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New LEGO Friends Line Criticized for Gender-Role Stereotypes

Find out why this new line for girls from LEGO has sparked controversy among parents and experts.

Lyn Mikel Brown, an education professor and co-founder of a girl empowerment group, comments that these new characters, sporting pastel colors and enjoying activities such as getting makeovers, going to cafes or planning parties may be sending the wrong message to girls. It's as though there's only one way for girls to grow up, and it's to grow into this particular set of interests and patterns," Brown says. "And, in fact, those of us who work with girls know that's not true."

As a response to the gender-role controversy, an online petition was launched to urge LEGO to pull the line.

LEGO, which has been in the market since the 1950s, originally created its toys specifically for both boys and girls. But as the consumer trends evolved, the toy company started marketing its products almost exclusively to boys.

In an official statement, Mads Nipper, executive vice-president of the Denmark-based LEGO group, expressed, “We heard very clear requests from moms and girls for more details and interior building, a brighter color palette, a more realistic figure, role play opportunities and a story line that they would find interesting.”

Do you think that the new LEGO Friends Line for girls is offensive? Do you feel it’s boxing girls in the stereotype that they should act or grow up in the same manner that the characters behave? We’d love to know your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

Sources:

January 19, 2012. Susan Sharon. “New Lego Friends Line Sparks Gender-Role Controversy” mpbn.net

January 23, 2012. “Lego’s new line for girls spawns controversy” abclocal.go.com

January 26, 2012. Alexandra Sifferlin. “LEGO’s New ‘Friends’ Line for Girls: Offensive?” healthland.time.com

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