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It’s official. Barbie is online, with her CV (all 20 pages of it – yes really) written up and ready to inspire young women around the world.
In fact, her new LinkedIn profile reads: “I got my big break in 1959 to inspire girls to dream big. Since then I’ve had 150+ careers, but my true calling remains – encourage generations of girls to place no limitations on their ambitions.”
In another status update she claims she is a “dream incubator” (whatever that means) who will help girls “explore the world”.
Now, I’m all for empowering women and encouraging young, professional females to do what they can to break the so-called glass ceiling, but I’m not entirely convinced using a plastic, unrealistic image of a ‘woman’ (who, let’s be honest, is only on LinkedIn as a sales tactic) is necessarily the way to do it.
I mean, come on. She comes wearing a fun, flirty pink dress (no comment) and high ponytail, carrying a tablet and briefcase (so professional).
She also says that “our” (I assume she means parent company Mattel’s) company tagline is “If you can dream it, you can be it!” which would be a good tagline if we actually knew what Entrepreneur Barbie does, but… she doesn’t say. Weird.
Does it matter though? At least she looks pretty!
However, Entrepreneur Barbie has already done some good on LinkedIn, like promoting these female ‘Chief Inspiration Officers’ as role models, and sharing websites like Girls Who Code to promote traditionally male-oriented careers for women.
Much like my own opinion, the reviews about Entrepreneur Barbie have been mixed.
Salon calls Entrepreneur Barbie a “misfire attempt at inspiring girls”, while Time’s Jessica Roy has a dig that in the current climate for women in start-ups, perhaps Mattel should be promoting “Silently Enduring Sexual Harassment With the Hope I Will Get a Raise Barbie” and “Making Less Than My Male Counterparts Barbie”.
LinkedIn members are torn as well. Some say Barbie has always had a negative influence on women, while others are “inspired to dream big” and believe “the world will be better” for young girls now.
To be honest, I’m not sure what I think. But it’s somewhat odd for a children’s toy to be pushed through a professional, adult, networking social media site like LinkedIn.