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Strange But True

Thursday 28 Jan 2010

Barbie considers job in architecture

Strange But True by Strange but true
Mattel Inc 
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Voting begins for female icon's 125th career campaign 

To celebrate the most famous three-dimensional doll in the world embarking on her 125th career, toy manufacturer Mattel has launched a global initiative to inspire girls. For the first time, as part of the 'I Can Be' campaign, consumers are being asked to help select Barbie’s next career by choosing from five professions: Architect, Computer Engineer, Environmentalist, News Anchor and Surgeon.

Barbie Millicent Roberts was introduced in the USA in 1959. Since then she has had more than 120 inspirational careers and first broke the ‘plastic ceiling’ in the 1960s when, as an astronaut, she went to space four years before man walked on the moon. Barbie’s other professions have included Business Executive (1985), U.S. Air Force Pilot (1990), Firefighter (1995), Women’s World Soccer Player (1999) and Presidential Candidate (2000). Serving as a role model and agent of change for girls, Barbie doll continues to take on aspirational and culturally relevant roles.

Stephanie Cota, Senior Vice President, Barbie Marketing said: “For more than 50 years Barbie has served as a reflection of fashion, culture and aspiration to girls of all ages. Barbie inspires girls to try on different careers, encouraging them to play out their dreams and explore the world and all of its possibilities. We believe role-playing with Barbie leads to real life opportunities and are very proud to partner with organisations who continue to inspire girls and women with the belief and confidence that they can do anything.”

Other toy manufacturers such as Meccano and LEGO have inspired budding architects with their products. With models such as the Frank Lloyd Wright collection, LEGO Architecture provides a solid starting block for future architects, engineers and designers. If Barbie fans decide that they would like her to don trendy specs and carry a sketchbook and pen, which is highly probable if they read Mattel’s irresistible description - “An architect designs buildings and makes sure they’re safe, sturdy and cool-looking!”, then Barbitect could help lead the way in encouraging more girls to consider the profession.

To register your vote and encourage a new generation of female architects, go to www.barbie.com/vote. The winning career will be unveiled on February 12 at New York Toy Fair.

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