Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Barbie - when I grow up...

And a slightly different version:

I can't help think that as lovely as this ad is it should have shown a Barbie that wasn't a ballet dancer. Not that ballet dancers aren't wonderful and that it isn't a magical impressive career - it's just that it's so barbie and so girly. I'd like to have seen vet Barbie or doctor barbie at the end.

In any case it's a wonderful advert, a lovely idea and a break-through for the brand. When I was growing up my Mum wouldn't buy me Barbies because she said that they were an unrealistic view of women - with their huge boobs, tiny waists and feet. She didn't want me to think that's what I should look like. I love my Mum and her feminism. This is an advert that seeks to talk to women like my mum. Clever move Barbie. Clever move.


Giles Phelps said...

Amy ~ have seen this?

i think the team working on the Barbie Ad did....

I can just hear the Planner, "we need to get parents to see Barbie dolls in a more positive way, so they will buy their daughters barbie this christmas. If they see Barbie as a modern roll model"

i've just ordered my Barbie Action Helicopter, i believe it comes in pink

Amy I'm with your mum, I do feel it's manipulative.

the grown up reality is this:

Welshaims said...

Scary stuff Giles. God how awful that I watched that makeup video all the way through with fascination. SAd. That's what it is. After everything my Mum did for me I'm still interested to know how you can look like a Barbie doll.

The Nike ad is good. maybe barbie did copy. The sport ad is less manipulative I feel and more like a good message.

However I would like to stand up for the way girls play with dolls. While I am in no way saying that barbies are good roll models, playing with dolls is a learning experience. Personally I am the type of person that role-plays scenarios in preparation for confrontations, issues etc. Even now I talk to myself when I'm alone and play out what I would say to someone in my head if a situation arose. This helps me straighten out what my view is and sometimes even stops me from saying things I could regret.

The problem is that if little girls learn and practice for life with dolls, they won't ever chose dolls that are ugly, or over-weight, or have muffin tops. Children are naturally drawn to beauty. It's hard-wired into all of us. So what can Barbie do? I'd say that Barbie are making the right moves. If only they would stop making everything pink.

Giles Phelps said...

I think Playmobile and Lego, are far better toys for learning about interaction, confrontation and issues ect.

i often talk to myself too, play out a scenario in my mind.

i did not have dolls and i include GI Joe / Action Man in that one

i did have StarWars "Action Figures"

are they dolls, i think so?!

a big part of play, is creating scenarios. toys that can help a child do this are fantastic.

Welshaims said...

Personally I love Playmobile and Lego and my Mum was very happy to buy me these when I was small. Star Wars action figures count. Point taken - there is no need for children to have to play with Barbies in particular. But I think it would be a battle to stop a little girl who wants to. My Mum decided that I would only be bought educational toys. My Aunty took me for the day and bought me a My little pony and a Care Bear. Mum was distraught, I was delighted. I guess what I am trying to say is that in a culture where genders are so divided by culture from the word go, it's hard to stop the influence of Barbie. So if you can't stop Barbie, you may as well applaud Barbie's efforts to portray careers for women. They do need to try harder though...Ballet dancer doesn't cut it.