As dolls go, Barbie is not a good inspiration for girls. Therefore the Girl Scouts should not be getting mixed up with Barbie. Alexandra Petri has more at the Washington Post blog.
Thanks to what a new Girl Scouts badge-earning booklet describes as “a generous donation from Mattel, Inc.,” there is a new patch Girl Scouts can get — the Barbie “Be Anything, Do Everything” patch. It’s bright pink, like the booklet, which includes some paper Barbie dolls whom you can costume in lovely career-related ensembles with pink accents. Barbie and her friend Teresa can be veterinarians (in short pink skirts) or chefs or even ballerinas.
No. Wrong. Bad move. Work isn’t about what clothes you were (except when it is, e.g. when you’re a model, but we already know that’s a lousy kind of work). Work is about what you do, not what you wear. Wearing something isn’t doing anything. It’s passive.
In theory, Barbie’s message is empowering. Be Anything. Do Everything.
But what about in practice?
Well, take the Barbie Career Quiz on the Girl Scouts Barbie tie-in page and you begin to understand why some people are already pressing the Scouts to sever their Barbie ties. I took it. It was a disaster.
You’ll have to go there to see all the screenshots. The whole thing is all about the mistake I just pointed out – it’s about what the doll is wearing. Barbie in a pink skirt and a blue top, teaching. Barbie in pink tights and a long black T shirt and bling, fashion designing. Barbie in a tiny dress and a lab coat, being a veterinarian. Barbie in a space suit with pink accents, being an astronaut.
And much much more.