Why Barbie Will Always Have a Place in my Daughter's World
Growing up, Barbie had a very special place in my heart, and she still does today. Every time my birthday or a special occasion came around, I would be so excited to unwrap my presents and find a sparkly new Barbie doll to play with and admire. I adored Barbie movies. I loved watching Barbie going on new adventures in every film, and taking on the role of princesses, mermaids and even a musketeer. In recent years with feminism on the rise, there are lots of skeptics when it comes to Barbie; a beautiful, blonde girl with the perfect body and life. She is viewed by many people as an unfit role-model for young girls but I believe otherwise. I know that in years to come when I have a daughter I will be sitting down with her and watching Barbie movies and playing Barbie's with her and here is why.
'What hasn't Barbie been? I don't think I can create an occupation that she has not done yet.' - Zendaya
Barbie teaches girls that they can be anything! Throughout her lifetime she has had so many careers; a doctor, an astronaut, a dentist, an athlete and a pop star are just to name a few. After watching Barbie a Fashion Fairytale when I was ten, I decided that I wanted to become a fashion designer like Barbie. Living in a time considered to be 'a mans world' I think that it is amazing that girls and boys have Barbie to look up to.
'Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices' - Ruth Handler
Barbie is not only hard-working and beautiful, but kind and respectful. She is always portrayed as an incredible mentor to her three younger sisters, and is nothing but good-natured to everyone she meets. She is gracious, kind, adventurous, positive, inclusive and every good thing. Everyone should aspire to have the personality traits that Barbie has. She teaches kids the importance of manners, and respect which is so incredibly fundamental to a child's learning and growing process. In Barbie films and dolls, a range of cultures are represented such as the Chinese Barbie below. This is so important! As it gives children the opportunity to see themselves in a doll and also learn about other cultures.
Barbie has gotten lots of negative attention for giving young girls unrealistic expectations about their body. But isn't Kim Kardashian and lots of today's celebrities doing the exact same thing? Due to body positivity movements, Barbie is also becoming more inclusive! Mattel have produced a range of dolls with different body types and skin tones to represent different people all over the world. Women everywhere were so happy to see curvy dolls on the shelves, and to see their own body represented. But seeing plus size dolls, it makes me wonder what message is being conveyed to young girls. Are plus size dolls teaching children that obesity is healthy? I would hope that parents/friends are buying children a range of dolls, not just the 'curvy' ones, or the 'skinny' ones as it is important for children to appreciate all types of bodies - to not just normalise having curves, but to normalise being skinny as well, because in our world today - there truly are people that are as slim as Barbie.
Barbie inspires imagination and creativity. When I was young, to play with my Barbies I had to make up stories and scenarios in my head. I had so much fun pretending to be a fairy or a doctor. Even at the age of five, I knew that I would never be an athlete.... but playing with Barbies gave me an opportunity to become one! I used to make houses and beds for my dolls with my little brother and we had so much fun.
'When I was really young. My sister and I would create different characters with our Barbie dolls - I'd be the crazy diva Barbie and she'd be the homeless Barbie.' - Jordana Brewster
When I have kids (which I am not planning to do anytime soon!) I can't wait to play Barbie's with them and teach them the power of imagination! Barbie is, and always has been a wonderful role model to me and I can't wait for her to be the same for my future daughter. Even though I may not look like your typical Barbie, I can at least dress like one and I will always be a Barbie girl at heart!
'Barbie has always been an inspiration. Dressing her was part of ever girl's dream.' - Reem Acra