Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What It Is

The above image, from a vintage Lego ad, strikes me for two reasons. For one thing, this type of adorable androgynous-dressing child  has always been one of the absolute favorite things of my mother. Her 70s era feminism meant that, even though she herself loves girly things like dolls and tea sets and Beatrix Potter, I was also encouraged to play with Legos, Matchbox cars, and a baseball mitt. For this I will always be grateful. Thanks, Mama! Show her a kid even littler than the girl above--a toddler walking around with short hair in jeans and a red tee-shirt where you can't tell if the kid is a girl or a boy, and she is over the moon.

The second reason the above ad made me stop in my tracks is that the little girl in it bears a strong and striking resemblance to one of my best friends in grade school--not just her features, though that alone is uncanny, but that sparkle of cleverness and mischievousness in her eye, the clear indications of creativity and rambunctiousness. Although my friend was not a redhead, and I know (thanks, Facebook!) what she grew up to look like as a woman, I like to imagine that the girl in the photo grew up to be this lady:

The Lego image was sourced from Swiss Miss and the above illustration is by Samantha Groenestyn, from her very fine blog The Duchess, which I recently discovered thanks to Ms. Jen Bekman (with thanks, too, to Maria Popova for her cogent thinking and timely reminders about crediting curation as well as content).

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