Changing Kids’ Gender Stereotypes
There is no question that getting rid of kids’ gender stereotypes is long overdue. But that’s not just for the girls. First, I want my son to see his female friends as equal to his male friends. And second, I want him to know that just because he is a boy, he doesn’t have to be the tough guy all the time and that it’s a-okay to believe friendship is magic.
Earlier this month, on International Women’s Day, I thought a bit about the characters that are influencing them now in children’s shows as they consume media. I realized things have come a long way since I was a little girl. Sure, we had Princess Leia and She-Ra on Masters of the Universe, but that was pretty much it – and even those two kind of got second billing. I want my daughter to grow up with more than just a handful of princesses in her TV shows.
A lot of the shows my kids watch have impressive female leaders.
These girls mean business. But I have to say, the one that makes me most excited about the future of gender stereotypes is one of my son’s favourites…Lego Ninjago. Season 5 is airing right now on Netflix.
And it’s really worth a watch – especially with the highly anticipated (in our household anyway) Lego Ninjago film hitting the big screen in September.
I can almost hear you rolling your eyes as I’m typing this but hear me out. I know it starts off in Season 1 as the typical “boy show”. The gang of Ninjas is truly brought together by a quest to save one of their sisters – Nya. Through the first 4 seasons, she’s in the mix, but she’s not the hero. She definitely holds her own and she might be the smartest of the bunch, but she’s still someone’s kid sister – and a girl.
Now we’re getting to the part that matters. In Season 5 *spoiler alert*, Nya reaches her full potential. She becomes a Ninja. And not just any Ninja, a very cool water Ninja – in exactly the same kind of uniform as the boys. She’s not pink. Nya is not curvy or shorter or anything different. She’s just a Ninja. Oh, and by “just” I mean she’s JUST the ninja that saves them all.
No damsels in distress here. She trains hard. Plus, she shows mental and emotional strength. And, she’s smart as all get out. Go Nya!
This isn’t some small production or a quirky show that gets a few viewers. It’s the Lego franchise. This show is pretty huge. And it’s a sign. We need to ditch gender stereotypes for good. And change is coming.
As a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I do receive complimentary product from #Netflix as part of our ongoing partnership. All opinions are my own.