Everybody knows who Barbie is. She is ubiquitous.

Well, maybe I should have said everyone knows WHAT Barbie is.  After all, she is not a real person, is she. (Try telling that to your little girl!)

Maybe I should have said ALMOST everyone knows who Barbie is.  She probably isn’t too popular in Iraq or in North Korea, but “it is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.” (Wikipedia history of Barbie)

As a 68 year-old grandfather, who does NOT play with dolls, I can still tell you from memory than 53 year-old Barbie is a girl for all seasons and all situations.  In addition to her own vehicles, houses, wedding dresses (plural), books, and cosmetics, I just learned she has also had her own video game!  Oh, we can’t forget from time-to-time she has had her own boyfriend since 1961 – Ken Carson.

BarbiePatchNow, Barbie has her own Girl Scouts of America patch!  Barbara Millicent Roberts tells girls “Be anything, do everything.”  How cool is that!

Maybe not so cool to everyone.  Our little girl (11½ inches tall with stiff arms and legs) is in the middle of another controversy.  (Yup, her controversies are also ubiquitous.)  Some disgruntled non-fans say “This is product placement at its worst.”  That is New American Dream’s executive director, Wendy Philleo, who claims she is a long time admirer of the Girl Scouts. “Our children are already being bombarded by marketers’ pitches at stores, at home, on-line, on TV, and in school,”  (AP – March 6, 2014.)

It seems the Girl Scouts of the USA formed a partnership with the doll’s manufacturer – Mattel – last August.  “The partnership . . . . includes a Barbie-themed activity book, a website, and a Barbie participation patch — the first Girl Scout uniform patch with corporate sponsorship.”

BarbieSIThat is the original Barbie (black or blonde hair) on a fake cover of Sports Illustrated created by Mattel.  It is part of a display announcing the Girl Scout patch, and also trumpeting Barbie’s appearance in the current swimsuit edition of SI.  (Don’t get excited, guys. She is in a very small photo, 50 times over, wearing a black sheath.  NOT rated even PG.)

This is one old gramps with a Barbie-collecting daughter and a Barbie fan-in-waiting (born on Barbie’s 50th birthday), so right this moment, I don’t feel the angst.  Maybe when some mother beats me up as I walk through Walmart, I’ll get the “message,” but today I say, “Son, where is your G.I. Joe?  Let’s play guy-guys!”




3 thoughts on “Barbie gets a patch

  1. From the Girl Scouts: Our partnership with Mattel focuses on career exploration and teaches girls about inspiring women in a fun way. We stand behind this partnership, as it helps us bring to over two million Girl Scouts the message that they can do anything. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place, and helping girls explore career options is just one of the many ways Girl Scouts serves girls.


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