
obsessed with LEGO she's much more likely to see the "regular" LEGO
sets marketing through his LEGO club and other mailings. Before
LEGO Friends was released, she was completely uninterested in
LEGOs, building or following step-by-step instructions. She wanted
none of that. She would happily play with Barbies, color, build
with blocks or play with Play-Doh but we could not interest her in
LEGOs at all. Not even the castles or houses.
I'm sure part of it was her brothers enthusiasm.
LEGOs were his thing and even got her a box of pink and purple
LEGOs (one of the few "free" building sets) and it sat mostly
unplayed with. Since getting her LEGO Friends, she builds, with her
brother, and on her own. She sets up entire scenes and plays with
them. She and her brother work together to create worlds and their
rides to school are filled with planning how they will execute
A LEGO kit sitting unplayed with can't teach her
about physics or building or anything. I'll take pink and purple
blocks, and stretched out mini figures any day, simply to watch her
learn, grow and build.
So the critics and the feminists can keep shouting,
I'm too busy building Heartlake High with my daughter to hear
Melissa is mom to 4 kids and 2 angels. She chronicles the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair.
See more of Melissa's stories here.
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