LEGO en­rages par­ents

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LEGO has re­cently launched ‘Beauty Sets’ aimed at young girls aged be­tween 6-12 years, a move that has left many a par­ent a lit­tle less than pleased. In a re­cent mag­a­zine spread ti­tled ‘Emma’s Beauty Tips’, which ap­pears in the March-April Yel­low Brick edi­tion of LEGO Club Mag­a­zine, the brand sug­gests hair­styles to its read­ers based on the shape of their faces.

The spread is tied to the lat­est ad­di­tion to LEGO’s con­struc­tion se­ries named LEGO Friends which is aimed at young girls be­tween the ages of 6 and 12 and which in­cludes sets for a hair sa­lon, a juice bar and a shop­ping mall. The sets have drawn mas­sive crit­i­cism from par­ents who see it as in­still­ing the cre­ation of a gen­der stereo­type that em­pha­sizes shop­ping, beauty and home­mak­ing for women. One mother wrote on a par­ent­ing blog for the New York Times, “My lit­tle girl, the shape of her face, and whether her hair­cut is flat­ter­ing are none of Lego’s con­cern. It wasn’t even her con­cern un­til a toy mag­a­zine told her to start wor­ry­ing about it.” In a state­ment is­sued by the Se­nior Direc­tor of Brand Re­la­tions at LEGO Sys­tems, Inc., Michael McNally ex­pressed his re­gret by say­ing, “We sin­cerely re­gret any dis­ap­point­ment [this prod­uct] may have caused. We value this feed­back and have al­ready shared with the LEGO Club team in or­der to pos­i­tively im­pact fu­ture sto­ries.”

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