Welcome to Women’s History Month!  This month is a celebration of women’s accomplishments, the significant personal and societal roles they have always played and how they inspire others today and throughout history.  This month is meant to remind us of the achievements of women in our culture and society.  It’s important to note that none of my posts are meant to minimize the role of men vs women in my life or business career.  In fact, the most influential mentors that I have had in my career, were men who guided me and showed me that I could succeed in a field where women were the minority in leadership and ownership positions.

For my topic this year for Women’s History Month, I chose Barbie.  You might think it’s a “odd” choice but please bear with me…and I will share a lot of interesting things about Barbie and her creator, Ruth Handler.

So as a young girl (and probably like many of you), I had a Barbie, loved my Barbie, and played with her frequently…and yes, I also had a Ken!  I was so excited about the Barbie movie that came out last year with Margot Robbie playing her!  The opening scene starts right up for me…

“There have always been dolls, but they were baby dolls. The girls who played for them could only ever play at being mothers…this continued until Barbie changed everything.  Then she changed it all again, all women are Barbie, and Barbie is all women.  She became so much more, she has her own money, her own house, her own car, her own career.  Because Barbie can be anything, women can be anything.   Girls can grow into women who can achieve everything and anything they set their mind to.  Thanks to Barbie all problems of feminism and equal rights have been solved. At least that’s what the Barbies think!”

The picture that you see of me is with my first generation Barbie.  My husband bought this for me as a Christmas present this past year.  Why would he buy me a used, 60 year old Barbie?  My nephew actually asked my husband this question.  My husband’s response to my nephew’s question was Theresa believes what Barbie believes…that women can be anything!  Such a great compliment and absolutely the truth!

I don’t know about you, but I was always determined and thought I could be anything!   The fact that Barbie actually went through nearly eighty careers including things like Army Barbie (a sergeant serving in Desert Storm) and President Barbie!  When Jill Barad was President of Mattel in 1983, she started a campaign to market Barbie as a professional role model, coming up with the tag line “We Girls Can Do Anything”!

But the actual architect of Barbie was Ruth Handler.  Ruth has an amazing story, and we will talk about Ruth in the next 2 articles.  Talking about Ruth’s story and also how Ruth was a woman in a man’s world.  When Ruth created Barbie (named after her daughter Barbara), she said that she made Barbie so that girls could be free to imagine themselves as anything they wanted to be!  Mattel even started an Ambassadors of Dreams program that included “women of achievement” who helped teach girls that they could be anything they wanted to be!

So, if you haven’t watched the Barbie movie…you should!  And remember that “Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices”!