By: Bridget Seelinger | Student Columnist
Barbie, a children’s doll company that has long been criticized as being anti-woman and anti-feminist, has produced one of the most empowering commercials for young girls today. “You can be anything you want to be,” is a message that resonates with both sexes, but with young girls today, is especially needed.
The commercial follows young girls as veterinarians, college professors and businesswomen. These girls are living their dreams. At the end of the commercial, the viewer discovers that these dreams are born when a girl is playing with her Barbie dolls. The final message is that these girls can achieve all that they want.
Barbie has long been criticized for the production of dolls with tiny waists and large busts. She has been named as a contributing factor in everything that is wrong with our culture from eating disorders to “hook-up culture.”
Articles such as “Dying to Be Barbie” or “Barbie’s Role in Eating Disorders” have been published by psychology magazines and opinion journals, citing Barbie as the reason for many of the issues in our society today. But at the end of the day, Barbie is a doll: a doll that has been part of almost every American girl’s childhood.
It is an exciting time to be a woman. American feminism has advanced in leaps and bounds, opening the doors for women in jobs such as business and technology. Sure , there are things that still need to be fixed (such as the wage gap, prevalence of sexual assault, etc.), but the opportunities that women have today have never been greater. There are even two female candidates in this nation running for president.
What problem could there possibly be with instilling these dreams in the minds of little girls today? The answer is that there are no problems with doing so. Barbie is broadening horizons for girls all around the globe. She is putting a new face to and changing her role in society. No longer is she the source of everything that is wrong with being a woman. She’s not simply showing that girls should focus on their appearance, how many different outfits they own or how skinny and pale they are.
Barbie is now inspirational for all of the generations to come.
However, it could definitely be said that she has been a source of inspiration from the very beginning. Barbie made dreams that seem impossible, possible. Many full-grown women today cite Barbie as the initial source of inspiration for their careers.
How many of us dreamed of traveling and had our Barbie dolls go on fantastic plane rides or travel across America in her RV? How many of us wanted to have a big house, so we made Barbie live in a big pink house with an elevator? How many of us now want a convertible car because Barbie always drove with the top down? Barbie has had her influence on everyone she has had the pleasure of being friends with, and even today, she still influences the next generation.
Now, Barbie is doing more. She doesn’t just wear swimsuits; she’s a career woman, whether that is as a doctor, a teacher, a rock ‘n’ roll star or a superhero. Barbie is busy living the dreams of little girls.
This commercial specifically highlighted girls being a veterinarian, professor and business woman, but I firmly believe that as people really begin to believe in Barbie’s new message, the amount of career dolls available for purchase will expand rapidly.
There is nothing negative about this new commercial. Barbie is putting a pretty face on modern day feminism and encouraging dreams.
Girls are being told that it’s okay to be successful.
This commercial by Barbie is a step in the right direction, and I’m hoping as their career line expands, the dreams that they are sparking in the next generation will too.