Advertisment

Expanding Barbie's Career Range: A Call for More Representation in Medical and Scientific Professions

author-image
Dr. Jessica Nelson
New Update
NULL

Expanding Barbie's Career Range: A Call for More Representation in Medical and Scientific Professions

Advertisment

As one of the most popular and enduring dolls in the world, Barbie has long been a staple in children's toy boxes. However, a recent study published in the #ChristmasBMJ suggests that there is ample room for improvement when it comes to the representation of Barbie in medical and scientific careers.

Advertisment

A Closer Look at Barbie's Career Choices

The study examined Barbie brand medical professional dolls, finding that they were predominantly portrayed as adult, female, and white characters. There was limited diversity in terms of race and representation of disabilities. The study also highlighted a lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE), critical to portraying realistic clinical and laboratory safety standards.

Underrepresentation and Inadequate PPE

Advertisment

Despite Barbie's wide range of professions, the study found a lack of specialization in the medical and scientific field. The dolls often lacked necessary PPE such as face masks and gloves, with only one doll spotted with a face mask. This lack of PPE not only presents an unrealistic depiction of the medical field, but it also potentially undermines the importance of safety measures in these professions.

The Impact of Diverse Role Models

Interestingly, the study found that girls who played with Barbie dolls showed an increased interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. This points to the significant influence these dolls can have on children's career aspirations. With this in mind, having a diverse range of Barbie dolls in various medical and scientific professions could potentially inspire more children to consider these fields.

Advertisment

Expanding Barbie's Career Horizons

The study suggests that expanding Barbie's range of medical and scientific professions could provide children with a more comprehensive view of these fields. It might also highlight future career possibilities, especially for children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. With more accurate and diverse portrayals of medical professions, children could have a wider understanding of potential career paths and see themselves represented in these roles.

Conclusion

While Barbie has made strides in representing a variety of professions, the study clearly demonstrates a need for further expansion and diversity, particularly in the medical and scientific fields. It also emphasizes the necessity of meeting clinical and laboratory safety standards in these portrayals. By addressing these issues, Barbie could continue to inspire children around the world, encouraging them to dream big and aim high in their career aspirations.

Advertisment
Chat with Dr. Medriva !