02/26/2014 02:50 EST | Updated 04/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Do gendered toys like LEGO limit creativity?

Decades after she posed for a LEGO advertisement, Rachel Giordano says the company's gendered toys hamper creativity for children. 

"It limits children and their ability to create," said Giordano in an interview with CBC Radio's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition. 

Giordano, now a naturopathic doctor in Seattle, was featured in a 1981 print advertisement for LEGO's Universal Building Set. Thirty-three years later, educational psychologist Lori Day sent Giordano LEGO's Heartlake News Van — a buildable toy — and asked her to put it together and reflect on her experiences then and now.

"The LEGO van that I built, it was very planned," said Giordano. "So when you built it, what you got out of it was a van, but inside was very girl-specific. A hairdryer, a lipstick, and not what normal news vans would look like."

Photograher Anita Nowacka snapped a new photo of Giordano and the van. The image, juxtaposed with the original shot of Giordano, has been making the rounds online.

Giordano says she's surprised by the attention the images have been getting.

"I'm just grateful to be able to be part of this empowerment."