Barbie Teaches Kids About Self-Care
Barbie Teaches Kids About Self-Care
*Note that Amanda or CreateBeing does not have experience with the products or connection with Barbie or its manufacturer, Mattel. This is just an opinion piece.
We’ve all been thinking about self-care these last few weeks and now, even Barbie has something to say about it. The popular and dividing doll has long been known for its unrealistic lifestyle standard of women being cis, full-time career holding, multi-skilled, family-driven , socialites that have unattainable body proportions. Over the last few years, the doll maker, Mattel has come up with a new generation of dolls that include multiple skin types, body sizes and careers that are more gender neutral. Whatever one’s opinion is on this doll, the company is clearly trying to expand its once very narrow viewpoint of its original maker.
THE WELLNESS DOLLS
Today, Mattel launched its newest line of dolls under the name Barbie Wellness. The line-up includes:
Barbie® Fizzy Bath Doll and Playset, Brunette, with Tub, Puppy & More/Barbie® Fizzy Bath Doll & Playset, Blonde, with Tub, Puppy & More
You may notice that there are Blonde and Brunette dolls, where the Brunette dolls have a darker skin tone than the Blonde ones.
“Barbie® doll knows the way to be one’s best is to give yourself the best care!” Though this statement of being one’s best is to essentially take care of yourself isn’t incorrect, it comes to question what we considered as care. Using the dolls as examples, it seems, at first glance, as though self-care is exclusively:
1. Going to the spa
2. Taking a bath
3. General relaxation
4. Putting on a face mask, and
Since we’ve been thinking a lot about self-care recently, these activities that Barbie is doing seems to be the top things that people think of when it comes to taking care of oneself. Seeing this raises the importance of demystifying exclusive self-care practices like the ones above as limiting beliefs to what self-care can be. It can’t be denied that hygiene, relaxation and the occasional spa visits can be a part of care, it arguably shouldn’t be the first things we think of. When we only think of care in this limited matter we disregard the unique body and skin types, limit the abilities and activities a person may find enjoyable and the financial barriers of these activities. Not everyone can afford a dog and go to the spa, Barbie!
In addition to the limit of these activities, and aside from bringing your support animal, the activities are also isolating. Couldn’t Blonde Barbie and Brunette Barbie go for a walk in the park, cook a healthy meal together or go to the dentist?! Also, why can’t they have their own names? As Cosmopolitan suggests:
“If Mattel is aiming to show girls what’s really worth the investment in your physical and mental health, I’d like to suggest Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Barbie and Barbie’s first annual Pap smear playset. ”
Inspired by the suggestions, here are some other ideas for the dolls:
- Suicide Prevention Plan Barbie
- Active Listener Barbie
- Goes to Therapy Barbie
- First Menstruation Kit Barbie
We’ve come to know the importance and power of meditation and it is good to see that this was included in the wellness regime. However, there is still something off-putting. Barbie’s dog comes with emotional floating cloud attachments that symbolize different moods. It would be really fascinating to have seen the attachments for Barbie rather than the dog.
There is a bit of light to this in which Mattel has partnered with the meditation app, Headspace to create meditation recordings with this product line. When you press Barbie’s necklace on the Breathe with Me Barbie model, 1 of 4 meditations play. Additional resources include watching a vlog and meditating with an animated Barbie and, on the Headspace Barbie website, there are a suggested list of meditation recordings parents can play for their children.
It is positive to encourage people to meditate – so not the worst of all the other activities.
Seeing this new Barbie raises the importance of self-care, a valuable aspect to living well and caring for oneself. It is also important to realize that going to the spa and taking baths are limiting beliefs to what self-care is.
In the exploration of self-care, it’s clear that various people, at different paces and processes, have multiple ways to experience care and love for themselves. It is in workshops like Design Your Self-Care from CreateBeing where we will explore what self-care is for each person and how to create a plan to prepare for when you don’t feel like taking care of yourself.
Go HERE For more information on CreateBeing workshops.