Mattel, the maker of world-dominating dolly Barbie, have released new figures which show that Barbie’s sales have dropped 15% worldwide over the last quarter. Sales have fallen in eight of the last ten quarters says the Telegraph, possibly putting Barbie’s best days behind it.
There is loads of research backing up Mattel’s insistence that Barbie was never meant to look realistic and that Barbie is just a dolly that girls like to play with. There’s even more research which says Barbie’s size and shape influences – negatively – girls’ self-esteem and body image.
There are many many discussions about Barbie, from women making themselves over with cosmetic surgery so they look like the doll, to life-size representations of it which show that clearly it was never based on real women!
Thing is, Barbie’s clothing has always been designed to show off its body. Doctor, astronaut or even roller-skating, the emphasis on the clothing design has always been on showing lots of leg, lots of chest and making sure the tiny waist was emphasised.
Yes yes I know – that’s how you have to make dolls’ clothes, so that they don’t fall off. Well – there are many other kinds of doll that don’t have the uber-form-fitting shortie styles that Barbie is famous for, and their clothing stays put just fine. So I don’t buy that argument at all!
I do think though that a lot of our automatic programming IS influenced by the body-consciousness of Barbie, I’ve written about that before.
And just maybe all the research and all the conversations and all the activism are making mums think twice about automatically buying a Barbie for their daughters.
And maybe just maybe Mattel will now pull their heads out of the sand, pay attention to the research they haven’t funded and give Barbie a makeover that convinces mothers Mattel actually cares about the influence their icon has had on generations of girls.
They’ve really done some dumb things in the last year that’s clearly shown they don’t get it – like the Barbie issue of Sports Illustrated. Yes really.
No wonder sales have fallen!
The recent creation of Entrepreneur Barbie hasn’t improved things, because – a bit like saying beauty pageants are about achievements and not looks – the problem isn’t the careers, it’s the body-as-object stuff that’s really the problem!
But what to do if you still have that idealised version of a female shape embedded deeply in your own subconscious mind, firmly programmed by years of playing with Barbie and seeing that influence everywhere in the world?
You can change it
Early programming is just early programming – it will keep running the show as long as you’re not aware of it but you can change it!
Once you are aware of it, or think there might be something to it, you can breakthrough that programming to consciously choose your beliefs about your body and your value as a woman, even if you don’t look have that ideal Barbie-like beauty.
The first part of the Body Bliss Breakthrough program takes a deep dive into your body beliefs and uses a beautiful and effective process to let you transform the old and consciously choose the new.