Did you see the Barbie movie? I did, mainly because I had the doll growing up. I loved Barbie. And here’s why this movie and its message for us all is so popular now.
Barbie has always lived in a perfect world. Pink, plastic, and perfect, the marketing machine has families buy her “accessories” for their children constantly. From the dream house, to the car, to her pet dog, Barbie had it all and little girls were supposed to aspire to that life.
But, like me many families we couldn’t really afford Barbies or her perfect world. I had one new Malibu Barbie, the one with the deep (cancerous) tan, gifted to me for my birthday. I never had a Ken doll, or her sidekick Skipper, so was my imagination stilted?
No, like any good kid with little resources, I improvised. I made Barbie’s furniture from old margarine tub lids and thread spools. She didn’t have a “dream house.” My tanned beauty had a shoe box, covered with a kitchen towel “patio” with a green washcloth lawn. My doll and the all the Saturday morning commercials gave me permission to use my imagination! I improvised to envision my own “apartment” when I grew up and had a career of my very own.
And the career choices I had, from Advertising Executive to Astronaut, I could live through Barbie and her friends. I didn’t need a man to make my dreams come true. I had my drive and work ethic to make things happen for myself. As a young girl, Barbie really inspired me to succeed to do whatever I dreamed of with integrity.
I see that same message in the movie; Be yourself…whoever you are! No one is perfect or fits a certain mold. Sometimes we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards to those around us. Whether it’s in work, school, or even motherhood women have to navigate so many other societal obstacles, that men do not.
When we can truly all be accepted as we are, without limitations or prejudices, then we can all rest easy. The world has a long way to go to get there. Even Mattel admittedly has only had three female CEO’s in the company’s 78-year history. One being the founder herself, Ruth Handler. Where are my pink Birkenstocks?