Lego accused of sexist advertising

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, In The News, Decor, Toys, Shopping

lego peopleIf you were to walk into my eight-year-old's bedroom right now, it would not be immediately apparent that it is a girl's room. There walls are bluish, there are Hot wheels strewn across the floor, a soccer ball in the corner and a book about underwater exploration on the bed. But upon closer inspection, you would also notice a bin full of Barbie dolls, a box of jewelry and a poster of Nick Jonas on the wall - pretty good clues that a girl lives there.

I've tried to instill in her the idea that there is no such thing as a 'boy' toy and a 'girl' toy. If it is fun to play with, then by all means play with it. Even though boys and girls do tend to gravitate towards different types of play, I see no reason to limit her. But according to Sweden's Trade Ethical Council against Sexism in Advertising (ERK), Danish toymaker Lego has no problem promoting outdated gender stereotypes by blatantly separating the boys from the girls.

ERK has blasted Lego for a recent catalog that features a photo of a girl playing in her pink room and a boy in his blue room. The girl's picture is captioned "Everything a princess could wish for..." and features a pony, a princess and a castle. On another page, a boy is pictured playing with a fire station, fire trucks, a police station, and an airplane with the caption "Tons of blocks for slightly older boys." According to ERK, this type of portrayal promotes a stereotype that is degrading to boys and girls alike. Lego defends the catalog, pointing out that other photos in the catalog show boys and girls playing together.

With the holidays approaching, I have no doubt that we will soon be bombarded with toy catalogs featuring similarly stereotypical images. Arguing against this type of marketing may seem like much ado about nothing to some, but I agree that these types of images send a message to young children about what they should and should not be playing with.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.