I am a mom of girls. It’s weird, always thought I would be a mom of boys, but who am I to argue with the universe? I was invited to attend Barbie’s Birthday Bash recently, and it got me thinking …
What does it mean to be a mom of girls through the years?
There is one consistent thing that all moms of girls, have in common: BARBIE.
I played with Barbie when I was a little girl and during this time Barbie and the Rockers were all the rage. Hours were spent dressing and styling Barbie. Already then I do believe in our minds we believed we could be anything.
This is the umpteenth attempt at writing this because I do not want it to be sales pitchy and really that is what it was sounding like but how can you not sound like a sales pitch when you realise that Barbie turned 59 this year.
Yes, I shall age like Barbie.
With Barbie’s birthday came the Barbie #YouCanBeAnything campaign. The highlight was her birthday tea held at the Fine Living in Parkmore. It was here that we were graced with the beautiful Sureshniee Rider as our MC. She even gave us a snippet into her own childhood and shared her own personal Barbie memory with us.
We all got to take a trip down our very own memory lane too as we saw Barbie through the generations. From the very first Barbie until the present day #YouCanBeAnything campaign.
Having girls I need to be more mindful about empowering them. Something I am quite passionate about and, yes, I am passionate about a lot of things. We recently held a #GirlMomsMeetUp to explore the brands and products that speak to us and our kids, as moms of girls, and we were beyond excited to have Barbie as one of our sponsors for that event.
Back to Barbie’s Birthday Bash … The girl power was fierce.
One thing that fascinated me the most from the Barbie birthday event, was the insight into what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to the Barbie clothing range. We were shown exactly how a Barbie outfit is created. Contrary to what a lot of us assume, it is not necessarily imported. Rather, it is conceptualised and made right here in South Africa. I love to hear that products are designed specifically with us South Africans in mind.
The presentation we were taken through showed us how the fabric used to make the Barbie clothing merchandise is sourced. Whether it is imported or sourced locally. It turns out that specialized fabrics like mesh and denim are sourced overseas. However, the single knit jersey fabric is sourced locally as much as local cotton growers can supply. The majority of single knit jersey is used for character basics in Edgars for example. You can find out more about that on the Cotton SA website. There is a focus to grow local cotton production. I loved just knowing this.
This campaign continues to speak to me”. Now that I am a mom of girls, I hope that I am a good role-model for them. And when I’m not, I hope that there are icons that are picking up the pieces.
Barbie has changed.
I don’t mean the outfits and jobs, but she has evolved into different sizes and cultures which is much more relevant to our little ones living in a modern society.
The Barbie Fashionista range has its roots in 2015, which saw the launch of a brand new Barbie crew featuring 23 dolls with a range of skin tones, facial structures and hair colours. The popularity of the new line saw the official launch of the Fashionista label in 2016, with the introduction of three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 14 facial structures, 22 eye colours and 24 hairstyles. Plus, of course, countless new on-trend fashions and accessories to suit each individual doll, from casually cool and boho bold, to elegant evening wear and pretty much everything in between!
Today, the Fashionista range features over 100 dolls of diverse appearance, and it continues to grow.
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The Power To Choose
The 2018 range will bring with it even more variety. They are introducing another four body types, nine skin tones, 13 face-sculpts, nine eye colours, 11 hair colours and 13 hairstyles.
The choice, as children have come to expect from the Barbie brand, is limitless.
“Barbie has always given girls choices – from her 180 careers, to inspirational roles, to her countless fashions and accessories,” says Andrea Ziella, Head of Marketing and Trade Marketing, Mattel SA. “These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.”
Barbie fans can now choose their Barbie to look just like them, or create a group of friends to mimic their own friendship circles.
By allowing our children to choose a Barbie in their own image, or in the image of their best friend, or favourite actress, singer, movie star, or sporting hero, we are encouraging them to see the beauty that not only lies in their own shape, colour and style, but also in the various shapes, colours and styles that surround them. A truer reflection of the diversity of modern society as a whole.
We live in an increasingly diverse world, it is not only natural, but crucial, that our children’s imaginary worlds represent this diversity.
Barbie Dreamhouse – The Reality
I stumbled upon Barbie: Life In The Dream House, and suffice it to say, I’m hooked! It has tapped into the whole reality scene craze for me. Barbie just leveled up as not only witty and cool but super fun. She even has her own Youtube channel with around 4.8m subscribers!
Barbie’s Birthday Bash was definitely an eye-opener for me. She is one of those toys that has truly managed to grow through the ages in her own unique and timeless fashion, whilst being a icon for little girls that really does reflect the diversity of life now.