If you’re starting to feel like the LEGO goes girly debate has already jumped the shark, my apologies. Because no one has hit on the real issue . . . at least not yet.
The Danish company so beloved by us parents for encouraging our kids to use their imaginations really put their foot in it this month when they unveiled the soon-to-come LEGO Friends line for girls. To whit, it looks like someone borrowed the pastel palette from the Easter M&M line and threw it all over a bunch of the bricks. And then there are the new minifigures, with back stories like “beautician” and “social butterfly.”
Yes, the feminist mother of a daughter in me wants more.
But then there’s the realistic mother of a daughter who went to the LEGO Store in New York City with said child in November. And like a throng of other children, she beelined for the “minifigure” station where kids could build their own three minifigures for the low, low price of $9.95 (hey, by Manhattan prices, it was a steal). Only the options were slim.
She wanted to make “girls” because, well, she has a vagina. And finding “girl” parts was near on impossible. I pawed through the headwear, and came up with two, yes, two “ponytails.” As for the bodies, well we got one tank-topped girl but not much else. Fortunately kiddo had no problem with one of her females being a “school person” (aka janitor type), but much of the torsoes had CHEST HAIR. And I those little jet packs for the space men? Didn’t fit on a body if she had “girl hair.”
All my kid wanted was a minifigure that looked like her! She didn’t need it to be a covered in sparkly hearts and glitter. But let’s face scientific facts here people. She IS a girl. She roots for the girl on Jeopardy when we watch it as a family at night. She tends to pick the female characters in any movie (Holly Shiftwell in Cars 2, Kitty Soft Paws in Puss in Boots) as her fave.
Is it so damn hard to just give her some girls? And is it such a bad thing that she’d want some?
Seriously, folks, we talk about “girl power” and then get so down on girls when they dare to say they want to support the vagina crowd. Why should she have to make do with the Ninjagos because that makes her fierce? She is a girl, and at 6, is fortunately unashamed of that fact.
She likes princesses. And she likes LEGOs. She likes the Hess truck her Opa buys her every Christmas, and she is going to love the purple, glittery bike that her grandparents have picked out for this holiday.
Marketing to her isn’t the problem. It’s accepting she’s more than one toy she plays with.
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