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How Mattel is Distorting Reality…Again


I grew up with Barbie. The 1970’s were a tough market for girls like me. Barbie was blonde, blue eyed, big boobed, overly confident, had a magnificent wardrobe and was really, really skinny. She did not resemble me in the slightest. I was brown, dark haired, round, wore corduroy from Woolco and very, very shy. I played with Barbie. We all played Barbie in her make believe world. But these days, her land of make believe is entering into the real world with the only a click of a few buttons.

Social media has changed Barbie’s world forever.

Barbie has her own Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare account. And more recently, a LinkedIn page.

LinkedIn? Say it isn’t true!

Yup, the brain trust at Mattel has a set Entrepreneur Barbie up with her own LinkedIn account. Like Barbie ever worked a day in her life, right? Wrong. Barbie’s resume is long and exhausting. Talk about an over achiever! Her resume would make any Indian mother the apple of her eye! She has been space explorer, sweets chef, magician, doctor and dolphin trainer. The year before that, she was a presidential candidate, fashion designer, zoo doctor, paleontologist and arctic rescuer.

Click here for her LinkedIn page.

“While a one-page resume is best, I can’t seem to get mine under twenty. It’s just that when anything is possible, a girl is tempted to try everything she can,” Barbie says on her LinkedIn page.

I can’t stop rolling my eyes at the absurd posts and even worse, the supportive comments.

In response to a Barbie post, Michala Dalphinis says, “I think this is a great idea, however an even better idea would be for Barbie to introduce her multi racial gang who also aspire to be great and dream big! Barbie and crew should inspire all girls and to let them know wherever they come from whatever they look like nothing is out of their reach!!”

That’s all we need. A chubby Indian Barbie, who fights and breaks tradition in a Bollywood inspired dance number and goes on to marry gorgeous blonde Ken who eventually gets accepted by her parents and receives a pink convertible Corvette as a dowry gift. Dream big Barbie. Dream big.

The page goes on to discusses Barbie’s favourite inspirational female entrepreneurs, her philosophy of life, career tips for women and her new position as “Dream Incubator” a consultant if you will “helping girls around the world play out their imagination.” Who knew?

For me, growing up with Barbie was harmless. Our imaginations played out, situations in a world of make believe. We imagined her life because it seemed perfect, not like ours, but we all knew it was make believe. She was in no way a role model of mine because she wasn’t real. Reality bites. Especially when you finally throw those Barbie’s out, grow up, hit the pavement for work and get turned down because of lack of experience, the school you went to, how you look or because of the lack of people you knew.

I would like to see the “Recently Divorced Barbie” and read her posts on coping with being alone, finding new love and getting a second chance at life, or “Financially Drained Barbie” and her posts on looking for alternative ways of ending bankruptcy, saving for retirement and getting out if debt. That to me would be way more helpful.

I fully understand what the brainiacs at Mattel are trying do by promoting a distorted reality via social media. This is all about marketing a land of make believe. And they are doing a terrific job at it because of their hefty marketing budget. At the end of the day, they only want is to sell you a doll. A plastic fabricated toy that they hope will help inspire young girls to pursue their dreams. And over 3,000 LinkedIn followers believe that to be true.