Don't Conform, Transform
SPARK Summit and Hardy Girls Healthy Women sent a letter requesting a meeting to LEGO along with a petition with 51,600 signatures that asks that they reconsider the gendered ways that they market their products. Many girl activists and experts also signed this letter, including myself.
Why does this matter? Don’t girls just play with LEGOs if they like them whether the toys are marketed to girls or not? Clearly, many of them don’t, from LEGOs own admission that there is a lack of girls playing with their product. Wonder why? I’m not sure it’s all about the color of the bricks or the shape of the minifigures. For example, my 7-year-old daughter who loves Harry Potter LEGOs sets asked me, “Do you think it’s okay for girls to like LEGOs?” I said “Sure, why not?” And she said, “Well, they’re basically only for boys. When I brought my Harry Potter LEGO book to school, I left it in my locker because I was afraid that people would make fun of me. I said that I forgot my book when I really didn’t. I took 10 minutes reading it when nobody was around because I didn’t want anyone to see. I wanted to read the book but didn’t want the other kids to see me and make fun of me.” When I asked her what made her think that LEGOs was only for boys, she said, “Most boys really play LEGOs, and I haven’t seen any girls play with them. Plus, they’re always in the boys section at the store.” She then said, “I have seen ‘girl’ LEGO’s, but they’re pretty stupid. On the commercials it makes them look really weird and all princessy and most girls don’t like that. Some girls like Harry Potter and stuff and we like regular LEGOs, but it feels like those are just for boys.” Wow, and guess what, I haven’t actually talked with this daughter about how I feel about this issue! Since she’s my biggest LEGO fan, I didn’t want to say negative things about the product to her. Girls have certainly gotten the message that LEGOs are not for them, and if LEGO would change the way they market all of their products to be more gender neutral, I believe that it would begin to change the girls’ minds.
We would love for you to email LEGO’s and tell them that you would like for them to change their marketing to be more gender neutral so that boys and girls can imagine themselves playing with all LEGO sets. We would love for LEGO to get more letters from kids letting them know what they think about their gendered approach. While you’re writing, be sure to ask them why they haven’t responded to a petition from over 50,000 customers and a meeting request from girl experts and activists.
Here are the email addresses for the LEGO executives that need to hear from you:
They need to hear from kids who love LEGOs too, so if your child write a letter and you don’t mind sharing it, please feel free to post it on my Facebook page or in the comments section to this post.