This week Girl Scouts and Mattel paired up to create a Girl Scout Barbie. Yea I know, for an organization that has been a front-runner, in my opinion, on tackling negative body and self-image and promoting leadership among young girls and teens, I’m struggling to see where this doll fits in their overall mission. But just like everything in today’s world, controversy sells. WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE ABOUT DOLLAR SIGNS INSTEAD OF MORALS.
Any who, way back in the day I was a girl scout, first a Brownie then a Junior, and never did my uniform consist of tight fitting pink capris and heeled boots. In fact, the uniforms were so unflattering and ill-fitting that I didn’t even want to wear it half the time. Perhaps girls still don’t? Check out year 1993 on this lovely timeline of Girl Scout uniforms. Do you blame me!?
On Girl Scouts Facebook page the organization commented that “girls and moms alike associate this doll with the outdoors, camping, giving back in your community, and we think that those are really positive message to all of our girls. What do you think?”
I think those are all great messages for our girls, but this doll in no way portrays those messages. I associate this doll with Mall Barbie or even Miss America Barbie, but instead of a state name block-lettered across her sash there are badges of honor, from all the camping and hiking she must have successfully accomplished in her heeled boots without breaking her ankles (kids, don’t try that at home), full face of make-up, and beret fascinator that seemed to stay perfectly positioned on her head of coiffed hair.
These days, the typical 10 year-old girl looks more like she’s 15 (and acts 18) but since when did Junior Girl Scouts (9-11 years-old) look 20? This doll looks more like a Girl Scout Ambassador (15-17 years-old) or troop leader, not a Junior that she portraying with her green sash.
I trolled through the comments on Girl Scout’s Facebook page regarding this monstrosity of a doll, and one mother offered up her 7 year-old girl scout’s opinion, “She doesn’t look like she would really do real girl scout stuff. Like she would just set back and say ‘I don’t want to get dirty.’ But being a real girl scout is about getting dirty and helping your community.”
I will, however, give kudos to the designer for making her racially inconspicuous, thus making her a doll for everyone, which is something that I like to see! I also have to admit that as an only child I used my imagination and played with Barbie dolls often and never felt inferior because I didn’t look like her, didn’t have that dream house with an elevator or that hot corvette she cruised around town from job to job because I could separate a plaything from reality. I think in today’s unlimited access to media and communications makes it harder for young kids to separate (let alone dissect) what’s falsified and what’s reality. Because even adult women have trouble with this reality and try to obtain the impossible which leads to this. With that said, no, I don’t think this doll is bad to play with, though I’d prefer a doll that looked more like a Lammily, even Skipper would do, but I’d like Girl Scout Barbie to more accurately portray the brand of the organization and reflect the average age of the majority of scouts while wearing a true uniform. And maybe feed her a cookie or two?
What’s your opinion of the dolls and the message it’s sending young girls? Would you by this for your sister, daughter, or niece? Let me know in the comments!