My brain is on vacation this month so here are a few stories that caught my eye over the past few months. They’re all loosely related to depictions of women in the media.
A. Entrepreneur Barbie
Mattel recently unveiled “Entrepreneur Barbie,” described as follows:
“Entering the entrepreneurial world, this independent professional is ready for the next big pitch. Barbie Entrepreneur doll wears a sophisticated dress in signature pink that features modern color blocking and a sleek silhouette. Her “smartphone,” tablet and briefcase are always by her side. And luxe details, like a glam necklace, cool clutch and elegant hairstyle, are awesome extras for a smart, stylish career woman. Includes dressed-for-business Barbie doll and stylish accessories: clutch, briefcase, tablet, and smartphone.”
This just looks like a professional woman to me, but apparently children need a doll to believe they can be professional women. . .
B. Empowering Stock Images
Getty Images recently realized the most popular images of women from their collections tended to objectify them as perfect looking props. So in collaboration with LeanIn.org, the company recently released a “Lean In Collection” featuring more empowering images.
So far the collection has been surprisingly popular! It seems that increasingly visible women in leadership (Hillary Clinton, Janet Yellen, Beyonce), as well as cultural shifts in beauty adverting (e.g. Dove), are driving the interest. With this early success, the company plans to continue “pushing the portrayal of women past tousled bedroom poses and offering something that comes a bit closer to reality.” See the summary article here.
C. Ice Girls
You’ve probably heard about the various lawsuits by NFL cheerleaders against their teams over pay, harassment, etc., but the problem isn’t unique to the NFL. “Ice girls” working for NHL teams face similarly bad working conditions but have gotten less media coverage. In general it seems the major sports leagues feel entitled to objectify women AND treat them like dirt. Not cool!