Poor Barbie has a bad rap. Forever stuck in the gender inequality wars, she is never recognized for the good things that she does. The blond hair, boobs, hips, and skinny pink dresses always seem to get all of the attention. I have to admit they used to cloud my judgment of her as well. When a friend gave us a mountain of Barbie movies, I thought I had received a subtle hint that our friendship was nearing its end, but when my girls dove into them and kept them on repeat from morning to night, I started to realize that this girl is not someone to be feared. She is a role model. Really, isn’t being taken seriously as a female no matter what you look like at the heart of feminism and gender issues? A handful of poor wardrobe choices aside, if my daughter turned out just like Barbie, I would be one proud mom. The girl has a lot going for her.
If my daughter turned out just like Barbie, I would be one proud mom. #parenting Click To Tweet
She can put an outfit together.
Let’s get right to it. Barbie knows how to put the appropriate outfit together for each occasion, and that skill should not be underestimated. How many articles are there out there about picking the right outfit for an interview and what your business clothes are saying about you? Several, and, as someone who interviews people regularly, I can tell you it’s important. Barbie understands this and knows how to put her best foot forward when she needs to.
She always has a prince, but he’s usually an afterthought.
Ken is never the focus. He usually comes after Barbie’s gang of BFFs is solidified, she’s had several adventures, and she has a solid foundation of who she is. Barbie has her prince around to enhance her life, not define it.
She is completely comfortable being a girl.
Her love of pink is unapologetic. She scales mountains and enjoys accessorizing. She doesn’t buy into any preconceived notions of what a female should be and therefore has no reason to rebel against it. I think that’s what you call well-adjusted.
We need to put aside the incorrect body measurements. She’s a toy. Do milk cartons have eyes? No, but we don’t complain that Shopkins are giving our children the wrong sense of what a milk carton should be. Barbie is skinny, which for some reason also gets her a bad rap, but have you seen her kitchen? It’s pretty freakin’ amazing and full of healthy fruits and vegetables. In fact, the foods that go with the set lead me to believe that she might eat a Paleo diet. She also has a wide variety of exercise clothes and doesn’t spend many adventures in front of the TV. She knows you get one body and one life so you might as well invest in your health no matter if the outcome is being skinny or not.
She smiles at her enemies.
This may sound fake, but it is a valuable life skill. The age-old saying you catch more flies with honey is absolutely true. I have watched several people succeed and several people not see the outcomes they intend based on how they interact with people and address those they may not agree with. This world runs on the connections you have. The less bridges you burn, the better.
She has the coping skills.
Barbie has been through a lot of change in her life. She was a completely different woman in the ’50s and has been called upon to reinvent herself through may decades. She’s seen a lot, but through each stage of life, she met the challenge of change with a smile and stayed true to herself. You’ll never hear her complain about what used to be.
She raises others’ kids.
A wise woman once said to me on the subject of women interactions, “Women will kill each other. Then they’ll raise each other’s babies.” I don’t think Barbie killed anyone, but she does have a mom who is MIA and has left her with quite a few sisters to raise. Barbie attacks this challenge with grace, working very hard to give her sisters a great life without any complaints of this added responsibility. She knows that the time we get with others, especially our family, is a gift and not a burden. The unexpected may not be in our plans. Strength of character is shown in how you deal with it.
She made it, and she’s going to keep it.
Barbie is a girl after my own heart. There is no doubt that she has been successful. She has a dream house, a jet, an RV, a plane, and a boat — all in her name. It’s not Barbie and Ken’s dream house, it’s Barbie’s. The girl has a big heart, but she takes care of herself and keeps her assets. And there isn’t anything wrong with that. Come what may in life, she can be secure in the fact that she will have the finances, knowledge, and skills to meet the challenges.
Raising well-rounded, self-confident, and self-sufficient girls is my challenge, and the more role models I have on my side, the better. I no longer fear the stereotype of Barbie. In fact, if my daughters grew up to be Barbie, I will have done my parenting job successfully.