Barbie Is A Yoga Teacher; We’re Still Not Feeling Empowered

yoga teacher barbie i can beA Yoga Teacher Barbie has popped up in Target’s “I Can Be…” line of the blonde Mattel mascot, and much as we love yoga AND empowering young girls through physical activity and sports, we’re not crazy about this active role model. On the one hand, doing yoga sets a great example for young girls (especially compared to the alternative “I Can Be… Bride” set we spotted on Target’s website). On the other hand, Barbie has a lot adjustments to make before she can be a body positive, empowering role model for young girls.

We’ll set aside the fact that yoga Barbie comes with a tiny dog instead of, say, a mat, strap or block. (And while her pastel-hued pajamas aren’t to my tastes, I’ll even commend them for not putting her in a trendy lulu-inspired outfit.) But she’s still sporting a bust-waist-hip proportion that’s physically impossible for real-life women to attain, let alone maintain an active lifestyle with.

This is far from the first time Mattel has tried to make Barbie more than a pretty face (and big boobs and a tiny waist and dainty little feet)—earlier this year, the “I Can Be…” line made a presidential Barbie that developed significant fanfare amongst moms, and the line has happily expanded to include athletic Barbies lately. But even here, there’s a disturbing trend beyond the unattainable proportions they all share: Even the sports they play seem somewhat, well…girly. So far, it looks like Barbie is into yoga, tennis, gymanistics, and track…but what about aggressive contact sports like soccer, rugby, and basketball?

Putting Barbie into running shoes (or yoga socks) is a step in the right direction, but if Mattel really wants to empower young girls (and sell dolls to hordes of parents who want to provide better examples for their kids), they need to give her a body-positive makeover and let her play a wider range of sports.

Share This Post:
    • Izzie

      Hey hey hey! Track is hardcore! I’m a high school four season runner, and trust me when I say it’s hard work and not as glamorous as sports bra advertisements (and probably the track Barbie) made it look!

    • Gennaro smith

      I Think Barbie is encourage to all the Girls to achieve it Position.

    • Nancy

      Actually, I think the pink rectangle the little dog is on IS a mat

    • CW

      Rugby? Seriously? Soccer and basketball I can see since those are super-popular among girls growing up today (I’d say much more so than tennis or yoga). But as a parent to 2 daughters, I would never spend our family’s hard-earned cash on a Rugby Barbie.

    • hannah

      What most people don’t realize is the reason why they designed Barbie with such extreme proportions in the first place. It all has to do with the down scale of the human figure with the same thickness of fabric used to make clothing. If Barbie were proportioned like actual women then the thickness of the fabric in the clothing would bulk up her figure in an unattractive fashion. She has to made extra small in the waste so the bulkiness of our fabric will even out on her super down sized height. It’s not an issue of Mattel wanting to send a negative body image. As long as Barbie is clothed her proportions seem more realistic. Ever measure a Barbie while she is clothed? I don’t think her figure is unrealistic at all when she has clothes on…

    • sapphirebluestyle

      Actually, if you actually looked at the photo you provided, you could see that she does in fact come with a yoga mat.
      Also, Barbie has had over 130 different jobs, including football coach, dentist, doctor, surgeon, paratrooper, various military officer positions, firefighter, astronaut, and NASCAR driver.

    • Yoga Peach

      Wow, she does come with a yoga mat and what do you mean a positive body image? Some people may resemble this type of body and she is a doll!