Culture

Barbie Introduces Gender-Inclusive Line Of Dolls And Stan Twitter Is Here For It

We’ve all heard something or another about how Gen Z is changing the world. And one of the generation’s biggest fights is for a non-binary future. They’re leading the change in the way we think about gender. Young people are creating new vocabularies and taxonomies, and older generations are playing catch-up. 

Mattel, a 74 year old company is trying to stay up to date. The maker of hyper-feminine Barbie doll, has announced the launch of ‘Creatable World’ the first series of gender-fluid dolls. These toys differ from the classic gendered Barbie and Ken, in subtle yet significant ways. Children of any gender identification are welcome to play with them. The slogan reads, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in”, a clear nod to trans and nonbinary identities, the company is betting on where it thinks the country is going.

All ‘Creatable World’ dolls look like a 7 year old with short hair, and each comes with a wig to switch up the look.

The doll can be either a boy, a girl, neither or both. Carefully designed, the gender-neutral doll has features that betray no gender. The eyelashes are not too long or fluttery, the jaw not too wide. It doesn’t have Barbie-like breasts or Ken-like broad shoulders. All of the ‘Creatable World’ series dolls look like a 7 year old with short hair, and each comes with a wig of long locks and a wardrobe fit for any fashion-conscious kid; hoodies, sneakers, t-shirts and tutus and camo pants. 

Kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms, Mattel wants kids to express themselves freely.

“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” Mattel said in a statement. “Through research, we heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms. This line allows all kids to express themselves freely.”

Younger generations are challenging the constraints and traditional meanings of gender and toy companies are actively repackaging their products to align with the shift in representation, inclusion and diversity that Gen-Z children are largely responsible for. 

Toy companies are trying, sometimes too hard: Hasbro and Mattel have been accused of attempting to profit off culture wars.

For years, consumers have pushed back against “pink aisles” and “blue aisles”, in the name of exposing children to whichever toy they may like regardless of their gender-identification; like girls playing with building blocks and boys with dolls. In 2015, Target eliminated gender specific sections, and Disney got rid of “girls” and “boys” labels from its children’s costumes, inviting anyone to dress as Captain America or a princess if they so choose to. Just this month, Hasbro released Ms Monopoly, where women players earn more than men. Mattel launched culturally diverse Barbies not long ago (Including “Día de los Muertos Barbie” which garnered them some accusations of cultural appropriation).

The response has not been completely positive. Hasbro and Mattel have been accused of attempting to profit off culture wars. 

The range of ‘Creatable Worlds’ has won the heart of some members or the LGBTQ community who are happy to see such inclusion.

Mattel’s gender neutral doll has won over some members of the LGBTQ community. “So many children and parents never saw themselves represented in toys and dolls, but this new line raises the bar for inclusion thanks to input from parents, physicians and children themselves,” the LGBT advocacy group Glaad wrote on Twitter.

The toy-makers however, have made it clear that they do not have a political stance; “We’re not in the business of politics,” Mattel’s president told Time Magazine, “and we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it’s your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours.”

Earlier this year Mattel made another attempt at inclusivity launching a black Barbie doll in a wheelchair as part of their ‘Fashionista’ range.

Mattel has been attempting to widen its scope on representation by creating more inclusive toys for a while. Earlier this year, the toy company announced the launch of a black Barbie doll, who wears her hair natural and uses a wheelchair, the launch sent the internet into a frenzy. 

The doll, which comes with a ramp so that she can access Barbie Dreamhouses, was received with much praise on Twitter. Users were loving everything, from her natural hairstyle to the design of the wheelchair, which is an everyday chair rather than those commonly used in hospitals.

Mattel will launch ‘Creatable World’ exclusively online for the time being, in part to better control the message.

Barbie’s Dream House Is Real And You Can Stay There With Three Friends For Just $60 A Night

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Barbie’s Dream House Is Real And You Can Stay There With Three Friends For Just $60 A Night

Airbnb

Dreaming of being a Barbie girl in a Barbie world? Well, now is your chance to make that dream come true.

Thanks to a partnership between Mattel and Airbnb, they’re making Barbie’s iconic Malibu Dream House available to a guest and up to three friends. The house overlooks the Pacific Ocean and brings the spirit of the toy Dream House to life, with a plethora of pink decor and odes to Barbie’s history throughout the house.

Guests will have full access to the Malibu, California, house for the duration of their stay, and it comes with plenty of amenities, according to an Airbnb press release.

It’s true! Barbie’s Malibu Dream House could be yours for two nights!

Credit: airbnb

Through booking site Airbnb, travelers can make their childhood fantasy — a stay at a full-sized Malibu Dreamhouse-themed mansion on the coast of southern California — come to life.

In celebration of the iconic brand’s 60th anniversary, the glamorous Barbie Dreamhouse Airbnb Experience boasts amenities such as an infinity pool with a water slide, an open-air meditation room, a small movie theater, third-floor basketball court and panoramic views of the Pacific.

With Barbie’s aesthetic in mind, the decor is chic, modern and, naturally, awash in pink.

All of this is possible because Barbie is celebrating her 60th birthday!

Barbie’s Malibu Dream House will be available on Airbnb for a two-night stay in honor of the doll’s 60th anniversary. Airbnb is partnering with Mattel to make the Dream House a reality for Barbie fans.

In honor of Barbie, Airbnb will also make a donation to the Barbie Dream Gap Project GoFundMe initiative, which aims to encourage young girls to pursue any career path they choose and increase the representation of women in all fields.

