Quick: When you think of the Girl Scouts, what comes to mind? Cookies? Community? Barbie?
Last year, the Girl Scouts of America partnered with Mattel, the company responsible for the iconic doll, to give Scouts the opportunity to earn a Barbie “Be anything, do everything patch” – the organization’s first ever with a corporate sponsor – and shoppers will soon be able to scoop up a Girl Scout-inspired Barbie in stores.
Not everyone’s a fan: “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 TODAY‘s Janet Shamlian.
Kelly Parisi, spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, countered to TODAY that “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.”
Entrepreneur Barbie, introduced earlier this year, is another of Mattel’s efforts to modernize the toy: Sales have lagged lately, with year-over-year-sales down 13 percent in 2013.
Are Barbie’s still-impossible proportions and history of less-than-progressive trappings at odds with the Girl Scouts? Sound off in the comments.