STEM Dolls Compete with Barbie

by IJS585 on October 22, 2016 - 7:33pm


In the 1950s, popular girls’ toys such as Barbie and Disney princess dolls may have been ideal to the average, they promoted unrealistic body images and the thoughts of needing a prince to live “happily ever after”. As feminist movements, have spread and independence has grown, this stigmatism has become less than amusing. Corporations need new marketing strategies and toys to appeal to the independent young ladies of today who want more than just prince charming and playing house with Barbie. the moment they turn on the television, due to corporations spending millions of dollars on marketing strategies.

Many Companies are now taking a new approach by creating STEM toys. Stem toys help promote learning through fun, young girls are now aspiring to be astronauts, doctors, or even engineers. Companies are incorporating, engineering, technology and math principals into these STEM toys and its producing positive results. STEM dolls are helping lead girls towards reality and are becoming popular amongst optimistic parents. This now puts them in competition with other popular toys such as Barbie.

 Stem toys are proving effective, but still aren’t as popular. I believe it’s up to parents like myself to push more towards the STEM toys and avoid the stigmatism of “happily ever after” dolls. Reality is that children may have an endless supply of dreams, but they are easily influenced. If corporations continue to market towards STEM toys I believe over time that they will popularize and be in high competition with top toys such as Barbie.


Wow! Toys have gotten more interesting. I wonder how this changes the interactions between children.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Hearing about stories like these are a wonderful sign that the world and society is changing and evolving. It shows that people are learning and getting educated on gender issues and equality between the sexes. Like you stated, the stereotypes and roles imposed on women (that they need a man to achieve happiness, for example) are far from amusing and many people are beginning to realize this.

This evolution of the typical Barbie doll can be linked to one of the goals of the Third Wave of feminism. This wave dismissed the ideology that being a woman is a disadvantage and instead sought to prove to society that women can be influential and powerful, independent beings.

The STEM toys are a step in the right direction towards complete equality and opportunities between men and women because younger girls can become inspired and see these dolls and toys as models of their own dreams. Furthermore, these toys can allow society to “get used” to seeing women in these positions of power and therefore end the stereotyping of women’s capabilities.

Here is an interesting link to an article that talks about one of the newer STEM dolls. This article offers praises and critiques of the toy as well as a small review of a young girl testing to toy out.

I highly agree with the view that there needs to be a more empowering stance in respect to educating children on the options that they have in life. I find it interesting that the STEM is aiming to challenge gender norms and create a strong independent new generation. My question for you is do you personally feel that the toy you and your peers played with as a child affected your current view on you socially role?

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