Amazing, it only took until 2010 to get a Barbie with a laptop! Though I’ve never met a professional woman (or any woman) who wears funky pink glasses to coordinate with her shiny pink computer, smart phone and wrist watch, Barbie designers flagrantly boast that they: “worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic and representative of a real computer engineer.”
Not only does Geek Chic Barbie have an official fact sheet, to further experience the reality of being a computer engineer, the doll comes with a special code to unlock exclusive online game content on Barbie’s Digital World. I wonder if Blondie has one of those reality-probing holes in her body (like in the Matrix)? Barbie could use a real-life-lesson in the beauty of being a whole woman (not a wide-eyed, hollow-headed objectification of the over-sexualized and stereotyped female figure) in a technologized world where hot pink laptops do not win the popular vote.
Like it or not, however, Barbie is a popular culture icon and a role model for girls. According to Mattel, 90% of girls ages 3-10 own at least one Barbie doll and BarbieGirls.com has 18 million registered users worldwide. As Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers affirms:
“All the girls who imagine their futures through Barbie will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities, limited only by their imagination. As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can turn their ideas into realities that have a direct and positive impact on people’s everyday lives in this exciting and rewarding career.”
Barbies new slogan: “I can be…”