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Barbie Poses For Sports Illustrated

Christianna Wiggins |
February 15, 2014 | 2:34 p.m. PST

Executive Producer


#unapologetic billboard in New York City (twitpic| @MAnthonyNYC)
#unapologetic billboard in New York City (twitpic| @MAnthonyNYC)
Mattel, the toy company best known for its infamous Barbie dolls, is launching a "#unapologetic" campaign, which will culminate with Barbie posing for the cover of Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary annual swimsuit edition.

The campaign is geared towards acknowledging all of Barbie's accomplishments throughout the years, but with the title of the movement being called "unapologetic," it begs the question, unapologetic about what?

Most likely, Barbie isn't sorry about brainwashing young girls into believing that beauty, intelligence and success all come from the perfectly proportioned and unattainably flawless woman.

For 55 years, as the average female body has evolved, Barbie has not. Despite continuous debate over the unrealistic look of the doll, Mattel has stuck by their prototype and continues to sell the original doll, with a frequently updated wardrobe of course. 

Consequently, Barbie has become a staple in society. The dolls align with societal norms and it is expected that many young children will play with them, and that may not change any time soon. 

That being said, everyone, including Mattel, is aware of the subconscious ideals about women that Barbie instills in young girls.

Therefore, parents have the option to buy their children Barbie's, or not. Parent's also have the option to promote healthy body types, whether that is a size 2 or a size 10, even if their kids play with Barbies. It is all a personal choice. Or at least it was in the past. 

With the unapologetic campaign, Barbie is featured on billboards in New York City to promote her new Sports Illustrated cover, which forces parents and children alike to see this toy publicly praised for her body.


There is a blatant issue with the latter. It is incredibly inappropriate. 

This campaign attaches a kid's toy to an adult magazine. While many will argue that younger kids do not even read Sports Illustrated, children will undoubtedly be intrigued to know what it is after they see a doll they own on the cover of it. Not every 10 year old will now run to newsstands to buy the latest Sports Illustrated but in this digital age, any kid with an iPad can easily look up "Sports Illustrated," and the images that come up, are not all PG. 

In Barbie's defense, she has made some huge professional strides over the years. She has had numerous careers, and has even showcased her strength as a single woman after publicly breaking it off with her boyfriend Ken. 

It is assumed that these are amongst the achievements that Barbie will discuss inside the magazine issue.

However, when you choose a platform like Sports Illustrated and use the slogan "unapologetic," it undoubtedly becomes difficult for viewers to see past the controversial body image issues and focus on the alleged female empowerment. 

Reach Executive Producer Christianna Wiggins here and follow her on twitter here



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