Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Non-Gender-Normative Legos: The First 10

In my view, a good creative project is 1) one you have the time for, and 2) one that obsesses you a little bit. This project, for me, is both of those things. I get to work on it when Mabel wants to play with Legos together (which is often). And when I'm not working on it I find myself frequently thinking about it, coming up with new ideas. It all started because this winter Mabel became totally fascinated with Legos. Up till then she'd enjoyed the big Duplo blocks a lot, but once she discovered the little Lego bricks it was a whole new level of engagement--many weeks go by when this is the only toy she pulls out of the cupboard, again and again and again. Bill and I both love Legos. We loved them as kids. But once we set about buying her some for Christmas we discovered that things have changed since we were young: there are no longer just Legos--there are Legos and Lego Friends. Wanna know what that means? Boy Legos and girl Legos. Don't even get me started on how much I hate that fact, in particular, or the egregious stereotypical gendering of children's toys and products in general. Suffice to say: I hate it. A LOT. A day or two after Christmas I stuck some different heads on different bodies and took a picture and put it on Instagram with the caption "Lego, we love you, but your gender norms are bringing us down." And the more I looked at the skinny pretty girls and the macho firemen and EMT's, the more I felt it. But now and then you get lucky--instead of just stewing in helpless anger I discovered that the strong emotions I felt about this seemingly trivial (but really not trivial at all) topic were in fact an inspiration for creativity. And thus the #nongendernormativelegos project was born. Is the hashtag sweeping the nation? Nope. As of right now I'm the only single person in the world using it. But do I both enjoy the heck out of this, and does it help me feel like I'm doing just a teensy tiny something, placing my bean on the side of the scale that's about raising our kids with forward-looking gender politics in mind? Well, yes. Silly as it may seem, resoundingly yes. So, without further ado, I give you the first 10 images in what is bound to be a much longer series.

Above: Fashion Guy Goes Shopping in Paris

Tomboy College Student Skater Girl on Her Way to Class

Plus-Size DJ Girl

High-Powered Business Guy Is Also a Dedicated Yoga Enthusiast

The Chef and the Veterinarian Have Adopted a Baby Girl

Mechanic. Nuff Said. 

Charismatic Bad-Boy Little Person (His Style Icon is Tyrion Lannister)

Girls Who Don't Have Pretty Faces Relax by the Pool

The Bearded Lady Walks Her Kid to School

Young Professional Woman Shares a Tender Moment With Her Castro-Dwelling Grandfather

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