The house can sleep four guests, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The larger bedroom features a pink accent wall and a walk-in closet.

Credit: airbnb

Though Airbnb makes it clear that if you’ll be visiting with more than one other guest, you’ll have to share a bed. I mean I’m in Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. I think I can manage that.

Barbie’s Malibu Dream House also has an infinity pool and a water slide. And a meditation space, because being Barbie can be stressful.

And yes, even the closets are decked out in all things Barbie.

Credit: airbnb

The walk-in closet comes with clothes from Barbie’s many careers over the years. No word on whether or not you’ll be able to have your own Barbie fashion photo shoot or if they’re just there for decor but fashion lovers rejoice.

But your Barbie Dream House experience comes with a whole mix of other Barbie-centric activities.

Credit: airbnb

Lucky guests will also have the opportunity to take part in just the sort of culturally enriching hobbies Barbie enjoys, led by other impressive women like herself: Fencing pro Ibtihaj Muhammad will be on-hand for private lessons; Jill Meyers, an aerospace engineer, is offering in-depth tours of the Columbia Memorial Space Center; and local chef Gina Clarke-Helm can teach you how to cook with California’s farm-to-table fare.

But it’s all temporary. After the birthday celebration, the house will then return to its regular Airbnb listing (without the Barbie décor). So get your booking on!

Caboodles Launched A Collection With Barbie And Some Millennials Are Ready To Organize Their Scrunchies And Smackers

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Caboodles Launched A Collection With Barbie And Some Millennials Are Ready To Organize Their Scrunchies And Smackers

If you were a teen in the 90s you had to have a Caboodles organizer—the bright plastic cases filled with trays for organizing makeup. (And If you had one, you probably grew up to be the kind of person who hangs out in The Container Store for fun). Growing up, I played with Barbie dolls and just as I lost interest, I moved on makeup, which led me to discover Caboodles. Somehow though, I never got to play with both 90s classics at the same time. 

Now that 90s nostalgia is at an all-time high, Mattel and Caboodles are fixing that, by launching a collaboration between the two 90s icons, after all this time. 

Caboodles announced the collab with Barbie via an Instagram giveaway gifting the original collab Barbie doll and her caboodles from the 90s.

credit Instagram @realcaboodles

Caboodles recently launched an adorable collaboration with Mattel which features several case designs with barbie inspired accents and colors. The classic On-The-Go and ‘Pretty in Petite’ cases from the nineties are making a comeback in ‘Iconic Pink’ (a true nostalgic Barbie Dream House hot pink) and Pure Glam (a more subtle rose gold). In addition to the legendary Barbie color palette collection, there will be a truly epic clear case. The clear Barbie X Caboodles makeup organizer is a neat freak’s dream. The collection will expand to Ulta this month and there’s more in the pipeline well into 2020.

This is not the first time the beauty organizer brand partners with Barbie. In the early 90s, Caboodles partnered with Mattel to release a Caboodles Barbie. The doll retailed for $12.99 and came with “a real makeup case and glitter beach makeup,” according to the 1993 ad. You might still be able to get one on Etsy or eBay. For the launch of their new collection, Caboodles gave away a vintage case from that very first collaboration to one lucky winner on Instagram.

The collaboration appeals to women now as much as it did when they were kids.

credit Instagram @realcaboodles

“Barbie inspires the limitless potential in every girl, and we are committed to championing girls of all ages and giving them the tools to succeed,” said Mattel’s vice president of global strategy and U.S. consumer products, Diane Reichenberger, who said the brand is thrilled to bring back a collaboration that will appeal to women now as much as it did when they were kids. 

In the same joint statement, Khadeja Salley, director of lifestyle brands at Caboodles’ parent company, Plano Synergy, said, “At the core of the Caboodles brand is the idea that organization can and should be limitless, driving potential for women and girls to express their individuality all while tackling any challenges life throws at them,” adding, “Sharing common core beliefs and a passion for encouraging others to follow their dreams, we are excited to present this quintessential collection to both nostalgic and new consumers.”

Caboodles were inspired by tackle boxes, but for organizing makeup and beauty products.

Credit Instagram @realcaboodles

Although company legend has it that Caboodles were inspired by a 1986 People magazine photoshoot where Vanna White used a fishing tackle box as a makeup organizer, Caboodles were actually the brainchild of New Zealand native Leonie Mateer. When she relocated to California in the 1980s, Mateer wanted to start a business; she recalled that she had once seen a model arriving to a photoshoot with a tackle box to organize her cosmetics, and the idea was born.

Leonie Mateer came up with the name ‘Caboodles’ in the bathtub and launched in the late 80s.

credit Instagram @realcaboodles

“I knew that the name needed to be colorful if it was to appeal to my target audience—teens,” Mateer wrote in her book, The Caboodle Blueprint: Turn Your Idea Into Millions. “I was sitting in my bathtub reading a huge Oxford English Dictionary,” she recalled. “I came across ‘Caboodles,’ which had a definition of ‘a collection or clutter of things.’ How perfect, I thought, for an organizer box.” The first boxes, called ‘on-the-go organizers’ hit the market in 1987 and were an instant hit. In the first two years, the company sold 2 million years. By 1992, The New York Times reported that “nearly 80 percent of teenage girls in the country are aware of Caboodles.” Eventually, the line grew to 70 products, which retailed between $5 and $40.

You can now relive your very organized teen years by picking up a brand new Caboodle. The Caboodles x Barbie collection is now available for purchase at Caboodles website and will launch an additional exclusive line at Ulta nationwide this coming October.