Lego toys have always seemed pleasantly gender-neutral. Perhaps that's why the new Lego Friends line for girls has triggered a fair bit of protest from some health and equal-rights organizations.
The new line, whose characters sport slim figures and stylish clothes, will contribute to gender stereotyping that promotes body dissatisfaction in girls, said Carolyn Costin, an eating disorders specialist and founder of the Monte Nido Treatment Center in Malibu.
Online petitions have been started to protest the line, which includes a Butterfly Beauty Shop and a Your Fashion Designer Workshop. The International Assn. of Eating Disorder Professionals said the toys were "devoid of imagination and promote overt forms of sexism."
The toys send girls a message "that being pretty is more important than who you are or what you can do," Costin said in a statement.