As previously mentioned during our last foray into Barbie's résumé, she's worn many hats since she got her "big break in 1959." Still, there was one hat Barbie had yet to put on: a Girl Scout's green beret. That's all about to change when Girl Scout Barbie arrives in stores.
While the dolls are making their debut on shelves this week, Girl Scout Barbie has been stirring up controversy since the partnership between Mattel and the scouts was announced last August. In addition to a doll, the Girl Scout-Mattel alignment includes a website, a Barbie-themed Girl Scouts activity book, and a special Barbie uniform patch — the first to have corporate sponsorship.
None of these things is going over well. Susan Linn, the director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told the New York Post: "Holding Barbie, the quintessential fashion doll, up as a role model for Girl Scouts simultaneously sexualizes young girls, idealizes an impossible body type, and undermines the Girl Scouts’ vital mission to build ‘girls of courage, confidence and character."
Barbie didn't get to be the powerful icon she is today by taking criticism lying down in her lavish pink apartment, though. Mattel fired back at critics of the partnership. "Girls and moms alike associate this doll with the outdoors, camping, giving back in your community, and we think that those are really positive messages to all of our girls," Kelly Parisi, a Girl Scouts spokeswoman, told Today.