I didn't have a Barbie doll growing up. But when I went over to my cousins' house, borrowed Barbie could wear anything in her closet, go anywhere in her convertible.
This month, Mattel stirred controversy because Barbie got a photo shoot and spread in the latest swimsuit issue for Sports Illustrated. (Who wouldn't want to change places with her or a tan, globe-trekking supermodel for a day?!)
Much of the immediate fallout discussion surrounded body image issues but that seems too simplistic/plastic/superficial.
Then there was the follow-up op-ed. Barbie remains #unapologetic: Her PR folks wrote:
Let us place no limitations on her dreams, and that includes being girly if she likes.
We don't live in a Barbie world. Barbie lives in ours -- one with judgmental restrictions, but also real discussion.
The target audience in this case was not 5-year-old girls and this campaign worked in creating buzz as well as some backlash. What I take away is to take pride in the decisions we make, even the indecision and not let other voices crowd the mind. And also, to go back to the childhood self that imagines instead of worrying about the outcome first.
Be bold #barbiedontcare
Make a statement #sorryimnotsorry