Barbie Launches New Career
For the first time ever, Barbie-makers Mattel called upon Barbie fans across the globe to vote on Barbie's next career. After 500,000 votes were cast through a poll and an online voting campaign, Mattel launched the 125th and 126th careers for Barbie as a Computer Engineer, complete with glasses, a pink laptop and a blue tooth earpiece, and TV Anchor Barbie, accessorized with a microphone and a video camera.
Barbie's Decorated Resume
Since Mattel's creation of Barbie in 1959, the famous doll, Barbie Millicent Roberts from Willows, Wisconsin has enjoyed over 120 careers. According to the Barbiemedia.com website: "With more than 120 careers on her resume – spanning from registered nurse to rock star, veterinarian to aerobics instructor, pilot to police officer – Barbie® doll continues to take on aspirational and culturally relevant roles while also serving as a role model and agent of change for girls."
A Trademarked Icon
A trademarked icon, Barbie has come to symbolize the women of the times and has always tried to replicate the successful women of the current decade, showing that women can do whatever they set their minds to. For example, in the 1960's the first Astronaut Barbie appeared, years before the first man walked on the moon; in the 1980's Barbie proved that she could break the mold again as Day to Night CEO Barbie took the male-dominated boardrooms by storm; the 1990's saw the Presidential Barbie run for office long before any woman ran for President or acted as the Speaker of House.
Both a role model and an inspiration, Barbie has changed careers over the years because she is a sign of the changing times, and an example of successful women everywhere.
First introduced at the New York Toy Show in 1959, Barbie was the three-dimensional doll representation brought to life by Mattel's co-founder, Ruth Handler. Appearing in her signature black-and-white stripped swimsuit and ponytail, the first Barbie was met with skepticism. Since her creation, when Barbie sold for $3.00, Mattel has introduced Barbie's boyfriend, Ken (1961), and her four sisters: Skipper (1964), Stacie (1992), Kelly (1995), and Krissy(1995), and Barbie has been outfitted in more than 70 famous get-ups. Barbie's Facebook page is the fastest-growing on record, accumulating 80,000 fans in just six weeks, and her blog is already viewed in almost 200 different countries.
The Future For Barbie Looks Bright, Just Like Barbie
Mattel hopes that Computer Engineer Barbie and TV Anchor Barbie will continue to be trailblazers into the next decade and that they will inspire future female leaders everywhere. "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," says Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers, a consultant that worked closely with Mattel on the creation of Barbie's 125th career. "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."
Stay tuned for future Career Barbies, because it is obvious that Barbie is going places.
Gwen Parkes is a seasoned writer and editor and a subject matter expert (SME) on healthcare and healthcare reform. She spends her days freelancing for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and various publishing houses. Parkes exercises everyday to cleanse her mind and find her inspiration- running and hot yoga are her current devices of choice- and she is an amateur chef and self-proclaimed foodie; she believes that good supermarkets are happy places, a good Pinot Noir goes with everything and coffee should be served hot, with cream and sugar and as frequently as necessary.