Friday, February 18, 2011

Barbie gets a new career

This cracked me up, so I had to share it: Barbie is getting a new career.  Mattel is producing an Architect Barbie as part of its "I can be" line.  The article put out by the AIA (American Institute of Architects) is interesting.  I find it particularly disparaging that even in this modern day and age of supposed equality, only 17% of AIA members (the institute in which one is likely, but not required, to belong to when one becomes a licensed professional) are women.  This sounds about right since there were just 12 women out of 50 in my own graduating class almost 10 years ago (yikes! I'm getting old!) and becoming licensed involves MUCH more than just graduating.  I won't get started on my feelings and opinions of how male-dominated and un-family-friendly the profession is...that's for another post entirely.  For now we can just focus on the fairly unrealistic Mattel "vision" of what an architect must do:
“Girls can imagine designing their very own Dream House with Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect.  Ready to tackle the daily responsibilities of a real architect in or out of the office, Barbie® I Can Be…™ Architect includes a hard hat and a set of blue prints. Wearing an architecturally inspired dress showcasing a city skyline, Barbie® doll’s outfit is symmetrically stylish with bold colors and clean lines.  In designing this doll, Barbie®  partnered with the American Institute of Architects to keep Barbie®  I Can Be… ™ Architect  doll  authentic to the career.”
Meanwhile, I bring you an image of Architect Barbie.  Don't you think the dark-rimmed glasses are a nice touch?  Personally, I think the outfit is ALL wrong.  Architects wear black and gray.  (Okay, I am being somewhat stereotypical, but while I worked, I did notice a lot of black and gray and it crept into my own wardrobe at an alarming rate.  I still think of my dark gray turtleneck as a professional-looking power shirt...maybe I have problems.)  We won't even get into the fact that architects rarely make enough money to design their own dream house...


  1. Blue prints?! Is this Dark Ages Architect Barbie?

    I've seen plenty of architects wearing colorful stylish outfits (there's this one guy at Callison, I can't even remember his name; I just refer to him as "the tall guy who was wearing orange argyle socks"), but you wouldn't wear the dress and high-heel boots at the same time as the hard hat, would you?

    But yes, those glasses are a nice touch.

  2. Yes, that outfit is definitely all wrong for an architect Barbie. I mean ankle booties? I'm trying to picture you wearing ankle booties... :)

  3. I think those boots MUST be steel-toed.

  4. You're a way hotter architect than Barbie!