Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Why Is The Girl Scout Barbie A Big Deal? – ‘The Why’

Why Is The Girl Scout Barbie A Big Deal? – ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why “Why is the Girl Scout Barbie a big deal?” you ask? Good question. (Honestly, since your Eagle Scout author—you know the joke about becoming an Eagle Scout, right?—prefers playing with live Barbie dolls this will take some research.)

Apparently, various consumer groups have been bemoaning this week’s first shipment of Mattel’s new Girl Scout Barbie. The $2 million dollar tie-in deal which was first announced in August 2013 even includes an actual legit patch that can be earned by both Brownie and Daisy members. Mind you, it does make it the first badge to have a corporate sponsor but that doesn’t have to be an issue because the girls still must fulfill specific requirements.

Girl Scout Barbie

Why is the Girl Scout Barbie a big deal?/Image: ObsessiveMommy

For some reason, while it’s been coming for almost a year, now that the dolls will soon hit store shelves, some folks are causing a stir. ” Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told the press: “Holding Barbie, the quintessential fashion doll, up as a role model for Girl Scouts simultaneously sexualizes young girls, idealizes an impossible body type, and undermines the Girl Scouts’ vital mission to build ‘girls of courage, confidence and character.”

Girl Scouts don’t have to buy a Barbie and can download the merit badge book online and then fill out a form and have the patch mailed to them. Furthermore, while the point of the badge is to educate Girl Scouts about different future career choices, some folks are still worried about having a corporate-owned insignia on the Girl Scout uniform.

New American Dream’s executive director Wendy Philleo claimed: “This is product placement at its worst. Our children are already being bombarded by marketers’ pitches at stores, at home, online, on TV and in school.”

The truth is Barbie has been around for over 55 years. Barbie is older than your opining penman. In her over half-a-century of existence she has donned over 135 different career uniforms (complete with pink accents and accessories) and been accused of sexualizing each one by one source or another.

Girl Scout Barbie

Why is the Girl Scout Barbie a big deal?/Image: IdleHands

(On a personal note, as a parent of a successful college co-ed who loved Barbie and is nothing like the ones your randy writer used to “date” (Thank God), this seems a stretch. No one wants girls to think they have to grow up to be perfectly proportioned and not value themselves as people. On the other hand, becoming an obese pig who orders a diet Coke with the super-sized McDonald’s meal under the guise of “loving oneself” doesn’t work either.)

Many other people believe that putting Barbie in the Girl Scout uniform is an excellent opportunity to get girls involved in scouting. One mother on the Today show said: ““I think if girls didn’t identify with Barbie, it might create a problem for us as parents but girls love them. They represent what they love; it’s a win-win.”

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez concluded: “We are tying the fun girls have playing with Barbie to an opportunity to gain insight into the careers of today and tomorrow, through patches and discovery along the way.”

Why is the Girl Scout Barbie a big deal? Now you know.

You ask the questions.  We provide the answers.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.
  • Carmen gonzales

    Why do girls have to rely on a doll to be their role models? What happened to strong, educated women, their mothers or other important females in their lives. Dolls are supposed to be toys not role models.

    • Will Phoenix

      Well, that I understand. Barbie can be everything and do anything. Some moms can barely take care of themselves let alone be role models for their daughters. I don’t agree with a toy being given so much weight but there you have it. barbie is older than a lot of moms out there. She’s even older than I am. Thanks for your comment and for reading my stuff (again)!

  • Scouting=Outdoors

    What is really amazing is that GSUSA Kelly Parisi, spokeswoman for the Girl
    Scouts, REALLY thinks this: “Girls and moms alike associate this doll
    with the outdoors, camping, giving back in your community,…”
    This is nothing more than marketing to little girls to make more sales for
    Corporate America. GSUSA in their For-Profit Corporate mind-set, has
    sold out the Girl Scout image, brand & logo to “an array of licensed
    products resulting in more than $100 million
    in retail sales” Nothing trickles down to the local level to provide
    programming for the girls or services to the volunteers. Girl Scouts
    charges a fee for Everything but having little girls sell millions of $
    in cookies every year of which the majority of the revenue is used to
    pay salaries & office building expenses. .


    • Will Phoenix

      So your issue is how they handle the funds? I have never been in Girl Scouts nor has my only daughter been in it for any significant time but I know with Boy Scouts the trickle down results in lower costs for some activities, the website, etc. The whole cookie thing certainly does make one wonder though . . . thanks for your comment and thanks for reading my stuff. .