Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Barbie is unapologetic. I am unimpressed.

Mattel and Sports Illustrated have teamed up to UNAPOLOGETICALLY celebrate their collective century of making females feel crappy about their bodies. The 50th edition of the Swimsuit Issue will feature a photo shoot of the original 1959 Barbie in her striped one-piece alongside the modernized 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Barbie (available in stores this month), as well as an advertorial to drive home the #unapologetic campaign, which fights back against haters by claiming unrealistic beauty standards actually empower women.

A Mattel spokesperson told ADWEEK, “As with Barbie, every year the Swimsuit edition sparks conversations about women and body image, and Sports Illustrated stands unapologetically behind this issue that women, in reality, love ...Unapologetic is a rally cry to embrace who you are and to never have to apologize for it.” 

Hmm... #notbuyingit. The doll, the magazine or the spin.

It never occurred to me to expect an apology before - my Barbie Dream House and Soda Shoppe provided hours of fun when I was a kid, and Barbie has become a bit less disturbing over the years, given the ability to return the male gaze in 1971 and a wider waist in 1997. But featuring a children's doll in a magazine meant for grown men (oh and women who apparently "love" the Swimsuit issue...), alongside hypersexualized, airbrushed images of supermodels writhing around on the beach? And claiming this is a "rally cry" for Average Jane to embrace who she is? I'm insulted. And grossed out. And now I want an apology.

Photo credit: http://www.adweek.com/news/press/sports-illustrated-swimsuit-issues-newest-model-barbie-155653

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