Being a woman in STEM I was really excited to see a well renowned company such as Mattel take this initiative to promote amazing women. Representation for young girls especially in a product like Barbie was a great way to push something that is beneficially influential. This new initiative that barbie has been taking, instead of promoting unrealistic beauty standards to children, finding great ways to uplift and inspire them has made me very happy to see in the kid and product realm. There are so many products nowadays that are geared towards the under 12 year old market that seem to just miss the mark with actually making a powerful statement towards helping kids. I am constantly seeing things that capitalize on their insecurities like LOL dolls which showcases a really unrealistic standard of what young girls should look like.
I remember when I was working on the downtown east-side of vancouver running after school programs for kids I saw these dolls for the first time and was so shocked at their appearance. I asked one of the girls who was playing with them why she liked it so much and she said it was because of the interchangeable clothes and styles. Although I do admire the creativity that was incorporated into the piece, I find it interesting that they are just a new version of BRATZ dolls for a younger generation. When I was growing up I used to playing with BRATZ dolls and loved them for the same reasons, how they looked, but I do wonder if it ended up shaping how I view my sense of self and the importance I hold on portraying my appearance towards the world. Overall I just think that the next generation should just be mindful of what toys they are consuming, and how it can have an effect on the putting pressure on the appearance of a young girl instead of the mind. That is why I love Mattels initiative of using their toys to focus on women’s brains instead if appearance and hope they continue to release more product like this one.
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