Home      Mythological Barbie
Barbie, America's favorite doll, has been in a state of evolution ever since she first rolled off the assembly line.  While Barbie started out as a materialistic airhead equipped with a plasticly perfect body, she has gradually tried to move away from this image.  Her body is still plasticly perfect, and if you squeeze her head, you will see that it's still filled with air, but at least now you can find Barbie doing all kinds of jobs and not just meeting her friends at the mall.  There's Pilot Barbie, Brain Surgeon Barbie, even Nuclear Physicist Barbie.

The reason Barbie has changed is a simple one:  society's views toward women have changed.  During the last few decades, more and more women have entered the workforce.  A Barbie who stays home, cooking and cleaning, is not an adequate representation of the world at large.  While some argue that Barbie also sends many negative connotations about appearance, she sends the positive message that in our day and age your occupation is no longer limited by your gender.

Some parents view dolls as a way of preparing children for life.  Many toymakers share this philosophy and design their products accordingly.  Dolls are designed to appeal to girls.  The idea behind this marketing is one day a girl might have a baby of her own to care for.  The doll is preparing her for this future event.   Likewise, toy soldiers are designed to appeal to boys. One day they may be called upon to join the armed forces.  The toy is preparing them for this possibility.


  • Do you believe that toys are designed to teach children about our society?
  • Are some toys gender-neutral?
  • How does our society define gender roles?
  • Do you agree with our society's gender roles?
  • How have these changed over time?
  • How were women treated in ancient Greece?
  • How are women depicted in myth?
ASSIGNMENT:  Create a doll based on a mythological female we have read about.  Use details about the mythological character to complete the FEATURES and ACCESSORIES of your doll.  (To access the template click here.)
FEATURES:  Features are actions that the doll can do.  Perhaps your doll can speak a line or kick or jump or bat its eyes.  (Make sure these relate to the character you have chosen.)

ACCESSORIES: These are small, usually painted plastic items that come with the doll.

VEHICLE:  Create a vehicle for your doll.  This can be a modern vehicle, but make it relevant to the character.

ALSO COLLECT: Make reference to another toy that might go well with the one you have created.  For example, Barbie has all kinds of extras:  beach houses, other doll friends, pets, etc.

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