Recently, one of America’s most famous females assumed a new role. Barbie — a woman who has taken on professions ranging from princess to POTUS — is now starting out as an entrepreneur.
Toy purveyor Mattel announced its intentions to release a business-owning Barbie as part of its “I Can Be” collection earlier this year. And more recently, the company publicized the identities of Entrepreneur Barbie’s “Chief Inspirational Officers” — real woman business owners who collaborated with Mattel on creating an incarnation of the versatile toy that would be equal to the task of “breaking through plastic ceilings.”
But with the doll now available for purchase, many are weighing in on the benefits — and drawbacks — of its existence. We’ve poured over coverage of its release to bring you an assortment of opinions on the matter. And we feel it noteworthy that, outside of Entrepreneur Barbie’s “inner circle,” it was rather difficult to find positive feedback sans caveats.
[box_light]”Entrepreneur Barbie is a modern woman with her smartphone and her tablet stuck in a sexist, outdated, dangerous representation of femininity. I take umbrage with the fact that, even though this doll is backed by an awesome group of diverse women — aimed at providing positive representation — Barbie still represents this problematic view of women (objectified by men in Sports Illustrated).”
— Sarah Gray, Assistant Editor of Innovations for Salon[/box_light]
From Design & Trend…
[box_light]”It’s important for girls to see powerful, savvy women in the workplace. And while Barbie may not be the best figure to deliver that message, it is better than leaving her in the entrepreneurial dark. Isn’t it?”
— Carrie Weisman, Writer for Design & Trend[/box_light]
[box_light]”Let me say first and foremost that the idea itself is a step in the right direction. I love that Mattel has teamed up with all of these inspiring women, and I think it has the potential to send great messages to kids. … [T]he trouble is, I don’t really know if Barbie is the best representative.”
— Lucia Peters, Writer for Bustle[/box_light]
[box_light]”It’s just the same, unattainable, physical, out of proportion body ideals put in a business suit with accessories and lipstick. It really is laughable to suggest to young women that to be successful in a career these days you just need corporate clothes and high-tech IT gear.”
— Professor Jenny O’Dea, body image expert at Sydney University[/box_light]
[box_light]”As much as Barbie gets hammered for the pink clothing and for promoting an unattainable standard of beauty, Mattel does seem genuinely committed to putting more diverse career options in front of America’s girls. Now if only we could see similar changes in the unrealistic body image it promotes.”
— Liz Dwyer, Staff Writer for TakePart[/box_light]
[box_light]”What makes an entrepreneur is not an outfit or a smartphone or a briefcase. What makes a female entrepreneur is a woman who is confident enough to be willing to take a risk in order to control her own career. And that would be difficult to showcase in a Barbie doll.”
— Carrie Kerpen, CEO and Co-Founder of Likeable Media[/box_light]
[box_light]”Although I appreciate the attempt that Mattel is making to inspire young girls with entrepreneur Barbie, they’re not considering how much she shapes the way young girls will perceive what an entrepreneur looks like. One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is being in an industry with people who are typically the exception to the rule.”
— Liz Tillati, CEO and Co-Founder of ZipFit Denim[/box_light]
From The Wire…
[box_light]”[B]est of luck with your ventures, Entrepreneur Barbie. We know you’re in good shape because you have top-notch electronics and you’re dressed for success and you have several different purse accessories. Thanks for teaching children to aspire vaguely to buzzwordy nothings. ”
— Danielle Wiener-Bronner, former Wire Staff Writer[/box_light]
What do you think? Be sure to share your thoughts on Entrepreneur Barbie in the comments section.