Now when you find your husband gazingly adoringly at next week’s Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, you can be thrilled to know your daughter can also feel just as insecure as you do – because the issue will feature Barbie as well. Not that she is also an example of super unrealistic beauty standards or anything. From Ad Age.com:
“Barbie is a legend in her own right, with more than 150 careers and a brand valued at $3 billion,” a Mattel spokeswoman said. “She is in great company with the other legends such as Heidi Klum and Christie Brinkley, to name a few.”
“As a legend herself, and under criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic,” the spokeswoman added.
The tagline of the campaign is called “Unapologetic” — so too bad if your kid feels shitty she’s not tall and blond and perfect like Barbie, because they are all UNAPOLOGETIC. The swimsuit issue is fine. If you don’t want to see it, don’t look at it, don’t buy it, whatever. But adding Barbie to the lineup of impossibly gorgeous, airbrushed beauties doesn’t do a lot for the self-esteem of young girls. It just doesn’t.
And the other troubling aspect of this is, even though Klum and Brinkley have aged, and have aged beautifully, Barbie hasn’t. She still looks exactly the same as she did 50 years ago. She isn’t risking shit by appearing in a bathing suit, because it isn’t like she has stretch marks or wrinkles that will need to be photoshopped in the spread. The Swimsuit Issue isn’t for little kids. It’s for adults. Why add a kid’s toy into the mix?
For those of you who don’t find this offensive, you can purchase the new Sport’s Illustrated Barbie at Target stores this month.
And I feel the need to just leave this image from the 2013 issue here, because I think it speaks volumes about why I don’t think adding a child’s doll to the magazine benefits anyone, much less our daughters.
And, because some readers aren’t sure why exactly I feel this is wrong, I expounded here.