Barbie the Geek

This past winter Mattel Inc., decided to let their customers choose what Barbie’s next career will be. Anyone who visited the Barbie.com website could vote for architect, anchorwoman, computer engineer, environmentalist or surgeon. More than 600,000 votes were received and computer engineer was the top pick.

The interesting thing is it wasn’t young girls who voted for her…they chose anchorwoman. But the voting was open to anyone. No one could vote more than once, but adults were not excluded. And some female computer engineers who learned about the election launched an internet campaign for Barbie as a computer engineer. Mattel was happy to oblige. Computer-engineer Barbie will come out this coming winter and Mattel hope she “inspires a new generation of girls to explore this important high-tech industry, which continues to grow and need future female leaders.”

I applaud them. I also applaud them for also deciding to honor the youngsters who voted by also producing an Anchorwoman Barbie. The world is big enough for both. :)

What do you think?

Thanks to bikehikebabe, Mike, gaelikaa, Rummuser and Cathy for commenting on last week’s post.

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11 Responses to Barbie the Geek

  1. bikehikebabe says:

    You can be a computer engineer without looking like Barbie. That’s the nice thing. They might try making a Barbie that looks like a real girl. But then she’d be too fat & that doesn’t send the right message.

  2. Jean says:

    bikehikebabe,
    Most female computer engineers interviewed laughed at the idea of themselves wearing pink or heels as high as Barbie’s, but they think the doll is a great idea anyway.

  3. Evan says:

    I guess it’s only fair that they honour other marketers attempts to get recognition.

  4. bikehikebabe says:

    Barbie, all these years, wasn’t about marketing anything except marketing Barbie & all her dozens of outfits. Mattel made a lot of money.

  5. Jean says:

    Evan,
    I imagine they would be pleased that the engineers cared enough to vote.

    bikehikebabe,
    Sure they made piles of money. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to do some good as a by-product. It would be frosting on the cake. I spend most of my time working on projects that turn me on. I think it’s great if someone else gets some benefit from what I do, but I don’t do it primarily to please other people.

  6. Rummuser says:

    What do I think? I would like to see Ken as a retired hippy and see what Barbie the Geek would do.
    .-= Rummuser´s last blog ..Maturity. =-.

  7. Jean says:

    Rummuser,
    Is this what you had in mind for Ken? Or what about this?

  8. Rummuser says:

    Jean, I started laughing when I saw the first one and could not stop after I saw the second and almost had a heart attack! I wish that I could convey the ecstasy in better terms. Please don’t grow up ever!
    .-= Rummuser´s last blog ..A Dental Story With A Moral =-.

  9. gaelikaa says:

    I have two lovely nieces here in India, Neha and Purva. Neha is a computer engineer and Purva will soon be one. Nice that they didn’t need a Barbie doll to inspire them…

  10. Mnh28ITChick says:

    I love it! Innovative idea and creative approach for Barbie. It promotes a positive opportunity influenced by the company but allowing the public to vote on what gets launched. Bravo for the career barbie and all who participated =)

  11. Jean says:

    gaeilikaa,
    As far as I can tell the people in India have good sense…they respect technical people more than people in the U.S. do. Good for them!

    Mnh28ITChick,
    I agree! I’m impressed that they honored both the adult and the children’s votes. That was a win-win solution for everyone.

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