Last year LEGO announced a new line of toys called LEGO Friends. This line was specifically targeted for young girls–because you know, girls were never allowed to play with LEGOs before. Those other LEGOs they made, they were for boys. At first this new line sounded promising. LEGO said they had a team that represented nine different nationalities to ensure the characters would be diverse.
Yet when the five characters were revealed they were all white girls in skirts with only one exception. This doesn’t seem to reflect a racially diverse world or a diverse array of personalities. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a punk LEGO character or one with Middle Eastern features? Or maybe a character with glasses? Maybe one who wasn’t thin as a twig?
Lida Fried (of Adafruit Industries and the only female engineer to be featured on the cover of Wired magazine) totally agrees. She, Adafruit, and LEGO artist Bruce Lowell worked together to create a new character that did more than hangout at Salons, Cafes, and ride horses. (Seriously, those are your only options in the LEGO Friends’ world!)
Together they created Ladyada, a super cool, pink-haired engineer with a totally curious cat. And guess what? Her play set isn’t all “pretty” pinks and purples, it looks like a real lab! Complete with computers, tools, and equipment.
Look, we’re not opposed to pinks and purples or Cafes, we’d just like the world to know girls are interested in ALL kinds of things. You can wear a pink dress and still love science, people. This is the kind of feminism we at Gurl can totally get behind. None of that, “Girls Rule, Boys Drool” business. A woman saw an issue, took the steps she could to help fix it, and didn’t have to diminish anyone in doing so.
If you think Ladyada is a great idea, you can help her get sold in stores! Adafruit Industries took the initiative in coming up with the concept on their own, but LEGO will only consider selling Ladyada if she can get 10,000 votes! So vote here and show the world what girl power can do.
Did you ever play with “boys’ toys” when you were a kid? Let us know in the comments!