The good people over at Mattel are set to create entrepreneur Barbies to encourage young girls to have bigger dreams than just being glamorous girls of leisure, as that’s what Barbie’s beautiful image has been for decades. Mattel CEO, Bryan Stockton admitted earlier this year that Barbie sales made a staggering 13 percent drop. Hopefully this business owner brand of Barbie will help sells.
At the New York Toy Fair, Barbie executives unveiled their plans to create an Entrepreneur Barbie, who carries around a smartphone, brief case and tablet. “Ready for the next big pitch, Barbie Entrepreneur doll wears a sophisticated dress in signature pink that features modern color blocking and a sleek silhouette. Luxe details, like a glam necklace, cool clutch and elegant hairstyle, are smart, professional touches,” reads Mattel’s marketing blurb.
Critics aren’t fully embracing entrepreneur doll. Forbes that maybe “Mattel should create ‘Silently Enduring Sexual Harassment With the Hope I Will Get a Raise‘ Barbie; ‘Making Less Than My Male Counterparts‘ Barbie; ‘Getting Turned Down by Investors Because I’m Pregnant‘ Barbie; or ‘I’m Going to Die Eating This Sad Salad at My Desk Alone‘ Barbie.” While all of these suggested entrepreneur Barbie titles Forbes listed are hilarious, I wonder why they’re not in support of Barbie growing up and creating a business for herself? Mattel has had plenty of Barbies with amazing careers–anywhere from nurse to race car drive to astronaut; so now that she’s able to start her own company, people are angry? Maybe the media has grown weary of Barbie’s publicity stunts to increase sales. Remember that Sports Illustrated cover stunt? The folks at Mattel teamed up with Sports Illustrated to create a cover for Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Party to make women and young girls insecure over their non-Barbie-like bodies.
The New York Times is reporting that “Mattel is trying to do for Barbie what Sports Illustrated has sought to do for years on behalf of the issue: leave behind perceptions of babes in bathing suits and compare Barbie to swimsuit alumna like Ms. Banks, Ms. Brinkley, Kathy Ireland and Heidi Klum, who are celebrated for their accomplishments as entrepreneurs and career women.” Lisa McKnight, senior vice president of marketing for North America at Mattel in El Segundo, CA told the Times, “We’re focusing on the legendary women of Sports Illustrated who, like Barbie, launched their careers in a swimsuit.” Well, that’s a different way of viewing feminism. Maybe that’s why critics can’t get behind Entrepreneur Barbie.