bioephemera

Computer Engineer Barbie

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From a post by Erin Fitzgerald, a DoD Science Policy Fellow who consulted on the design of Mattel’s new “Computer Engineer Barbie:”

It might seem silly to get excited about a new Barbie doll. But, to me, she will help reinforce in math-loving little girls that they, like Barbie, can grow up to be computer engineers. It has been well documented that in recent years far fewer women are pursuing computer science degrees, so such role models are very important. What Computer Engineer Barbie will do, I think, is broaden the realm of not only what is possible, but what feels accessible–being smart, confident, and tech-savvy without sacrificing femininity or fun.

I kind of love Barbie’s hot pink geek glasses. And yes, you skeptics, Erin’s PhD is actually in Electrical and Computer Engineering. (For all I know she actually owns that awesome little vest.) However, Wired’s less than optimistic about the prospect of making government jobs cool… They have a point. 😉

Comments

  1. #1 skeptifem
    May 23, 2010

    I bet little girls who take barbie seriously as a role model will be way more into math because of this. Well, if they don’t get eating disorders first.

    Anyway, she needs a pull string that plays retorts to sexism from her professors, coworkers, and bosses.

  2. #2 Brian
    May 23, 2010

    That bluetooth earpiece says “call center drone” more than “computer engineer” to me … But the rest of her getup works well enough.

  3. #3 GoatRider
    May 23, 2010

    If she wasn’t so dang skinny I’d get one for my niece. Barbies promote an unhealthy body image for girls, imo.

  4. #4 becca
    May 23, 2010

    @Brian- yeah, I thought the same. There’s no reason that an accessorizing machine like Barbie couldn’t go for geeky accessories that look like what thinkgeek sells (but in pink, of course).
    Something about the hairstyle and glasses hints at a previous era and adds to the effect, I think. I wouldn’t necessarily change them though.
    Gotta say: best part? circuit board sleeves. WANT!

  5. #5 Electrical Online
    May 23, 2010

    TOTALLY GOOD BUT MUCH CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN

  6. #6 Gall
    May 27, 2010

    I’m digging the top so long as the implication is that it’s dynamically mirroring the laptop display.

  7. #7 Eurotoys
    June 4, 2010

    Cool computer(geek) Barbie doll. Maybe that will inspire more girls to make a living as a computer engineer

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