Merkel Barbie

Hmm, what to make of this.

Angela Merkel Barbie doll

On the one hand – great, all those barbie fans have aspirational role models beyond ‘surf barbie’, ‘mermaid barbie’, princess barbie’. Now we have ‘Chancellor Angela Merkel Barbie’!

On the other hand – it seems no one is safe from such plasticky objectification. Also – note that if you are a state leader and you do want to be made into a doll, it appears you’ll have to undergo the doll equivalent of air-brushing. Your natural figure will not survive the plasticising process.

(You gotta keep those young aspirations in check, right? Aim to be PM, but aim to be wasp-waisted large breasted PM)

21 thoughts on “Merkel Barbie

  1. I suspect children find it extremely difficult to imagine being middle-aged or old. (I certainly did and also thought, cruelly it seems to me now, that people deserved the sagging looks they acquired.) I wonder what difference it would make to have dolls of older women; there have been/are a few…

    Anyone up for designing a “golden crone” series?

  2. I think the doll looks like Princess Diana. The Merkel Barbie is certainly more demure than this picture of the chancellor at the new opera in Oslo, but, yes, I guess the idea of growing up to be a political leader is probably considered a lot more appealing to young girls if they also get to be unusually “pretty.”

    So what should Mattel do, given the popularity of this existing product and the ongoing criticisms for giving her only glamorous careers? Maybe they should just make a generic “President Barbie” or “Senator Barbie,” not modelled on an actual human being.

  3. merkel’s quite intimidating–both politically and, more to the point, physically–in real life. i bet there are a lot of people in politics who would really love to think of her like this. much easier to be dismissive of a delicate, pretty little dolly than of a sturdy no-nonsense woman politician. i think if i were her, i’d be a bit pissed off about mattel messing with my cred.

  4. Rachel, there are persistent rumors that the Gov of Texas (practically its own country) is a Ken doll, albeit now with wrinkles. See here and here.

  5. i will say that as i age, i do increasingly resemble barbie in one way: nowadays, my knees tend to click when the bend more often than not.

    (sorry, i just couldn’t resist)

  6. I note that the original article has been updated – the Angela Merkle doll is a “one of a kind doll” and was not made to be marketed.

    Barbie dolls have all had the same general “super-female” shape, even when they brought out the first Dr Barbie and Astronaut Barbie dolls years ago. The important thing is to have “Barbie” be more than a fashion plate. Girls need “role models” to help them to realize that they need not be limited in their aspirations, and Barbie is one avenue. Ignore the shape and hair – that stuff is not what is important. That is the shallow stuff.

    Doctor Barbie, Astronaut Barbie – in their play, kids create fantasy worlds. How about a President Barbie? Electrician Barbie? Construction Worker Barbie? Community Organizer Barbie? Investigative Reporter Barbie? CSI Barbie? (that would be a hot item – just think of all the neat accessories), Archaeologist/adventurer Barbie (trekking fearlessly into the jungle, machete in hand)? The possibilities are endless – maybe even a Philosopher Barbie? (hmmm…what accessories….)

  7. The lack of accessories to buy for Philosopher Barbie guarantees that it won’t be made. Yes, I’m sure that’s why it hasn’t been done.

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