Does Barbie’s new geek look fit the reality?

Barbie, the toy doll that is a perennial favourite among girls, has been assigned a new career – computer engineer. But how accurate is the glam-looking tech support Barbie compared to real life..?

Her new occupation is the result of an online vote hosted by Barbie’s makers, Mattel – and the doll itself was unveiled last week at the New York Toy Fair. The new doll is decked out in black spangled leggings and a lime-green fitted tunic patterned with binary code, worn under a slinky waistcoat, with saddle-stitching detail. The ensemble is topped off with the requisite hot-pink accessories: glasses, watch and shoes. To emphasise her innate “techiness” she carries a pink laptop and sports a Bluetooth headset…

So would tech support Barbie fit in among the IT crowd in your office?

“It’s very much a young man’s industry,” says Rachel Andrew, director of Edgeofmyseat.com. “Women find the need to become quite laddish. You try and become very geeky and not particularly feminine…”

Despite Mattel’s claims that Barbie “can help inspire a new generation of girls to hone in on their computer skills and become a part of this growing profession”, not everyone is convinced.

“As a career, IT probably sounds a bit dull and boring,” says Katherine Coombs, a chief information officer. “I don’t think the doll’s going to change the world. It’s when other women are working in IT, not a doll.”

But computer professionals do think tech support Barbie could help change the perception of women in the industry, and make girls realise you don’t have to eschew makeup and styled hair to work in the computing sector.

IT women certainly needn’t feel trapped by the geek stereotypes that trap a few guys. Most male IT pros I know regard comfort as more important than style. And that’s it.

Women take style and appearance more into account than men ever will – and to whatever extent they wish to deal with attractive dress and fashion, they will bring that portion into their work life. Though, as ever, it’s a pleasure to poke fun at Barbie.

4 thoughts on “Does Barbie’s new geek look fit the reality?

  1. Cinaedh says:

    But does Barbie have a brain?

    That’s the only thing that counts. At least, that’s the only thing that should count.

    If they’re trying to say brains are sexy, they’re a couple of generations behind on the learning curve.

  2. zorki says:

    Bring back Geeky, to restore some normality from this prefabricated and pathetic celebrity attitude everybody appears to want. I never use this new invented word, because I have no idea who or what it is supposed to represent, but I do know what is good or bad, right and wrong, I don’t need any celebrity or misinformed and naive person to guide me, So the world is locked into the celebrity syndrome of glitz and glamour, what about the ordinary characters who walk amongst us. Find out what they have to offer..

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    She is a fantasy for young girls. Nothing more, nothing less. If Barbie leaves a negative image, then what do Hot Wheels do for young boys?

    • zorki says:

      Should that be true, then why all the hype. Girls used to play with dolls and prams, that has now been replaced with the glitz of celebrity crap. The former were happy with their lot, the latter appear confused and bored with the constant change of attitude, and that is progress, no way, Mr F, and you know it

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