Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Barbie the Mars Explorer

I've written a couple of posts about Barbie before - "Do we Need a Physics Barbie" and about a blog round on Geologist Barbie. In that last post I comment that the Barbie in my house is quite pink (although at six my daughter is beginning to favour purple over pink), but that it's OK to like pink and be good at Maths and Science, so I see no big problem with that.

So then I suppose my response to this very pink Barbie the Mars Explorer which was released yesterday should be quite positive.

Somehow it does make me a bit uncomfortable though.... real space suits are not pink, and definitely not fitted to accentuate Barbie curves. In fact I once went to an incredibly inspirational talk by Mae Jemison when she talked about how badly proportioned space suits we for her figure. She most grumbled about the gloves though.... Space Barbie seems to have forgotten her gloves which is a bit worrying.

This is more positive:

The Mars Explorer Barbie packaging art includes a list of facts about the history of U.S. female space explorers and promotes the space agency's Women@NASA website to learn more.

And like Lego Friends, I think we need to think about this Barbie in relation to the pink aisles at toy stores (like Toys R Us). I would rather there is not a pink isle, and I hope campaigns like @LetToysBeToys can work on that, but while there is, I will not blame toy makers for using it to their advantage, and if Lego, or Mattel chooses to make pink model scientists and pink building blocks to promote them to girls, well I'd rather that than there being no toys like that at all in the pink aisle....

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