In January, a 1981 Lego ad made the rounds on Reddit and social media. For some, the ad illustrated how ads back then adhered less stringently to gender roles.
The story behind the ad is even more compelling. It’s not only the brainchild of a female creative director, but the model herself is also a living embodiment of female empowerment. That little girl grew up to be Rachel Giordano, a now-37-year-old naturopathic (i.e., alternate medicine) doctor in Seattle.
As recounted in the Women You Should Know blog, Lori Day, an educational psychologist, consultant and parenting coach, tracked down Giordano through the magic of Facebook. A friend of a friend knew Giordano, and Day asked Giordano to pose for the picture (below) with Lego’s Heartlake City TV news van.
Giordano, a child model, was involved in many shoots, but remembered this one vividly. A member of the Ford Agency, the 3- or 4-year-old Giordano was given a pile of Legos and made her own creation. The clothes are also her own. As Giordano explained:
In 1981 Legos were ‘Universal Building Sets’ and that’s exactly what they were…for boys and girls. Toys are supposed to foster creativity. But nowadays, it seems that a lot more toys already have messages built into them before a child even opens the pink or blue package. In 1981, Legos were simple and gender-neutral, and the creativity of the child produced the message. In 2014, it’s the reverse: the toy delivers a message to the child, and this message is weirdly about gender.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
hmm “naturopathic doctor” could potentially be bad news or a role model that you wouldn’t want girls to look up to