In August 2014, LEGO launched a new set of toys, female scientist figures. Though these toys may be small, the impact made is not. They follow this fascinating movement that is currently happening, by organisations such as Let Toys Be Toys, which are addressing issues that occur in gendering of toys for boys and girls.
These toys are a landmark for more than one reason, they are not only a mainstream example of a toy aimed at all genders that feature strong female representation but they also represent women in a non-sexualised form. Most examples of female scientists in general media shows them in an aesthetically pleasing or sexualised form, and you can also see this in a lot of the toys representing women in science, such as the rather famous doll toy shown below. In this depiction of a female scientist, the white coat has been altered and shortened to hug the unobtainable figure of the doll and the stiletto heels are clearly not regulation laboratory footwear and would not pass health and safety policy!
The science toys for girls also don’t seem to reflect typical science areas in a similar way to the science toys marketed towards boys. The science toys for girls often are belittling depictions of ‘science for girls’, where the impression is that girls would only be interested in the scientific topics that revolve around the beauty industry, such as make up or perfume (see examples below). Even the traditional science toys for children are altered to needlessly also market them towards girls, most often changing them to pink alternatives, giving the impression that girls can only fathom how to use a microscope if it is pink.