Updated: Mar 9
I've heard plenty of "Barbie" comments in my time, all with a negative connotation. There's also been a ton of controversy over the years about her "unrealistic figure". I don't see anyone fat shaming stuffed animals! But in all reality, Barbie is a true power house and inspiration!
Here Are 5 Ways Barbie is Arguably the Best Role Model
She's Built Herself and Entire Brand
Mattel has hit a home run with branding from my perspective and diversifying a product line so that's admirable as a business woman. Their branding is so defined that Pantone 219C is officially been coined "Barbie Pink". They've built an empire out of the life that surrounds Barbie including her fashion, her friends, careers and so much more. They paved the way in marketing by sponsoring Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club program in 1955, became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children. Why do people assume she's an airhead with a "plastic life". If we took all the time and effort spent arguing about her waist measurement and instead diverted it towards discussing her work life and role as an example of an empowered female, then Barbie would become a way to talk to young girls about the careers they want, not the bodies they want.
She Pushes The Career Envelope
The iconic fashion doll has held more than 150 of careers during her reign, many of them ceiling breakers. She was an astronaut before any American, male or female, had landed on the moon. She became president in 1992, a title we’re still waiting for a real-life woman to share.
When she graduated in the early ‘60s, only 42.5 percent of women 25 and older held high school degrees. Only 5.8 percent of women in that age group held a bachelor's degree. She's also been a paleontologist, programmer and doctor. Now Mattel is honoring real-life "Sheroes" including Olympian Gymnast Gabby Douglas and Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin. That's quite a history Barbie.
Barbie taught women from the start that they can be much more in life than arm candy. In fact, that was Ken's job. Did anyone ever notice he never carried a job? From the get-go he was an accessory,"he owns her own house (a mansion)+ A car, a boat.
The man in her life is a supportive role her world doesn't revolve around him
She's A Philanthropist
She's known for kindness. I mean have you ever heard of Barbie leaving someone in the dust? She is always wanting to help and inviting more friends to join. In 2002, the Barbie brand debuted a worldwide cause-related program called "Barbie Cares Supporting Children in the ArtsT" dedicated to supporting arts education for children. This program, made possible with over $2 million donated by Mattel. In 2004, Barbie Princess and the Pauper is also a proud sponsor of St. Jude's Thanks and Giving program. This national program was created to benefit St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital -- the world's epicenter of pediatric medical research founded by entertainer Danny Thomas.
She Doesn't Care About The Haters
Forever and a day there has been the argument that her body is unrealistic but In all reality what isn't? Who is to say what the ideal or right body type is. But in the end, she's a toy. I don't hear people complaining that stuffed animals are unrealistic representations of real animals. When people focus on Barbie's body, they're subtly telling their kids that they should be concerned with women's bodies over their achievements and abilities. She has adapted and always been unapologetically her. Someone that they can relate to and want to strive to be like.
At the end of the day....
A role model shouldn’t be someone we imitate; instead they should be someone who opens up possibilities and choices of who we can be; someone whose qualities and characteristics should serve as the underpinning of our future selves. This badass babe has done anything she set her mind to while also wearing the best dresses. Kudos to her!