Mattel's New Athlete Barbies Might Seem a Win for Feminists and Young Girls — But They're Not

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Abstract

Mattel released a new range of Barbie dolls this week honouring nine trailblazing women in sport. The recognised athletes include Matildas soccer star Mary Fowler, tennis champion Venus Williams and seven other record-breaking and world champion sports stars from across the globe.

Mattel’s Krista Berger said the brand wishes to acknowledge “the impact of sports in fostering self-confidence, ambition and empowerment among the next generation”.

But is this a genuine effort by a corporation to be gender progressive, or is it a marketing ploy that co-opts feminism in the pursuit of profit?
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2024

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