NH Girl Scouts set to celebrate partnership with Mattel, Barbie
BEDFORD — In her 55 years as a favorite doll of girls around the world, Barbie has had nearly 150 careers, including an astronaut, surgeon, teacher, soldier, and President of the United States. Her latest reincarnation: Girl Scout. And the Girl Scouts of the United States of America are proud to count Barbie as one of their own.
“Girl Scouting goes where the girls are, and Barbie is one of the most iconic toys in the world,” said Mary Ellen Hettinger, communications manager for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, which serves all of New Hampshire and Vermont. “Barbie has come to represent girl power to a lot of girls and their moms.”
In July, Mattel unveiled Girl Scout Barbie, along with two of Barbie’s friends, Nikki and Teresa, who are also available in a custom pink and green Girl Scout uniform. The national Girl Scouts group, which partnered with Mattel last year for the “Be Anything, Do Everything” participation patch, will host events this summer to celebrate Barbie’s many careers and to encourage girls to also pursue anything they want to do. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains will host its event on Saturday at its headquarters in Bedford.
“We have a number of women in a variety of careers coming to speak to the girls, and because Girl Scouting is also supposed to be fun, each will be doing some interactive thing with the girls, some kind of hands-on thing that relates to what they do,” Hettinger said. Girls who attend the event will meet a Marine biologist, a doctor, a pilot, a children’s book author, an engineer, a teenage race car driver and Manchester resident Taylor Martin, and more.
Most of these “careers …have traditionally been all-male, but we’re about empowering girls,” Hettinger said. “We want to let girls know that all of these (careers) are open to them.”
Hettinger said there has been some pushback about Barbie representing the Girl Scouts from critics who say Barbie is too sexualized and represents an unhealthy body image for girls.
But according to the Girl Scout Research Institute, Hettinger said, most girls who play with Barbie see her as a toy, rather than a model of what they should look like.
“She’s wearing pink pants, she’s got eye makeup on, she doesn’t look like the girls look … but she is a Girl Scout, and the girls see her as a girl,” Hettinger said. “It’s part of the fun of a doll and dressing it up and being different things and trying on different roles.”
Girl Scout Barbie comes with miniature Girl Scout cookie boxes. The Girl Scouts’ cookie sales, Hettinger said, was the first financial literacy program for girls in the United States.
“It’s a way girls learn how to run a business, how to be an entrepreneur,” she said. The five principles of the cookie program are printed on Barbie’s tote bag: goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics.
Hettinger said that the event on Saturday will be open to all girls.
Patricia Mellor, chief executive officer of GSGWM, said This isn’t just about Barbie and her hourglass figure. This is about what Barbie stands for, and we’re trying to focus on that career part of it, and just that the world is wide open for girls.”
Saturday’s “Be Anything and Do Everything” event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at GSGWM’s headquarters, located at One Commerce Drive in Bedford. Admission is $10 per girl. There is no fee for adults, and adult supervision is required.
For information, contact Nicole Nolan at 627-4158, extension 4142, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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