Some questions to think about as you view these images: Why are some of these dolls controversial?What cultures and values do each of these dolls represent?Which of these Barbie dolls would you feel comfortable allowing yourchildren to play with?Which would you not allow your children to play with?Why don’t some of these dolls appear in stores?Did you feel angry or offended when viewing any of these dolls?Why are there fewer Ken dolls than Barbie dolls?
If Barbie were real, she would be 6 feet tall with a 39" bust, 18" waist, and 33" hips. Her feet would be too small to support her. Galia Slayen created this version of a life-size Barbie as a part of the first National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW) at her high school. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/galia-slayen/the-scary-reality-of-a-re_b_845239.html)
This is Christie, the firstBlack Barbie, circa 1968.She is a simply a tintedversion of the originalWhite Barbie.
I’m not sure what year Oreo Barbie cameout. She lacks cultural features also, andsome folks were offended by the impliedmessage (i.e., this Barbie is really white onthe inside, just like an Oreo).
Mattel has since triedto create dolls whichreflect more culturaldiversity.
Some official collections have been more successful than others. What do you think about the Black Label Collection below?
Fulla is not a Mattel Barbie, but she isa “real” doll, in the sense that she ismass produced and sold in stores.On the right we see Fulla posing nextto Barbie. What similarities anddifferences do you notice?Do you assume that Barbie isChristian?
What are your thoughts on a clergy Barbie?Mattel did not make clergy Barbies.Above is someone’s version of anEpiscopalian minister Barbie.On the right is someone’s version of aUnitarian minister Barbie.
How about an atheist Barbie?I don’t expect Mattel to release this doll in the near future.
Or this one.This is a deaf Jewish lesbian Barbie.
Or this?Apparently Barbie canonly be like a man incertain ways.
For example, Mattel seems tobelieve that women can be CEOs,just like men.In the real world, however, whilewomen are often CEOs of not-for-profit companies, there are fewCEOs of a Fortune 500 companieswho are women.And perhaps even fewer who wearsuch short skirts to work.
Mattel is also apparentlyhopeful that some daywe will have a femalePresident.
Here we see that Barbie can be a doctor!Notice that she is a pediatrician, not aneurologist or heart surgeon.
Though Barbie can deliver Babies, she is apparently unable to have them.This is Midge. Mattel sold her a part of the Happy Family collection and made it clear she was married. I don’t know if the braids are original.
The cigarettes, beer, andmac and cheese I believeare not original.Do you think Mattelwould release these dollsas part of their HappyFamily collection?
These jobs are more like jobs for women, plusthey keep Barbie in shape.
I think there might actually be a tattooBarbie. These aren’t official, however.
Apparently, tattoos arenot the only thingBarbie has beenhiding…
Barbie likes to stay in shape soshe can wear outfits like this.Mattel did release this one:Black Canary Barbie.Some dubbed it the S&M Barbie.
Goth Barbie doesn’tseem to have madethe cut, however.
Despite the fact that theaverage American woman is asize 14 , I doubt we will seeBarbies that look like this onshelves any time soon.