Sorry I haven’t posted in a while… A lot of cool topics have come and go that I wish I wrote about, but felt it could lead to other things. So sometimes it’s best to just stay quiet.
Today I want to talk about Barbie’s new image.
Growing up, I loved my Barbies. But to be honest… I never felt there was a divide, that I (a hispanic kid) wasn’t being represented in this brand. I was lost in my own world of play. But growing up, going to school, gaining perspective of diversity and multiculturalism, I saw how Barbie was no longer a toy that was part of this new generation.
Studying gender roles and gender reconstruction through pop culture, I realized Barbie contributed to the misconception and construction of what it is to be a woman (mostly in aesthetics) and they were not doing a good job at it (let’s be real).
I’m pretty sure we’ve also seen that one study or article about how unrealistic Barbie’s body is if it was a real life body.
I found this very interesting because I never realized growing up how Barbie’s bodies is really not ideal.
So why do I want to write about Barbie? Because their new campaign seems more… real.
Time magazine featured the plastic doll in an article explaining how their sales have dropped and continued to have horrible criticism. What I appreciated was how transparent they (Barbie) were about the situation and what they are doing to change this. It might’ve taken the brand a very very LONG time to get to this point but this only means we’re heading towards the right direction of accepting diversity. I do believe it’s the small things like toys that matter because the future is our children. They need to be surrounded with that will construction ideologies and discourse of acceptance and the realization that there isn’t one type of person (blonde hair, blue eyes, and tall women) out there.
I recommend looking at the video in the hyperlink above. It was nice to see their designers at work and seeing the different types of Barbies that will come out.
These are two out of many of the new Barbie dolls. They have designed them to be tall petite, curvy, different skin tones and hair styles. Where their feet match the size of their body and clothing varies from the type of Barbie you get.
I want to highlight a comment made by Jess Weiner, the Social Messaging Strategist of Barbie, where she says it’s not really the solution to the situation, it doesn’t answer all the questions but “it’s a nod to the complex eco system of what is happening”. The issue of body imagine and gender discourse is a HUGE TOPIC! The fact that Barbie is taking charge and is making progress, is a good step forward.
Today, I would be proud to buy a Barbie, before I wouldn’t have. Heck, when the caramel curvy Barbie comes out, I think I’ll buy it just for myself hahah and a bunch for my future niece.
Toys are meant for play, but it’s the small details that matter in helping the growth and mentality children can develop.
Food for thought. Enjoy. Play on.