Mattel launched a campaign entitled “You can be anything you want to be”, launching the new series of dolls “Barbie fashion” and “Barbie YOU CAN BE ANYTHING”.
The collection consists of 9 body types, 35 skin tones and up to 94 hair styles; among its features you can find having a prosthetic leg, being accompanied by a wheelchair, having a curvy body, having no hair or suffering from vitiligo.
This campaign is intended to share the message that everyone has a place in the Barbie world and, in my opinion, to banish the criticism of recent times where the fact of superficiality and surreal perfection presented by this doll with impossible curves was emphasized.
Diversity and inclusion
Betting on diversity, integration and inclusion as part of the company’s CSR as a marketing campaign, eliminates stereotypes, encourages empowerment and respect for diversity. Barbie was one of my favorite dolls, so I love that she is adapting to today’s social demands. Childhood is far away, but I’m sure I’ll find the perfect doll for my niece.
In creating Barbie, my philosophy was that, through the doll, girls could be anything they wanted to be. Barbie has always represented a woman who chooses for herself. RUTH HANDLER, creator of Barbie.
The importance of the game
Play is the medium in which children learn, communicate and explore. It is an educational tool that allows for proper cognitive development, stimulates creativity and promotes proper motor development. Providing toys that allow the assimilation of values such as tolerance, empathy, respect and equality will help psychosocial development to achieve a harmonious and cordial environment.
A study by Mattel in collaboration with Cardiff University highlights:
- Playing with dolls activates brain regions that allow children to develop social processing skills such as empathy.
- The brain activation that develops empathy is noticeable even when the child plays with dolls alone.
- When playing with dolls, children talk more about the thoughts and emotions of others. This allows them to practice certain social skills that they can use when interacting with others in the real world.
The dream gap
Studies show that, starting at age five, many girls begin to develop self-limiting beliefs and think that they are not as smart and capable as boys. They stop believing that their gender can become everything they dream of.
Since 2018 Barbie has launched different campaigns and donated thousands of dollars to organizations to promote the message: YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE. A message reinforced with the line “You can be anything” where Barbie can be a firefighter, astronaut, marine biologist or soccer player. She has also created dolls inspired by outstanding women from different countries to encourage today’s girls, tomorrow’s women, to pursue their dreams.
What would you say today to the girl you were yesterday?
If I had a five or six year old Annabel in front of me today, I think the first thing I would do would be to hug her very tightly; I feel her so far away in time and there are so many things she will have to live and learn to digest that this hug would be the way to transmit to her all the energy she needs to face the great adventure of her life. I would tell her…
Annabel, don’t be afraid to be yourself because you are an amazing child. You are responsible, loving and intelligent. You have a loving family and a curious and unique look. Enjoy these years without worries or complications because later things will be different; stay away from so-and-so and so-and-so because they are not good girls and they will extinguish that light that makes you special. Study, follow your dreams and surround yourself with people who allow you to be you, who help you to open your wings and allow you to fly as high as you want, as far as you want. But above all, please be happy and never stop dreaming.
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