In the Blog

Make-up by Barbie: It gets worse

June 23rd, 2007     by Stacey May Fowles     Comments

A little while back I wrote a post about how MAC and Mattel partnered up to create a rather eerie line of make-up that celebrated that vacant barbie look. Now Mattel has gone one step further and will partner with Bonne Bell to market a new line of cosmetics to young girls. And when I say “young,” I mean very, very young.

The new cosmetics line is expected to launch in 2008, and while the company is describing it only as ‘girl savvy,’ it will reportedly be aimed at girls ages 6 to 9.”

“The Barbie and Bonne Bell partnership will bring girls a fun, feminine and unique beauty experience, leveraging the unparalleled popularity of two globally loved brands,” the company says in its announcement.

Okay, so this is disgusting and disturbing and far worse that the barbie marketing they did to grown up users of drag-queen friendly MAC products. But I have also learned that Mattel once had better days. Back in 2005 they actually financially supported a group called Girls Inc., (inspiring all girls to be smart, strong and bold.) The message behind the fundraising campaign asked girls to promise: I can be myself, follow my dreams, and always do my best. I can reach for the stars, lend a hand to others, and be a good friend. I can make a difference! I promise to try.

Sounds good right? Yah, well The American Family Association didn’t think so. Apparently the AFA thought the program didn’t “promote traditional family values” and started a petition to stop the campaign. What was their problem with the campaign? The fact that Girl’s Inc. “encourages all girls to develop positive sexual identities and to function comfortably as responsible sexual beings…Girls have a right to positive, supportive environments and linkages to community resources for dealing with issues of sexual orientation.”

So what did Mattel do as a result of AFA’s protest? They were cowards and cut their ties as corporate sponsor for the fundraising campaign and thereby negatively effected programs for girls in science, math, technology, community building, leadership, sports and athletic skills.

So this is progress? Now Mattel has gone from partnering to help girls be smart, strong and bold through positive progressive programming, to making 6 year olds buy make-up.

“The Barbie and Bonne Bell partnership will bring girls a fun, feminine and unique beauty experience”


Tags: media savvy

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