Who doesn’t like champagne and smoked salmon for breakfast? A fool, that’s who, a fact that Lego appreciated as they plied me with booze and snacks this morning, whilst I played with the new Lego Friends range and got disproportionately excited about the teeny-weeny coffee machine and ketchup dispenser.
(Gosh, that was a long sentence wasn’t it? I really must be excited).
If you haven’t come across it already, Lego Friends is the new range of Lego designed particularly for girls. It’s the same Lego building experience, but is based on years of research and development that has shown that girls prefer more ‘real life’ play, featuring scenarios they encounter in their own lives. As a mother of two girls, I can vouch for this. Most little girls I know aren’t interested in aliens and robots and rockets, they want realism and detail. Hence the tiny ketchup dispensers.
The range has attracted some criticism from people who think it’s too ‘pink’ and that the idea of Lego for girls is crazy, that Lego should be gender neutral. Unfortunately, as much as we like to believe that boys and girls are equal, the fact is that generally, they like different things. Not much you can do about that really.
Yes, there is some pink involved, but there are other colours too, and yes, one of the Lego girls is an aspiring fashion designer, but another is an inventor, who likes hanging out in her workshop, building robots.
I think what the Lego Friends shows us is that while girls can choose to be vets or scientists, they should also feel comfortable about choosing a career in fashion or hairdressing or music or anything else they feel passionate about – it’s about equality of opportunity, doing what makes you happy, and not feeling pressured or judged. Being a mathematician is fantastic if you love numbers, but equally if your dream job is running a café and making great coffee, then that’s fine too.
What do you think about the idea of Lego designed for girls? Do girls and boys just enjoy playing in different ways or are we reinforcing gender stereotypes?
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