Barbie turns 60 next year and her creators, toy company Mattel, have announced they are going to revamp the famously glamorous doll for the celebrations. It’s Barbie’s 60th Birthday And She’s Getting a Real Makeover:
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As a child I had Barbie dolls myself, and as I became a mother, it’s been interesting thinking about Barbie and her slightly traditional feel, and whether that had any impact on my own beliefs. I can report that, despite owning Barbies, I did grow up to be a believer in the fact that women could do and be anything (except men!).
My own two daughters also played with Barbie dolls. By the time they had them, Barbie was even a vet with her own practice (or at least that’s what the set we bought for our youngest seemed to be implying!).
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Barbie’s ‘Shero’ Campaign
Back to 2019 and empowering girls has become a key focus for Mattel. The Barbie brand will kick off its celebrations on 9 March 2019 with its largest ever ‘Shero’ campaign.
So far their ‘Shero’ dolls have highlighted inspiring women, including:
- iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo
- fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American athlete to wear a hijab while competing
- Ava DuVernay, director of “Selma”
- aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart
- Katherine Johnson, mathematician and physicist at NASA.
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Mattel’s chief operating officer Richard Dickson, explains: “Barbie’s birthday represents a bigger loudspeaker to celebrate who we are and what we’ve achieved and hopefully create a movement where people become even more inspired by the brand.”
One thing that did happen for the better recently, in my opinion, was Mattel changing Barbie’s body in 2016 so that girls had the option of tall, petite and also curvy. They also introduced a wider range of ethnicities for Barbie, releasing dolls with more ethnically diverse features and textured hair.
The company says they want to move the discussion from what Barbie looked like to what she represents.
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Did you have a Barbie doll as a child? What do you think of the makeover for Barbie’s 60th birthday? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!