Did you hear Barbie could be the new face of the Girl Scouts? According to the article below, the Girl Scouts have historically held a mission of promoting a positive image of “courage, confidence, and character,” which does not seem to match the often criticized portrayal of over sexualization of women/girls associated with Barbie/Mattel. Just look at the image of Girl Scout Barbie. What Girl Scouts have you seen go hiking in high heel hiking boots, tight fitting capris, and button up shirt, with full face makeup?
According to research presented in the article, “girls 5-8 — the exact age targeted by the Barbie/Girl Scout partnership — who are exposed to Barbie report more dissatisfaction with their own bodies and want to be thinner.” This completely contradicts the historical goal and mission of the Girls Scouts. What message is being sent?
Essentially, the Girls Scouts have sold themselves to the highest bidder in partnering with Mattel for advertisement, as Mattel gave the organization $2 million dollars so that Mattel can promote the brand to young scouts. The Girl Scouts have sold themselves at the expense of young impressionable girls, whose self-esteem and self-image are in the early stages of development. Reportedly, Daisies and Brownies (the youngest of the Girl Scouts) are being encouraged to now wear Barbie patches on their uniform. This is a blatant form of advertising as well as essentially defacing the original wholesome Scout uniforms.
Barbie and the Girl Scouts have undoubtedly been icons in American society for a number of years, but this partnership seems to give mixed messages to little girls about their image and how they should be portrayed.
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By Courtney Thomas, LCPC at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Courtney please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.