The Mattel toy company has recently introduced its 2019 Barbie Career of the Year doll, the Barbie Judge Doll.
“We learned that only 33% of sitting U.S. state judges are female,” said Lisa McKnight, global head of Barbie, about the company’s decision to design the doll.
“Barbie has had over 200 careers. We like to say, ‘There isn’t a plastic ceiling that Barbie hasn’t broken,’” she concluded.
The doll’s debut is part of an initiative the company started in 2018 called the “Barbie Dream Gap Project,” which seeks to raise awareness about how girls begin to doubt their intelligence around age 5, according to USA Today.
The report continued:
This phenomenon, referred to as the ‘dream gap,’ was proven by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois and Princeton University. They found that stereotypes associate a high-level of intellectual ability with men more than women. Thus, when young girls are exposed to these stereotypes, they don’t always pursue careers that require intelligence. This begins at prepubescence. Girls begin to avoid those brain-stimulating activities and boys move on, creating a gap.
Judge Barbie comes in four different skin tones and includes a gavel and round block “that kids can use to help her call the room to order and make important decisions,” according to the toy’s description on Amazon.
“A career-themed look for each includes a customary black robe with lacy collar that can be removed to reveal a floral printed dress. Makes a great gift for kids intrigued by the law and who love to keep things fair!” the details concluded.
Reports said the Barbie Dream Gap Project has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money to close the so-called “dream gap.” The funds will go to nonprofit organizations that support female empowerment such as She’s the First, She Should Run, and Step Up.
“As the original girl empowerment brand, Barbie is committed to inspiring the limitless potential in every girl,” the initiative’s website stated.
“The dream gap is contrary to our beliefs and brand purpose, that’s why we’re using our platform and resources to champion change and show girls they can be anything!” the website said.
On September 25, Breitbart News reported that Mattel also introduced a line of “gender-neutral dolls” for kids who do not want their “toys to be dictated by gender norms,” the company said.
“When the company rolled out the dolls, Mattel toned down typically masculine and feminine features and featured kits addressed with the pronoun ‘they’ and the slogan ‘A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in,'” the report concluded.