Oh, to Be a Kid Again

By Jennifer Davis

Years ago, I remember sitting with my best friend Stacy and drafting a letter to Mattel®. In the letter we made a list, an impressive list if memory serves, of the kind of Barbies they should add to their line-up. Themed Barbies based on styles of clothing, hometowns, favorite sports teams and pets, and careers. I recall we received an encouraging, but non-committal form letter in response. Disappointed that we weren’t whisked off to Mattel’s headquarters to engineer their new holiday line-up, we went back our toys.

Now, I hear that there is a brand-new "I Can Be...™ Architect Barbie®" available from Mattel in partnership with the American Institute of Architects. Apparently “architect” is the 2011 Career of the Year, following the popular Computer Engineer Doll that Mattel introduced in this same line. Last month wrapped up a contest for AIA members to design Barbie’s Green Dream Home. The AIA reports that 17% of their ranks are female and they, together with Mattel, are hoping that this doll helps encourage more girls to become designers. I know my elementary-school self would have loved this doll and I am sure new generations of girls will as well. Even if Barbie is seen wearing heels to a construction site and has a scale model…in pink!

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