Tag Archives: toys

This Girl Scouts for Reality in New Barbie

Girl Scouts Facebook page.

-from Girl Scouts Facebook page.

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!

More Than a Princess: Disrupting the Pink Aisle

Photo credit GoldieBlox YouTube. Screenshot by ShatteredGlassSlipper

Photo credit GoldieBlox YouTube. Screenshot by ShatteredGlassSlipper

Wandering the toy aisles of your favorite toy store it’s very clear which toys are “meant” for girls and which are “meant” boys. Girls like Riley aren’t happy about these color-coded marketing tactics. Who could blame her? The colors pink and blue have been used to label the different genders since the beginning of time we were born. Blue or pink bonnet anyone?

But in 2012 Stanford engineering graduate, Debbie Sterling, had it with these labels and aimed to disrupt the pink aisle and prove that girls are more than just princesses; they are creators, engineers and inventors. She founded GoldieBlox, Inc.—a startup toy company that combines reading with building, something that we haven’t seen much of in the pink aisle by the way of Legos or Erector sets.

To transform GoldieBlox from an idea to a reality, Sterling set up a Kickstarter campaign for the first production order, raising about $285,000, surpassing her original goal of $150,000. (Woohooo!) And earlier this month GoldieBlox started to be sold on the shelves of toy retailer, Toys R Us! (double whoohoo)!

Seeing a toy like this hit the shelves, become a reality, and inspire young girls makes me get a bit nostalgic and almost kind of jealous that there weren’t really any toys out there when I was growing up that involved a story line and building. Yes, LEGO that means you and your superficial way of inclusion by slapping a pink case around your plastic building bricks, hey look now they’re for girls!

When I was in elementary school I loved science and all the hands-on experiments we were able to conduct, measure the cause and effect, and challenge the dependent and independent variables. (betcha haven’t thought about that stuff in awhile, eh?) But somewhere around high school I fell off the science metaphorical train and landed in the creative and writing side of things, nothing wrong with that!
Growing up I didn’t really know what real career options were available to a science lover besides well…a scientist (mental picture: Albert Einstein). We attended field trips to science museums to see and learn about the great discoveries and inventions by men throughout history and were shown countless episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy (Bill, Bill, Bill!)

The saddest part? I don’t think I ever once challenged or argued where Brenda the Builder or Edna the Engineer was hiding.  Because it was “just the way it was.” Shame on my naïve baby self. I accepted the societal norm without really knowing it.

For this reason, I’m grateful for bold women like Sterling who are challenging societal norms and aiming to make change and bring awareness among young girls reaching their highest potential. Sterling is a game changer, she’s not only proving a toy to keep girls’ interest in engineering but also show girls in a hands on way that they can and do become engineers, just like their role model in the storybook, Goldie!
Thanks to Sterling, today’s young girls, like Riley, can feel a bit more comfortable walking the toy aisles.

More on Debbie, how GoldieBlox came to be, and proof in her engineering pudding!

Barbie Biology

::Singing:: “I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie worrrld, life in plastic, it’s fantastic!”
Except not.

As a little girl I owned many Barbie branded items, (who didn’t?) the multi-level “dream” house complete with pulley elevator, the battery-powered pink Jeep that I drove around the cul de sac collecting autumn leaves and rocks, naturally. I also owned shififtyfive multi-talented, career-driven Barbie dolls, who had drawers full of clothing for any and all occasions. I mean what if she wanted to roller skate in the park with her puppy and sister Skipper? A girl needs options!

However, being a kid I’m not sure I even realized how un-proportional the Barbie doll actually was compared to the human species because I was too busy using my imagination (yay, creativity!) and finding the matching minuscule plastic high heel in the air vent. Pesky things never stayed put.
Shoeless Barbies forever.

After I grew up and playtime was over I began to realize the trademark Barbie bod was no where near that of normal girls’ errr… humans’. Reality check: Barbie’s are the in-hand version of the digitally altered images we see on the glossy pages of magazines.
Refinery 29 put out an article with the most glorious graphics from Rehabs.com demonstrating the ridiculousness of the Barbie body, asking “Is the Barbie body possible?” The short answer: No. But read on for just how ridiculous.

Let’s start from the top down, yes? Yes.