LOS ANGELES — Barbie has worn many hats in the past 55 years, but this is the first time she’s worn the Girl Scouts sash.
The Girl Scouts organization has signed a three-year deal with Barbie maker Mattel that will let the company roll out a Girl Scout Barbie, according to the Houston Chronicle. But it’s bigger than that – scouts can earn a “Be anything, do everything” merit patch that features the doll, among other tie-ins.
It’s the first corporate sponsorship in Girl Scout history. And some people don’t like it.
“Barbie is basically a terrible role model for girls, and she’s not about what the Girl Scouts’ principles are, which have to do with leadership and courage,” Susan Linn, a psychologist and director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, told the Today show.
But others argue that a Barbie dedicated to community service and spending time outdoors is a great role model for girls — especially since earlier versions of the doll have been housewives, bikini models and, in one case, pregnant and anatomically correct.
“Girls and moms alike associate this doll with the outdoors, camping, giving back in your community, and we think that those are really positive messages to all of our girls,” said Kelly Parisi, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA.