Made of Plastic

LEGO

It must be easy to be a LEGO figure.

For starters, you know exactly who you are: you’re Johnny Thunder, or Flex, or the Brickster. Even superheroes have it easy: Peter Parker and Spider-man are each their own person. No need to deal with secret identities. No identity crises. No need to go on self-discovering journeys or intense soul-searching.

You never have bad hair days. If your hair sucks, you can just pop it off and replace it with something more suitable. Or a hat.

You don’t have to worry about body image. Everyone’s got the same two legs, two arms, torso and a head. And despite the introduction of multiple skin tones, racism doesn’t seem to be a problem among the LEGO figures. Despite a majority-yellow population, there doesn’t seem to be any yellow-supremacist sets at play.

You don’t have to deal with emotions, because you wear your emotion on your face. One static emotion. Maybe two, if there’s another face on the back of your head. But you never have to navigate the mucky waters of uncertainty.

As The Simpson’s LEGO episode also pointed out, you never have to feel pain. Nothing can really hurt you if you’re made of interchangeable plastic parts. There’s no such thing as sickness or disease among LEGO figures. You can even get sawed in half, decapitated, amputated and just put yourself back together. In fact, if health care is this easy, why are there even LEGO doctors?

But would everything be awesome if you were a LEGO figure?

Probably not.

Because it’s not only the good things that make us who we are: it’s also the bad. Our bad hair days and our identity crises are a part of us as well. It’s not always pleasant; sometimes we have to confront our emotions, or face bigotry, or cope with loss. Pain is a daily occurrence, but only the wise can see that there is purpose behind it. We all have our own burdens. We all have our own shortcomings. It’s the stuff we’re made of, both the good and the bad. We aren’t perfect. We can’t fit into molds—but we can break them. We can change. We can grow. And we can do it with a smile on our face.

We’re not LEGO, people. We’re just people.

And none of us are interchangeable.

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