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Last week Mattel announced an addition to their iconic Barbie line: new doll bodies, including tall, petite and curvy. The new dolls caused quite a stir in the news and on social media, both because the iconic doll changing its iconic – and oft protested – body shape was big cultural news, and because the move was big business news. Mattel is, of course, losing market share quarter by quarter, sinking, say some analysts like a barge that’s sprung a big leak. I said last week that it’s not just Barbie that’s iconic but also career Barbie: the doll’s been a dominant cultural figure in North American girlhood for decades and the jobs she’s worked over the years reflect our changing expectations for young girls and working women. Her careers (and also her “careers”) have run the gamut from NASA astronaut to dog trainer, and her move from secretary to CEO has been a slow change, often lagging the real world, non-doll progress of women at work.
Barbie jobs are a topic of real fascination for me – what does it mean that current day Barbie careers include both princess and computer engineer? thanks Disney! – but I’m particularly interested in the bad jobs. The ones we wouldn’t consider a career and the ones that don’t really make sense alongside aspirational President Barbies.
So here today, are five of the worst bad Barbie jobs.