Playing with toys can benefit children immensely, from improving their spatial ability to teaching them social skills. Unfortunately, there are some lessons you wish children wouldn't learn from playing with toys... or wouldn't have to learn at all.

With such a strong distinction between toys for boys and toys for girls in our culture, children unfortunately learn early on that there are differences between the two genders. In general, boys learn that they can be builders and superheroes while girls can be mothers and fashion designers. We've all seen this.

However, sometimes lessons like these can come from the most unexpected places. Freelance writer Sharon Holbrook recently wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Motherlode blog about finding beauty tips for girls in the April 2015 issue of the LEGO Club Magazine, and the Internet does not think everything is awesome.

"My little girl, the shape of her face, and whether her haircut is flattering are none of Lego's concern," Holbrook wrote in her op-ed. "It wasn't even her concern until a toy magazine told her to start worrying about it."

The LEGO Club Magazine article was part of the LEGO Friends line of toys, which is specifically targeted to girls ages 5 to 12 with your typical pink and purple, girl-friendly products, including a beach house, horse ranch and shopping mall. However, Holbrook doesn't really take issue with the way LEGO presents these toys to girls. In fact, her 7-year-old daughter seems to love the brightly colored toys so much, Holbrook is just glad they've gotten her into building, which is actually a good thing if you think about it. But to send girls the message that what they look like matters from such a young age when the boys reading LEGO Club Magazine don't receive the same lesson just seems wrong.

Apparently, many moms think so too. Head over to LEGO's Twitter page right now, and you'll see that the toy company apologized to several concerned parents regarding the LEGO Club Magazine story.

Not to leave anyone out, Elbe Sperling, the creator of The Brick Bible, also responded with some brutally honest beauty tips for the male LEGO executives.

Compared to other toy companies, LEGO is actually quite progressive in terms of its presentation of gender. While traditional LEGOs are often regarded as toys for boys, they're actually pretty gender neutral. Let's also not forget how Wyldstyle was pretty much the best and fiercest character in The LEGO Movie. Hopefully, this beauty tips article was just a misstep that won't happen again.

Photo: Wolfgang Lonien | Flickr

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