Girls and Legos – Oh My!

When you think of girls playing with Legos do you think of this?

Or this?

It's probably no surprise that I like the top image better!  And I wish I could say the same for Lego executives. In the next few days Lego will roll out brand new sets designed for girls ages 5 and up, with the theme, "Friends."  The sets were developed with four years (!) of research into what girls want from Legos. Some bloggers I love are trying to raise Lego's consciousness and I'm backing them up. Powered by Girl - PBG started the ball rolling. Supporters include  Pigtail Pals Reel Girl  Spark Summit.

My research was admittedly with a smaller sample. My daughters loved and played with Legos constantly back in the days before any "sets."  They built their own people from the basic red, green, blue & yellow pieces because we didn't have any people in our tub of pieces.  This led to people with wheels for feet and people of all shapes and sizes.

My point isn't to be nostalgic. Let's ask Lego to expand their vision of girls and their interests in the next round of sets they design for girls.

Just a suggestion, Lego:  Take the four girls from The 4th Motor team of Wisconsin who won the 2011 First Robotics Lego League North American open robotics challenge (1st all-girl team to win)!

One of the team shared some of their experiences and hard work in New Moon Girls' March-April 2011 magazine and on newmoon.com.  And here's some video of them winning the N.A. competition. All this, and a little herstory about the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, encourages more girls to do creative problem-solving with Legos - inspiration, pure and simple.

This winning team of girls should lead development of Lego's next set for girls. I'm more than glad to help Lego learn out how to share power with girls in developing great products for them without reducing to lowest-common-denominator stereotypes.  It can be done and sustained, as we've done for nearly 20 years now.

What do you say Lego?

If you want to share this idea with Lego write to them and also post your letter here or on Facebook:

LEGO Systems, Inc.
555 Taylor Road
P.O. Box 1138
Enfield, CT 06083-1138

Change Girls’ Sexualization in Media: Where to Start? Twitter Chat Dec 5 #girlsnow

Sexualization of girls in media is increasing. Parents want practical ways to counter the harmful effects. A Twitter chat Dec 5 – 8.30 pm cst #girlsnow will help. ABC-TV’s 20/20 called the segment “Too Young to Be Sexy?”  It focused on parents who sexualized their young daughters to help them compete in girls’ beauty pageants.

The segment included great comments from Dana Edell of Spark Summit – one of New Moon Girls’ sister organizations who support girls, young women and parents in fighting against the increasing sexualization of girls in media.

Sadly, the 20/20 segment stopped stop of talking about the solutions offered by a growing group of small businesses and non-profits including: American Psychological Association, Pigtail Pals, Shaping Youth, SheHeroes, Powered by Girl, Hardy Girls, Princess Free Zone,  Girls Inc., Geena Davis Institute, About-Face, Girl Scouts of the USA, and more.

So we’re going to help you with solutions!  Join us Dec 5 at 6.30 pm pst – 7.30 mst, 8.30 cst, 9.30 est for the #girlsnow twitter & blog chat on solutions that parents, teachers and youth workers can use every day.

We want to hear your solutions then, too!

Monday Dec 5  at 9.30 pm est/8.30 cst/7.30 mst/6.30 pst for a chat on Twitter. Follow hash tag  #girlsnow. Add it to the end of your tweets so we can see your question or comment. 

Before the chat  follow:

  • @Nancy_Newmoon
  • @PigtailPals
  • @BeABetterWoman
  • @AudreyBrashich
  • @DrRobyn

and others on the list below .

If you’re not on Twitter you can still participate live on my blog by clicking this sentence. We want to hear from you!

If you can’t make it live, the transcript will be available afterward at my blog.

My #GirlsNow c0-advocates are:

Amy Harman of Becoming A Better Woman

Dr. Robyn Silverman, author of Good Girls Don’t Get Fat

Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals

Audrey Brashich, author of All Made Up

More participants in this special chat are:

Amy Jussel, Founder of Shaping Youth, @shapingyouth

Lyn Mikel Brown, Professor, Colby College,  author of Packaging Girlhood, co-founder of SPARK and Hardy Girls Healthy Women, @lynmikel

Dana Edell,  @sparksummit

Megan Williams, Executive Director, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, @hghw

Jennifer Shewmaker, Professor, Abilene Christian University, @drjenshewmaker

Jennifer Berger, Founder of About-Face, @aboutfacesf

 

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