Updated: May 14, 2020
AND STILL IS.... Granted, with a few scandals along the way and non-PC issues that have risen from the unrealistic physical portrayal of the average woman's body.. But that's a post for another day... Nevertheless, I choose the viewpoint that it was a massively accessible "girly" toy that could be tailored to whatever a little girl wanted to be. I mean, come on. No one had to teach us in the recent generation that women could be vets or doctors or police officers or engineers. It's a great achievement for the nation that the progression for the career woman has been no less than monumental. We don't wonder about when we can vote or what jobs are available to us. This is a far cry from where we come from and even further if you are a "minority" (I hate that term but again that's for another post).
Anyways, back to Barbie.... We just bought (ok our parents bought) it and we created imaginary worlds where we were saving the planet one sick puppy at a time.
Go ahead and say it. I know you're thinking it.. "It's just a doll so what's your point?!". OK OK! My point is... wait I have another point driver... I'll get there I promise. SO! My daughter used to be obsessed with this show called Doc McStuffins... It's a cartoon on Disney about a little African-American girl who is a toy pet vet (so cute) and one of her parents is a doctor I believe.. I could be lying. She loved that show and whenever we played dress up she would ask to dress like Doc McStuffins and would tell you she wants to be a doctor (mommy heart swells).
The recreational non-intentional exposure to women succeeding, not just the intentional "let me tell you about being a woman working in a man's world" talk builds a little girls reality.
For me, Barbie is the most fun caricature of the element of just being a woman. There isn't a specific box to fit her in. She's had hundreds of careers, she comes in all shapes, sizes and colors, styles from no-makeup boho to glammed and red carpet ready, and she is just a woman!
You can't put any woman in a box! We come in all shapes and sizes and colors and come from different backgrounds! We have eclectic interests! We range in expressions of femininity! We contribute to society in a multitude of ways! Our personalities are colorful and multifaceted! We can nurture, lead, mitigate, analyze, create, manage and heal! There isn't a recipe of woman for any specific career field! Shut out the talk of non believers who would rather see you suppress your true being than shine and outgrow and OUTGLOW them. They're only realizing you are who they wish they were brave enough to be. Take risks, be open to learn, and don't be afraid of the red lipstick. ;)
Barbie was a BAWSE. So are you.