“Imagine the Possibilities,” an advertisement for Barbie dolls, captures people’s reactions to a series of little girls stepping into the role of adults in a variety of careers. Girls are shown confidently instructing a lecture hall, leading a sports team through a rigorous practice routine, and advising a worried dog owner about his pet’s health. The montage concludes with one of the girls maneuvering several Barbies in a make-believe classroom, accompanied by the tagline “when a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become.”
How do the adults react to the girls in the ad? Are they seen as capable or merely “cute”?
Why does the ad focus more on the girls in these career contexts than on the doll?
Where do ideas of potential careers come from? Do you think there’s a relationship between make-believe and a girl’s perception of the careers available to her?
Do body image and physical looks factor into one’s career potential?