Girl Scout Barbie sparks controversy

Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) -- Barbie has worn many hats over the years, from construction worker to firefighter she's taken on a number of careers, but her newest role has some concerned.

When you think of Girl Scouts, what comes to mind? Cookies? Camping? What about Barbie’s?

Now that maker of the Barbie, Mattel, has released a Girl Scout version of the iconic doll, it has some talking.

Last year, the Girl Scouts of America partnered with Mattel to give scouts a chance to earn a Barbie "Be Anything, Do Everything" patch.

Outreach manager, Carrie Andringa, says the partnership is aimed at getting the scouts to think big.

Andringa says, "G.S. U.S.A. has worked with Mattel to come up with a program that goes with the Girl Scout inspired Barbie. It's the idea that girls feel comfortable through imaginative play, to explore new careers, new opportunities, and new interests."

But now, shoppers will have an opportunity to nab a Girl Scout inspired Barbie in stores. Andringa says the organizations first ever corporate sponsorship will help promote the girl scouts mission.

"The girl scout inspired Barbie is, keeping in line, with that idea of having an iconic and popular doll infused with popular associations, like courage, confidence and character which is exactly what the Girl Scout mission delivers," Andringa says.

However, Susan Linn with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood says the message Barbie is sending to young girls is not a positive one.

"Barbie is basically a terrible role model for girls, she's not about what the girl scouts' principles are, which have to do with leadership and courage," Linn says.

But mother, Melissa Loebertman, says she doesn't feel Barbie is a poor image for her daughter. She says, "I think it's a really neat idea, I guess I never thought Barbie was a bad image at all."

And neither does Andringa, saying America’s newest Girl Scout is a great fit for the organization. “She’s ready for camp, she's ready to sell cookies, she's ready for new adventures and that's exactly what our girl scouts are ready for today,” Andringa says.

Despite criticism Mattel and the Girl Scouts plan to continue with their three-year partnership.


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