Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When my son Webster was about 2 years old, he inherited a large fully equipped bright pink doll house.  He was not yet conditioned to associate the color or the function with a traditional toy for girls and he loved it.  His play involved putting out fires in the building, Spiderman fighting Venom on the roof, and rescuing the dolls from dinosaur attacks. Meanwhile, girls visiting for playdates had tea parties, put the dolls to bed, and made dinner in the kitchen.  Fast forward a year or so to Webster sitting in a sandbox playing with a boy a couple of years older than him. Webster picks up a pink shovel and his play date quickly points out that pink is for girls and thus initiates the beginning of the end for the pink doll house.

I think it has been fairly well established that blue is the preferred color by the human race regardless of any diversity factors.  There have been some research results indicating that women prefer the red-blue side of the spectrum compared to the green-blue spectrum favored by men. I say “indicating,” as for me the jury is still very much out on those findings and I think our societal pink-pushing for girls is entirely environmental   So when the letter to Lego from 7-year-old Charlotte went viral, highlighting two flaws in the Lego product suite; lack of color variety and action adventure themes in the girl section, I cheered for her. I cheered for her bravery to point out these flaws, I cheered for her will to attempt to make a difference not just for her but for the girls around her but I also paused to wonder what happened to the power of imagination. 

That girl in the Lego picture is me. Well not literally me but a close replicate.  There were no girl Lego box sets when I grew up and it never occurred to me that this should hold me back.  I built from imagination and I was certainly not alone in doing so.  I drew from my one big container of Lego parts the same way I encourage my son to build today. So yes we should absolutely push for change and I support and salute those who do; in parallel though let’s not allow ourselves to be “boxed” in because if you really want to be a dragon slayer, there is already a dragon slayer set waiting to be customized by you and your magnificent imagination. 

"I think the key is for women not to set any limits."
— Martina Navratilova

1 comment:

  1. Love this. I too grew up with a lego bin and primary colored bricks. i built houses for my barbies. They were well decorated houses though with thoughtfully placed furniture ;)