Barbie's New Ad: Dream It. Be It.

By Dana Zillgitt, Regular ContributorNovember 4, 2015


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It’s funny how Barbie, made by Mattel, is often an image of frail femininity, and it’s almost synonymous with being the epitome of girly and weak, nothing like what GI Joe’s or Power Rangers represent. Those are for boys, the game changers, the world savers. Barbie is for dress up, running around with makeup, and baking cookies; none of this world saving, life changing stuff. After all, there was one that was programmed to say math class is hard-you wouldn’t catch a Power Ranger doll saying that on a recording, would you?

Not to switch gears or make a power play, but Barbie recently celebrated a big birthday in October. And what better way to celebrate a birthday than to make a wish come true? Mattel decided to release a new ad campaign for Barbie, highlighting something quite different than they’ve ever done before.

In the recent video, they highlighted the power that comes from being a girl in today’s world.

It highlights their dreams as well as their brawn and beauty. It’s strange to admit that their new ad is a little empowering and a little bit feminist-two words not often associated with Barbie in today’s age of equality. It also highlights a shift in how we approach stereotypically gendered toys like Barbie or GI Joe. Barbie is slowly shifting its message from being solely about appearance to more about the whole package-pun intended.

So how has the response been? As always, there are critics, saying that the adult reactions in the video are too cavalier and not inclusive enough of a young girl’s dream job. But more often than not, the response has been immensely positive. It’s interesting to see so many people react to a Barbie ad, but it’s also just nice. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing kids doing what they love and what they dream of being when they’re older? It’s enlightening to see Mattel harness the power that Barbie really does have and has had for generations.

It seems as though Barbie is making changes yet again in order to accommodate every intricate detail that comes with growing up female or being a woman in today’s age.

To put it simply, the short two-minute video is making the Internet feel a whole lot of feelings in a great way. It’s nostalgia with a dash of hope and a side of splendor. If the trend continues, maybe it won’t be such an insult to play with Barbies and envision a whole new world.

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About Dana

DANA_ZILLGITT_writer_bio_(1).jpgDana has her BA in International Affairs & Spanish as well as a mild obsession with rescue animals and all things caffeinated. She’s mastered the art of the selfie, fort building, and even the sass battle. Plus, she can quote 95% of Anchorman and Zoolander. 


Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.


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