Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lego Friends: Friend, Not Foe

There's been a lot of talk about the new Lego Friends collection recently.  I've heard several interviews on NPR with angry commentators and bloggers who argue that these new Legos, designed for girls, are perpetuating gender stereotypes and negatively impacting the girls who choose to build and play with them.  For a few days it felt like whenever I turned on the radio I heard another angry woman bemoaning this new Lego line.

Why?  Because some of the blocks are pink and purple.  Because the people are not boxy--they have curvy figures and more human-like features.  Because one of the sets is a beauty shop. 

I think these arguments are silly.  There are plenty of blocks that are white, brown, black, and blue.  And Lego people have come a long way since the early robot-esque figures.  Most of the sets are interesting with lots to play with--a vet clinic, a tree house, a cafe, and a dog show, to name a few.  These Lego sets are not harming my daughters; they are inviting them to play with a toy that was otherwise not very interesting to them.  And best of all, they build these sets with Daddy.

I'm glad that my girls have the choice to play with Legos that appeal to them, especially since these sets do not involve weapons, tanks, or other forms of devastation as so many of their other collections do.  Where are the angry bloggers complaining about the violent Lego toys?

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