I'm a Barbie Girl

This blog post will probably be the most controversial blog post I have ever written, which is pretty funny considering the topic. “You can be anything.” That is the slogan for Mattel’s Barbie Toy Line and that is exactly what Barbie represents to me. As a little girl I LOVED playing with my Barbie dolls, and I had a pretty good assortment of them too. I wasn’t the only child who had a love for Barbies, because in 1992 a barbie doll was sold every 2 minutes around the globe. Over the years I have developed a passionate opinion about the nature of Barbie, and quite frankly a love for Barbies.

Out of curiosity, do you know the motivation behind why Ruth Handler created Barbie Dolls? It was to subliminally ruin the self-esteem of little girls everywhere. She wanted all girls to have (or aspire to have)the equivalent human body measurements as her toy doll, meaning they be 6 feet tall, with a 39” bust, 18” waist, and 33” hips. Yup, that was intent behind creating the next big hit in the toy industry. I am hoping you realize how silly that sounds! With the way people discuss the toy brand, you would think that is true!

The reality is much different than that. It was created by a mother who wanted her daughter, and all little girls, to imagine all the potential they have in life. She saw her own child, Barbara (who the toy line is named after), playing with paper dolls and realized that the dolls at that time did not allow girls to create realistic situations in various careers and roles. It was about either fashion or playing mommy with a baby doll. Ruth wanted to create a doll that her daughter, and other girls, could easily play such imaginative situations with, and would ultimately help them understand that girls could do anything.

For decades, people have criticized the toy brand for promoting unhealthy body image and unrealistic body standards. I have never understood that argument. When I looked at a Barbie doll when I was a little girl I never thought to myself “I wish I looked like her” or “I wish my bust to waist ratio was like her.” I feel as though little Ciara wasn’t the exception, but rather the norm. People often say that kids have the kindest hearts, and just see people for who they are. I absolutely think that mentality carries over to how they play with their dolls. When they grab a Barbie doll they are imagining her interest, her talents, and her potential. They aren’t analyzing or critiquing what she looks like! When I played with Barbies I was making them play different jobs,and giving them goals to accomplish in their make believe world. I was drawn to a doll that could be or do anything. I mean, Barbie does have a pretty impressive resume, since 1959 Barbie has had over 150 careers.

As I sit here and type this, I look at my bookcase and see my George Washington Barbie and President Barbie right beside me. The feeling I get from these Barbies at 23 years old, is the same feeling I got from my Barbies when I was 5 years old, “I can be anything.” Change your mindset to see a Barbie doll through the innocent, imaginative, and hopeful eyes of a little girl.

You can be a doctor. You can be a mom. You can be an astronaut. You can be a fashion designer. You can be our next president. YOU CAN BE ANYTHING!

P.s. yes I really do own a George Washington barbie. It is the most perfect thing ever and one of my most prized possessions. If my house was on fire it would be one of the 3 things I grab. Hahaha

With Love,
Ciara Ann