13 June 2024
Barbie should expand her range of medical and scientific professions

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A recent BMJ Christmas issue study advocates for Barbie to diversify her roles, challenging stereotypes by embracing under-represented fields in science and medicine, and inspiring inclusivity for women and minorities in these sectors.

Well, isn’t that something? A study focusing on Barbie dolls and their influence on the career aspirations of young minds – it’s quite the unique angle to approach the topic of representation in STEM fields, but it’s a smart one!

 

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Think about it: these dolls are like the mini-celebrities of the toy world, and they pack a powerful punch when it comes to the messages they send to kids. For generations, Barbie has been a role model of sorts, showing that you can be a vet, an astronaut, or even the president! However, the study published in The BMJ has highlighted something quite important: there’s room for Barbie to broaden her horizons, especially in the medical and scientific fields.

 

You see, even though Barbie has donned the lab coat and the stethoscope, it turns out that she’s mostly been seen treating the kiddos and not so much the grown-ups. Plus, she’s been a bit of a fashionista while doing it, often wearing high heels and letting her hair down in environments where, in the real world, safety protocols would call for a more practical get-up.

 

Now, I think we can all agree that safety should always come before style, especially in a lab or hospital! That’s why it’s a tad concerning that the study found the dolls didn’t quite hit the mark when it came to professional safety standards. I mean, not a single Barbie doctor with disposable gloves? That’s a no-go in the real world of medicine.

 

But here’s the real kicker: the diversity issue. The study points out that the majority of these Barbie career dolls are adult, female, and white, with no dolls representing visible disabilities. It’s 2023, folks, and our toys should reflect the beautiful tapestry of people who work in these fields, don’t you think? It’s not just about gender or race; it’s about showing all the different kinds of people who can and do excel in scientific and medical professions.

 

The author of the study even urges toy companies to create a more varied and accurately equipped lineup of medical and scientist dolls. Imagine how inspiring it would be for a young girl to play with a neurosurgeon Barbie or a trauma surgeon Barbie, complete with all the right gear! It’s about showing that these careers are within reach, not just a distant dream.

 

Just picture the impact: a little one plays with a Barbie who’s a robotics engineer or a climate scientist, and it sparks a flame of curiosity. Next thing you know, that child is asking questions, exploring, and maybe one day, they’re the one making groundbreaking discoveries!

 

So, in the spirit of exploration and dreaming big, it seems like Barbie has a new mission: to represent the vast and varied fields of science and medicine, all while promoting a message of inclusivity and safety. Who knows? The next generation of scientists and doctors might just get their start by imagining themselves in Barbie’s shoes – flat ones, of course, suitable for the lab!

SOURCE: Barbie should expand her range of medical and scientific professions, suggests study

https://phys.org/news/2023-12-barbie-range-medical-scientific.html

FAQ’s

1. Why is it important for Barbie dolls to represent a variety of scientific and medical careers?

By representing a variety of scientific and medical careers, Barbie dolls can inspire young minds and show them that these careers are within reach. It promotes inclusivity and helps children of all backgrounds see themselves in these professions.

2. What safety concerns did the study raise about Barbie dolls in medical and scientific fields?

The study found that Barbie dolls in medical and scientific fields often did not adhere to professional safety standards. For example, they were seen wearing high heels and not using proper safety gear like disposable gloves, which can send the wrong message to children about the importance of safety in these fields.

3. Why is it important for Barbie dolls to represent diversity in terms of gender, race, and disabilities?

In 2023, it is important for toys like Barbie dolls to reflect the diversity of people who work in scientific and medical professions. By representing diversity, these dolls can help break down stereotypes and inspire children from all backgrounds to pursue careers in these fields.

4. How can Barbie dolls in scientific and medical careers inspire young girls?

By playing with Barbie dolls in scientific and medical careers, young girls can imagine themselves in these roles. This can spark their curiosity, encourage them to ask questions, and potentially inspire them to pursue careers in science and medicine.

5. What is the author’s suggestion to toy companies regarding Barbie dolls in medical and scientific fields?

The author of the study urges toy companies to create a more varied and accurately equipped lineup of medical and scientist dolls. This includes representing different specialties, providing the appropriate safety gear, and ensuring diversity in terms of gender, race, and disabilities.



Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Barbie (doll), STEM fields, Diversity in professions

Barbie
Barbie is a fashion doll created by American businesswoman Ruth Handler, manufactured by American toy and entertainment company Mattel and introduced on March 9, 1959. The toy was based on the German Bild Lilli doll which Handler had purchased while in Europe. The figurehead of an eponymous brand that includes...
Read more: Barbie

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an umbrella term used to group together the distinct but related technical disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used in the context of education policy or curriculum choices in schools. It has implications for workforce development, national security...
Read more: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Allied health professions
Allied health professions (AHPs) are a group of health care professions that provide a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and support services in connection with health care, and which are distinct from the fields of dentistry, optometry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. In providing care as an AHP, their work may...
Read more: Allied health professions

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