Barbie has been a lot of things in her 50-year history: a fashion model, an astronaut and an "American Idol" winner. Now, she is an entrepreneur.
The official 2014 "career of the year" doll is Entrepreneur Barbie, and she comes complete with a smartphone, a shiny briefcase and power heels. Despite the fact that she is a decked out in pink, and her physical measurements are still impractical, this doll is meant to encourage little girls to break that glass ceiling.
Entrepreneur Barbie was inspired by 10 real-life businesswomen, including Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code.
“You can’t be what you can’t see,” Saujani told Wired, as part of a promotional push for the new toy. “Unfortunately we live in a culture where girls are bombarded with images of male coders and engineers that just don’t look like them. When you ask a girl what a computer scientist is, she usually pictures a geeky guy typing away. And then we wonder why girls don’t pursue careers in tech! We have to change popular culture and start showing more women, more cool, dynamic, creative women, in these roles.”
The doll is being promoted on social media, with a Twitter discussion around the hashtag #Unapologetic and a LinkedIn profile for Barbie. The idea behind the marketing campaign is "to help start a conversation for girls everywhere, reminding them that — 'If they can dream it, they can be it – anything is possible!'"
"We always try to make career Barbie a reflection of the times," Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni told CNN Money in February, when the doll was first revealed. "Women entrepreneurs are more prevalent now and they're growing in number. [It's] a great way to encourage girls to also learn about this role."
Alas, some were unconvinced.
"Mostly, becoming a female entrepreneur is about having the confidence to take risks," Carrie Kerpen of Inc. wrote. "And handing young girls misproportioned dolls who give them a skewed view of what's beautiful probably isn't going to help there."
Mattel is not the first company to realize that progress away from the stereotypical is needed in toys' depictions of females. Earlier this month, LEGO announced it will release a Female Minifigure Set featuring professional female figures like chemists, astronomers and paleontologists.
Check out Entrepreneur Barbie below.