To preface the rest of this commentary, I am a person who thinks it is OK to be a girl. I not only think it is OK, I think we should celebrate it. I think that people, especially other women, should stop trying to turn girls into boys. We are not the same and that is by design. Instead, set a fabulous example of what it looks like to embrace your femininity and be a woman. Teach your girls how to be gracious, kind, loving, and sensitive and watch them become resilient. Teach them to dance, paint, act, and sing and watch them love reading, and pursuing knowledge. Teach them it’s all right to dress well and wear skirts and watch them express themselves with their clothing choice.
That being said..
I recently read an article written by the little girl..now woman..who was in the initial advert for lego to get kids building. She basically said Lego should can the prepackaged sets that limit creativity and went on to claim Lego was gender insensitive to make Lego friends. WHAT? I then searched and read a whole bevy of articles/blog posts sharing the same sentiment. I read the comments, and was shocked to hear there were teachers urging their students to view the Lego friends sets as evil, and demeaning, and boycott. WHAT?
I think the feminist perspective on this is missing something HUGE. With Lego friends there is a group of girls who would never ever never picked up Legos had they not been initially attracted to the themes and colors and characters of the friends. Right now, as I type I am also watching my daughter and husband build the Lego friends cruise ship. They have been doing this activity together for close to an hour now. They have been doing this activity TOGETHER with the TV OFF. They have been building without an iPhone or iPad in sight. It does not matter what is going on with social media because they are engaged with EACH OTHER. (As a side note the baby has been spending just as much time playing with her princess Duplo set because she wants to be a part of the action.)
Their conversations while building have nothing to do with how cute Mia’s hair looks, or if Stephanie’s skirt makes her butt look big. Instead they are talking about the structure, they are collaborating to find pieces and get sections complete, they are referring to the pieces by their characteristics unwittingly getting some math in there. Yes it is a “girl” set, but the work happening is not girl work..or boy work for that matter, it is Lego work.
You see my kid is one of those kids that would never have touched a Lego set if it had not been for the friends. She has an incredibly stereotypical “girly” personality. She has always enjoyed wearing tutus and pink…and if there was glitter and unicorns involved she would be all over it. It’s just who she is, and I would never try to change it. She saw the Heartlake Vet and decided that this was something she wanted to try. And come to find out, she LOVED it. I don’t know that she ever would have looked at a Lego city vet and fallen in love. Something about the lime green and turquoise and the animals with little bows on their heads made her want to build. You know what Lego friends haters…I am OK with that.
So the rest of my evening is going to be spent with my family working on this crazy behemoth of a set until we finish it. And then we may pull some of our storm trooper figures over from our Star Wars sets to take over the ship, or Andrea just might go to the ship spa for a mani/pedi. Either way I am happy and grateful for the time together building.