Deciding to take matters into her own hands, the tiny feminist sat down and wrote a letter. “To Lego magazine people,” it began, “can you put some more girls in your magazine please?”
Most of us are familiar with the story of Meghan Markle’s childhood campaign to change a sexist advertising slogan she noticed during an advert for washing up liquid. The future royal took on multi-national company Procter & Gamble by writing a letter to request they change the slogan “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans” – and won.
But it may be time for the Duchess of Sussex’s story to step aside – there’s a new pint-sized campaigner around. Actor and director Samuel West’s four-year-old daughter wrote a letter to Lego magazine after she noticed there was only one female character in the magazine – and even she only spoke to agree with a man.
West, who has appeared in films such as Notting Hill, took to his Twitter to share the letter, alongside screenshots of the offending publication.
Addressing Lego directly, he explained how his daughter noticed the imbalance of male and female characters as she flicked through her new magazine.
“Dear @LEGO_Group,” West begins. “My daughter, four, loves Lego, football and blue, so she was delighted to get the new Lego City magazine.”
He continues: “Then she noticed that of the 29 people who talk in it, only one is female, and she speaks once, to agree with a man.
“So my daughter wrote you a letter.”
Attached to the tweet is the screenshot of the four-year-olds letter, addressed to “Lego magazine people”. Her request is simple: “Can you put some more girls in your magazine please?”
The debate over gender representation in children’s toys and entertainment is nothing new. For years, campaigners have fought to make toys less gendered, by steering girls away from solely playing with toys such as dolls and pretend kitchen sets and encouraging them to have a go with tool kits and cars.
But the problem is, girls not only need to be encouraged to play with these toys regardless of their gender – they need to see female characters represented in the media they consume, too; according to a 2019 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender and Media, there are twice as many male as female characters in family films.
“Everything about the letter is wonderful: sentiment, content, handwriting, tone,” reads one reply.
“That’s some great handwriting for a 4-year-old,” another begins. “And I love that she’s making herself heard at such a tender age. You go, girl!”
In a happy turn of events, West didn’t have to wait very long for a reply, either.
In a direct reply to West’s tweet, LEGO said: “We think your daughter rocks! We look forward to receiving her letter. Like you, we believe LEGO play is for everyone & that our magazines need to reflect that.
“We’ll review future editions to make sure this is the case,” they continued. “We hope your daughter will always love LEGO, football and blue.”
Apparently, according to a follow-up tweet from West, his daughter is “pleased, and feels heard,” although she’s waiting for a full reply from the magazine once they receive the letter, which was sent yesterday.
However, there may be something even more exciting around the corner than simply a reply. In a statement given to HuffPost UK, a Lego spokesperson said they would be extending an invitation to her to help them edit an upcoming issue of the magazine.
“We’re confident that she can help us improve the magazine and that we can learn a lot from her,” the spokesperson said. “After all, children are our role models.”
Forget being our role model: we’re pretty sure she’ll be our boss in 25 years’ time.