The "Back to Basics" Barbie line, while for the most part is not overly shocking, there is one doll in the line who crosses the line. This corporate meets down on the corner Barbie, makes you wonder what kind of message are we promoting and to whom?
As those in the industry who are in charge of sending a message and making sure that our target market not only receives that message but that, that message is ingrained in them, I just have to ask what is our responsibility as advertisers? Should we lose our morals in order to make a buck? I know this has been a dilemma since the dawn of advertising, but it has really made me think.
Now don't get me wrong, while I know the proportions of Barbies are off kilter I don't think all Barbies are bad. I am that little girl who owned just about every Barbie thing imaginable, including the three story house equipped with working lights and elevator. And I was never compelled by the Barbie I played with that I should have her proportions. The clothes however were a different story. I wanted a beautiful red gown or pretty high heels just like Barbie. So now for me to see little girls take their half naked, corporate cleavage Barbie out of the box is appalling to me.
This isn't the first time that Barbie has found herself in the light of controversy and she also isn't the only one receiving flak. Dove's campaign to showcase just how much the media skews advertising images is a very powerful one combating the advertising message of "This is what beautiful looks like". So why not take a note from Dove and as advertising professionals take the responsibility of spreading the message that normal people are beautiful too, and live extraordinary lives.
Its never been so evident to me that our choices make a difference than by hearing my four year old family friend say "Well Barbie likes those clothes she's always smiling"