I’m taking the following straight from a website called www.Change.Org. It’s pertinent to our continuing coverage and overall discussion of STEM and particularly as it relates to young women.
To read the entire passage, visit http://chn.ge/HW3ii0.
After 4 years of marketing research, LEGO has come to the conclusion that girls want LadyFigs, a pink Barbielicious product line for girls, so 5 year-olds can imagine themselves at the café, lounging at the pool with drinks, brushing their hair in front of a vanity mirror, singing in a club, or shopping with their girlfriends. As LEGO CEO Jorgan Vig Knudstorp puts it, “We want to reach the other 50% of the world’s population.”
As representatives of that 50%, we aren’t buying it! Marketers, ad execs, Hollywood and just about everyone else in the media are busy these days insisting that girls are not interested in their products unless they’re pink, cute, or romantic. They’ve come to this conclusion even though they’ve refused to market their products to the girls they are so certain will not like them. Who populates commercials for LEGO? Boys! Where in the toy store can you find original, creative, construction-focused LEGO? The boy aisle! So it’s no wonder LEGO’s market research showed girls want pink, already-assembled toys that don’t do anything. It’s the environment and the message marketers have bombarded girls with for over a decade because, of course, stereotypes make marketing products so much easier. But we remember playing with and loving LEGO when we were little girls.
As members of SPARK Movement to end the sexualization of girls, and partners of Powered By Girl, we are spreading the word that you, LEGO, are selling out girls. And thousands are listening and responding!
As Stephanie wrote in her SPARKmovement.org blog, “I can speak from personal experience and assure you, LEGO, that girls do like minifigs. They also like Star Wars and Harry Potter, and they like being creative and making up stories that involve adventures and good and evil and things blowing up. But if you keep on excluding them from your marketing vision, soon they will start to believe that they would rather have hot tubs and little plastic boobs.”
The latest on this dispute is that the two young women behind a petition on Change.org asking LEGO to rethink their marketing campaigns and achieve a more equitable gender balance in their toys will meet with company representatives tomorrow in New York City.