Legos; the toy building blocks parents curse when they step on one in the dark, has been taking steps to change their image over the last few years, trying to cater to both genders, not just boys. Perhaps those steps are going just a little too far. In the March-April edition of Lego Club Magazine, there was a page offering “Emma’s Beauty Tips” where they offer the readers tips on picking the best haircut for their face shape and encourages them to “experiment with bows, barrettes, and headbands!”
The Danish Company, founded in Billund, Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen had been, up to about 2008, notoriously geared towards boys. After a few hit and misses, in 2011, they launched Lego Friends, a product geared towards girls. While still keeping the creative construction element Legos are known for, they have softened the faces, making them more realistic, added brighter colors to their pieces, and made the sets more focused on activities girls would be interested in.
Lego Friends doubled the company expectations their first year and have continued to grow in popularity. While parents are not questioning the choice to introduce sets like beauty shops, cafés, and more accessories, what has them up In arms in their choice of offering beauty tips with toys geared towards the age ranges of four to twelve years old.
The article in question also included tips on blow drying or brushing your hair. This is not the first time Lego has been brought under scrutiny for what some parents consider a “sexist” attitude towards the differences in their products targeted for boys and for girls, but in an age of beauty identification, many feel they have taken it too far. The magazine has girls questioning their face shape and wondering if their hair style is appropriate.
With all of the backlash Lego received, they have since changed their page 5 article. It is now a fill in article about choosing an ice cream flavor. Maybe next month they will have an article about choosing the right outfit to go with a girl’s body shape to go with that ice cream!