There’s a new girl in town, and her name is Barbie. Mattel announced the release of a new Barbie twin pack that features Barbie as president and vice president. The new Barbie dolls are available for sale online at Mattel.com and are being stocked in toy stores across the country. The dolls are timed perfectly with the historic debut of the first female presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The launch shows Mattel has listened to consumer critiques and is trying to create a line of toys that inspires young girls rather than limits their choices and views. The question now is will these changes empower young girls to grow into successful, confident women. Barbie for president and vice president aren’t the only changes over at Mattel. The company has released a series of body-confident dolls called Barbie Fashionistas.
Barbie for President and Vice President Dolls Review Videos
The Washington Post pointed out that the new Barbie dolls come after the market share has slipped consistently since 2009. In January 2016, Mattel launched the Barbie Fashionistas that include original, tall, curvy, and petite dolls. The Fashionistas line includes different skin tones, hair types, and eye colors. The changes are a way of being more inclusive with the dolls Mattel creates. For years, Mattel has suffered public criticism that young girls who play with Barbie dolls possibly suffer negative consequences, such as poor self-esteem and make poor career choices later in life.
In 2014, an Oregon State University study that discussed the impact playing with Barbie dolls could have on a girl’s career choices determined that playing with Barbie dolls could cause a young girl to grow up thinking her career choices were limited. The study determined there was no difference between playing with original Barbie dolls or career-oriented dolls. It is unclear if the study’s results would have the same impact on future generations of young girls who grow up exposed to curvier, taller or petite shaped dolls or those who break gender roles such as becoming president or vice-president of the United States.
— Vital Voices (@VitalVoices) July 13, 2016
Barbie’s New Look: Curvy, Tall, and Petite
— Metro Detroit Mommy (@MetroDetroitMom) July 5, 2016
Mattel partnered with She Should Run, a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting female political candidates. As part of the president and vice president Barbie dolls, Mattel and She Should Run have launched a worksheet, video, and other materials to help overcome the stigma of females in politics. You can see the video “Imagine the Possibilities” below. Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President for Barbie, issued a press release regarding the partnership and the message Mattel and She Should Run want young girls to receive.
“The President and Vice President dolls continue our efforts to expose girls to inspiring careers that are underrepresented by women,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie. “We see this doll set as a timely and topical platform to further the conversation around female leadership. We are proud to partner with She Should Run to help elevate its message and show girls that they can be and do anything.”
Mattel has created a global advisory council that helps Mattel get input from working women and from men who have an important role in child-rearing. The advisory council serves as a way of encouraging discussion and growth within the development of Barbie dolls and products. The panel shares input so Barbie will be a role-model and inspire young girls as opposed to limiting their views based on negative stereotypes. You can find out more about this collaboration at the official site for “You Can Be Anything.”
Mattel announces first female ticket featuring Barbie and her running mate.
— Norah O’Donnell (@NorahODonnell) July 13, 2016
What do you think of the new Barbie dolls? Do you think it is beneficial for young girls to have president and vice president Barbie dolls?
[Photo by Radu Bercan/Shutterstock]