As I walked through Target this past weekend I came across a very bright colored aisle that really intrigued me, the Barbie aisle. I quickly took out my camera and this is what I encountered…
1.Spa to Fab! : Can her neckline be any lower?! and look, her nails change color! Don’t forget about that extra pair of wedges, they might come in handy while on the campaign trail(see #4). And no, you are no hallucinating, that’s a facial and those are cucumbers.
2. I can be…Floral Designer: Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being a florist, in my opinion it’s a very beautiful profession for any fan of the Kingdom Plantae. The issue here is that Barbie has a few career options, she can either be a florist, a professional spa customer, or she can just be a wife. What an abundance of choices.
3. Atomic Family Barbie: Self explanatory.
4. Barbie 2012: Here we go, a breath of fresh air. Oh wait…,”Barbie I Can Be… dolls and accessories let girls explore different roles and try on fabulous careers, including President of the United States! This inspiring and stylish Barbie doll wears a smart suit in her signature pink, of course! She accessorizes with a sophisticated pearl necklace and earrings.” (Mattel)
So what do little girls see when they walk through this aisle. We see them given a number of options that promote the wrong message. Now more than ever we need to focus on teaching young girls to be comfortable with themselves and who they truly are. In addition to this, the toy companies further re enforce stereotypes of female roles. Barbie attempted to create something good with their “I Can Be” series of dolls but instead they turned it into a joke centered on fashion.
(Computer Engineer Barbie)