Lego has often been seen as a brand on the front lines of making playtime a gender-neutral place for kids.
But mums are outraged about its latest “column” in Lego Magazine, dubbed “Emma’s Beauty Tips,” that shows little girls what face shape they have and what haircuts would look best with that face shape.
Sharon Holbrook, a mother, wrote for the New York Times’ parenting blog, about what happened when her daughter came across Lego’s hairstyle tips in its latest issue.
My 7-year-old wants to know if she has an oval face. Why? Because “oval faces can often have almost any style haircut because almost everything looks great on this face shape!” Her sudden concern with her hairstyle “looking great” comes courtesy of her new Lego Club Magazine, which included “Emma’s Beauty Tips” in the March-April 2015 Lego Club Magazine.
She is 7. My little girl, the shape of her face, and whether her haircut is flattering are none of Lego’s concern. It wasn’t even her concern until a toy magazine told her to start worrying about it.
It’s an interesting editorial decision from Lego, which, in the fall of 2014, was heavily praised by media outlets when an instruction sheet from one of its 1974 toy sets appeared on Reddit.
“A lot of boys like dollhouses,” it reads. “A lot of girls like spaceships.”
The memo appeared all over the internet, applauding Lego for taking a bold stance nearly 40 years ago, when the idea that “boys wear blue and girls wear pink” was very much alive and accepted.
“Perhaps naïvely, I had placed a certain amount of trust in Lego and its apparently good intentions,” Holbrook writes, “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.'”
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