Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Barbie's on the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue - but will anyone notice?

Via Business Insider
Okay, she has a bigger head and a smaller bust than Kate Upton. But the plastic skin tone is bang on.

Adweek's Emma Bazilian writes,
Along with the editorial spread, Mattel and SI are also collaborating on an advertorial component around Barbie’s new “#unapologetic” campaign, which celebrates Barbie’s (sometimes divisive) role in society. “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,” a Mattel spokesperson told Adweek. “Unapologetic is a rally cry to embrace who you are and to never have to apologize for it.” A billboard teasing the campaign (and Barbie's involvement in the Swimsuit Issue) made its debut in Times Square earlier this month.
#unapologetic is an interesting move for Mattel, who redesigned the iconic doll in 1997 to have more "realistic" proportions, and in 2012 had her "run for President." It seems they have decided to embrace the controversies about Barbie and body image. 

Don't forget, girls: Anything is possible! (Adweek)
In this case, the convergence of little girls' playthings and adult male desire is super creepy. When you read copy like "a playful, behind-the-scenes video series... shows fans what it takes to be a Sports Illustrated legend — like Barbie!" who exactly are they talking to? Who is supposed to buy these cross-promotional dolls? 

If this plays out the way I think it's going to, I'm pretty sure some apologies will be in order.

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