'The Motherlode' blog of the NY Times blasted Lego Club Magazine this week for their beauty tips exclusively to young girls. Lego friends informed the girls of their target audience (5 to 12 years old) about hair cuts that would change the shape of their faces to be softer and shorter. No such advice was given to the young boys of their target audience.
These tips are clearly rooted in gender stereotypes and harmful beauty practices that disproportionately affect girls and women. How have we not moved past such gendered toy marketing as a society? (Especially considering the work of feminist groups in the early 1990s, such as the Barbie Liberation Organization who switched the voice boxes of G.I. Joe's and Barbie dolls to show the degree of gendered stereotyping in children's toys). As a society, we can do better; as consumers, we need to demand better.
Perhaps naïvely, I had placed a certain amount of trust in Lego and its apparently good intentions, but I draw the line when even a construction toy company feeds my daughter that tired, toxic script of “start fixing your appearance, and now.” I gave Lego the benefit of the doubt, but now all I’m left with is doubt — doubt whether Lego has my daughter’s best interests in mind, and doubt whether we’ll be buying any more Lego Friends.