LEGO is releasing a new set, LEGO Women of NASA, and it represents a significant step forward for the company and for little girls around the world. Here’s why:
When my morning Twitter scroll landed on this news, I couldn’t believe my eyes. LEGO, the most played and beloved game by boys all over the world, will finally get some badass women on their catalogue. Why so surprised, you ask? It only took decades, after all.
From its first appearance in the 1930s, LEGO sets have always been a gift of preference for little boys, interested in constructing little plastic worlds. Everybody knows that girls prefer little fake babies that pee when squeezed, duh.
But now, all this will change. This Christmas, little girls (and hopefully boys) will finally be able to hold LEGO figurines of a scientist that looks like them. Plastic ones that are, nonetheless, inspired by real ones. In that moment, holding that little plastic person, that girl will be convinced that she, too, can go to space.
It doesn’t matter how many real ones she might have seen on the news (not many), playing is what is what gets into kids’ heads. Finally, the main attraction will not be a fake ironing set or a blonde plastic doll with big boobs.
LEGO women of NASA is the creation of Maia Weinstock, an MIT employee who proposed the project through the LEGO Ideas program. It’s a 231-piece set that features Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel in space, the astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman and computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.
When presenting the set, Maia said: “With this project, I wanted to spotlight a fantastic group of women who have made seminal contributions to NASA history. My dream would be to know that the first human on Mars — or an engineer or computer scientist who helped her get there — played with the LEGO Women of NASA as a child and was inspired to pursue a STEM career as a result.”
After films like Hidden Figures, we are maybe becoming more aware and used to a different representation of women. This set tough, it’s more important that all of that. Showing little girls that they can do anything is as important as showing little boys that their friends, classmates and sisters can. Changing the world one plastic brick at the time.
So, thank you LEGO. Even better, thank you Maia Weinstock and the 10,000 people who voted for this project to become a reality.
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LEGO’s Women of NASA set will be in shops from the 1st of November for $24.99 (around 20 pounds).