Because I believe in rewarding my students for good behavior (ie. bribing them to not swing from the studio’s ballet barres) I returned to my favorite bargain basement for a stroll down the toy aisle.
The result, in a word, was horrific.
I will say this for Mattel: they’ve finally gotten the hang of the whole “diversity” thing… sort of. (Evidently Brunette Ballerina Barbie, Blond Ballerina Barbie and Black Ballerina Barbie are good enough?)
What I don’t understand is why the Ballerina Barbies all have plastic roses stuffed into their decolletage. Possibly the are the new head-changing Barbies my boss’s daughter proudly displayed to me last week? (Instead of changing their outfits, you change their heads and their “heads” extend all the way to their bust line. Something about this makes me shudder. What happened to the good old days when you just traded one slutty outfit for another? I think it’s a conspiracy to condition young girls for plastic surgery later in life, but I digress…)
Next up, we have Teacher Barbie. At least I think she’s called Teacher Barbie. From the looks of her she might just as easily be called “Seventeen Year Old Second Grader Barbie” because with an outfit like this, I think it’s more likely that she’s a student (admittedly, a student who got held back a few times…) than an authority figure:
I’m beginning to despair for the lack of positive, plastic role models of anorexic proportions when I notice this little firecracker:
Just in case you can’t read the little thought bubble, it says “I chalk it up to my PhD in fashion.” Well now! PhD Barbie! I’m not really sure why Dr. Fashion is providing instruction in what appears to be basic algebra but who knows… maybe tenure-track positions in one’s field are just as hard to find in Barbie-land as they are in the real world.
Last but not least, we have a bone fide rocket scientist:
I know she’s a rocket scientist not because she’s dressed like one but because it says so in her little bubble. Far be it from me, but do rocket scientists really sit around in astronaut gear all day? I always thought rocket scientists were the one’s who built the rocket ships, not the ones who manned them. And although I’m impressed by Mattel’s nod to career paths that do not revolve around becoming a princess, there’s no way I’m getting any of these dolls for my students.
In fact, I’m going to probably stick with stickers.
(Get it? Stick with stickers? And you thought an entire post of Barbie photos would be boring…)