From the basic simple form developed by Ole Kirk Christiansen that came with no directions, to specific model kits and licensed theme-kits and now to Lego girls- What does this trajectory say? Is what is best for children’s development the same as what is best for a company’s bottom line? Check out the 40 million dollar marketing campaign to launch “Lego is for Girls”
This following article in Business Week magazine gives a detailed description of the rationale behind the development of Lego figures for girls. It touches on the question of the meaning of “beauty “for young girls. It does not look at the question of what “beauty” means to all young children? This is a very complex question. The rationale for Lego figures for girls seems to adhere to the stereotype that “harmony,” “friendlier colors” are a girl thing and that “mastery” is for boys.
“The Lego Friends team is aware of the paradox at the heart of its work: To break down old stereotypes about how girls play, it risks reinforcing others. “If it takes color-coding or ponies and hairdressers to get girls playing with Lego, I’ll put up with it, at least for now, because it’s just so good for little girls’ brains,” says Lise Eliot. A neuroscientist at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago.
A current Facebook campaign by Art Jonak reaching tens of thousands features this ad and text.
It’ s interesting to compare advertisers concept of beauty in 1981 to today.