I love Barbies, yet I also consider myself a feminist. When my daughter was younger I encouraged her to play with Barbies and probably went overboard buying her every different variety there was to buy because I loved them so much (way more than her it turns out). However, there are many women who think that Barbies are damaging to our young girls and that they only encourage poor body image and emphasize perfect looks over reality.
Taking that criticism to heart, Mattel has decided to rebrand Barbie with a new ad campaign that encourages little girls to know that they can be whatever they want to be.
“We want to remind the world what Barbie stands for. Founded by a female entrepreneur and mother in 1959, the Barbie brand has always represented the fact that women have choices. This ongoing initiative is designed to remind today’s parents that through the power of imagination, Barbie allows girls to explore their limitless potential.”
The ad shows hidden cameras capturing real reactions when these little girls imagine they are anything they want to be such as professors and doctors and coaches and businesswomen, instead of wondering what kind of dream car they’ll buy or what furniture they want for their dream home. It’s really a brilliant piece of advertising that shows that our girls can play with dolls and still aspire to be strong, independant women.
Watch the video below and let me know what you think of Barbie’s latest ad. Do you let your girls play with Barbies or do you think they enforce a gender stereotype that you’d rather not encourage in your home?