Remember when Barbie was your favourite sidekick? You’d take her everywhere with you. You loved her. She was your friend.
What happened? Why did the world turn its back on poor Barbs? She was so pretty, and had amazing clothes, and a rich, handsome boyfriend to take care of her. She lived in a castle and had a body that even photoshop couldn’t dream of. Ohhhhh, I get it now!
I guess there’s no use denying that Barbie wasn’t the greatest role model for young girls. She perpetuated a very particular stereotype that was neither independent nor attainable. So it’s not surprising that Mattelhave seen the sales of Barbie fall, year on year, since 2011.
Thankfully, there is a lot more consideration, nowadays, as to the message we are sending to children. Some great organisations and individuals are making fantastic strides towards changing the face of toys (literally, in the case of Sonia Singh of Tree Change Dolls who repaints Bratz dolls; taking them from looking like intergalactic prostitutes to, well, humans). Toy Like Me are rallying to have all kinds disabilities and conditions represented by the global toy market, and let’s not forget Lammily who designed the doll with realistic proportions.
So, are Mattel joining forces with these campaigners to make Barbie more ‘real’? Not quite, but their current advert is definitely giving us a new message that we have found very refreshing.
Barbie is heading back to the world of imagination and she’s doing so as a Veterinarian, a Professor, a football coach, a very successful business woman, a palaeontologist, the list goes on. More importantly, she’s going there with a new generation of children who are seeing a world of endless possibilities.
With this beautiful advert putting the emphasis on the potential and opportunities these kids have, and not the stereotypes they should conform to, we’re hoping that this marks the beginning of a new era for Barbie.
See for yourself >>>