Will astrophysicist Barbie do more harm than good for young girls?

March 12, 2019

Is astrophysicist Barbie just another cultural message of unattainable perfection?

By Silvia Blemker for USA Today

The new astrophysicist Barbie, announced by Mattel last month, seems well-intentioned enough: Its goal is to encourage young girls to enter science and engineering fields by wedding Barbie's glamour and intellectual gusto. In reality, it’s just another cultural message of unattainable perfection, and our messages of perfection for girls are already keeping them out of STEM work at the highest academic levels.  

Like every woman I know, I could rattle off all my imperfections to you with great ease.  Since I was young girl, I’ve angsted about my body and my mind. I’ve never thought of myself as pretty. And while I had an inclination for math and science, I was always insecure about my abilities as a mathematician and scientist as compared to my peers because I wasn’t a “standout” student. I am now a 44-year-old woman. I am even more aware of how my body and mind are aging, making me seem even more imperfect.

Women expect unachievable, unreasonable Barbie-perfection of ourselves, leading us to fixate on our imperfections. And, if we are not careful, this fixation can prevent us from taking risks, recognizing our achievements, finding our passions, and opening our minds to discover the gifts that we have been given and seeking our purpose in life.

To learn more, read "Astrophysicist Barbie is perfect. That's not how you attract more girls to STEM careers." from USA Today.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Reduce engineering time by 50%

March 28, 2024
Learn how smart value chain applications are made possible by moving from manually-intensive CAD-based drafting packages to modern CAE software.

Filter Monitoring with Rittal's Blue e Air Conditioner

March 28, 2024
Steve Sullivan, Training Supervisor for Rittal North America, provides an overview of the filter monitoring capabilities of the Blue e line of industrial air conditioners.

Limitations of MERV Ratings for Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
It can be complicated and confusing to select the safest and most efficient dust collector filters for your facility. For the HVAC industry, MERV ratings are king. But MERV ratings...

The Importance of Air-To-Cloth Ratio when Selecting Dust Collector Filters

Feb. 23, 2024
Selecting the right filter cartridges for your application can be complicated. There are a lot of things to evaluate and consider...like air-to-cloth ratio. When your filters ...