Girl Scouts Partner With Barbie Because They Have Zero Imagination

Girl Scouts Barbie BadgeTo have a daughter in America is to face the Girl Scouts sign-up sheet at least once. They're practically an American institution and one that's helped shape some 59 million American women to boot. But if you've been waffling on whether to let your daughter join the ranks of America's cutest cookie peddlers, this may change your mind: the Girl Scouts have partnered with Barbie.

Yes, that Barbie. The doll that has given parents agita for years for the mixed messages her plastic body sends to our daughters now has pride of place on an I Can Be Anything badge from the group that claims to "build girls of courage, confidence, and character."

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Face.

Palm.

The partnership apparently cropped up a year ago, but it's only now getting real attention as Barbie maker Mattel rolls out its Girl Scouts doll in stores. And it's managed to make a lot of parents very angry.

Can you blame them?

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Whether you agree that Barbie is a horrible role model for girls or not, it's hardly breaking news that she's controversial. There are a lot of parents in America who have a problem with her (not to mention researchers and child development experts). That alone should have been a giant yellow warning light flashing in the eyes of the folks at Girl Scouts' corporate headquarters as they were making this deal.

Why would an organization that caters to so many diverse girls in America risk making parents angry? What kind of message does this send to those parents? Especially when there are so many other (and many would say better) options available?

Even Barbie's fiercest defenders have to acknowledge that the toy is not exactly educational.

Meanwhile the market is glut with items that you can set up with your kids so they can actually learn something, can actually get a taste for who or what it is they DO what to be when they grow up. If corporate sponsorship was so necessary for the organization, that's where they could -- no, should -- have gone: to the sectors of the toy industry really focused on taking girls to the next step, opening doors, and busting down barriers.

If we're going to tell little girls they can "be anything" with a plastic toy, why not something that signifies true innovation? A Snap Circuits logo on the badge is the first thing that comes to mind. It's a little meta, but talk about sparking a girl's creativity! Or heck, partner with an airline and slap a plane on there to show her she can pilot her own adventure.

Something that doesn't just "say" her options are endless, but presents actual paths to walk into her future? Anything other than Barbie, quite frankly, would do the trick of not only pacifying parents, but presenting little girls with something truly inspiring.

Instead, Girl Scouts of America just delivered a major disappointment to moms. Next time, here's hoping they think a little more like they tell our daughters to -- outside of the box.

What do you think of the partnership? Can you suggest a better pairing?

 

Image via Girl Scouts

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