Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2014: Barbie in a Monokini Hails 50th Anniversary Cover [See Photo Here]
Mattel's iconic Barbie doll will be featured in the 50th Anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue coming out next week.
Barbie is 55-years-old and will be posing for the magazine for the first time along with other famous models including Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum, Brooklyn Decker, Christie Brinkley and Kate Upton, reveals the LA Times.
Barbie will be featured wearing an updated version of the black and white bathing suit she first appeared in 1959. The campaign anchors on a new hashtag "#unapologetic," where Barbie is not sorry for her figure, which many critics claim to be unrealistic. Basically, it serves as Barbie's response to critics who have insisted since the beginning that Barbie as well as magazine's like Sports Illustrated aid in the culture of unhealthy expectations of beauty.
She's been heavily scrutinized from the day she hit the shelves and over half a century later, her tiny waist and endless legs are viewed as a bad message on body image to young girls everywhere. "As a legend herself, and under constant criticism about her body and how she looks, posing ... gives Barbie ... and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are," Mattel said in a statement.
Yahoo! notes that Barbie has gone through a number of transformation and life changes including a number of reinventions, 150 careers under her belt, and a brief break-up with boyfriend Ken.Mattel hopes that the new campaign will boost the image of the doll whose popularity has recently declining.
"Our girls are only so young for such a very short time, and taking one of her toys and putting it alongside sexualized and dehumanized images of women to fall under the male gaze is wrong on so many levels," Eve Vawter, editor of the blog Mommyish, wrote in a post Wednesday. "Barbie is no longer just a doll. She is a sex doll," reports Chicago Tribune.
Mattel said in a statement that the ad campaign celebrates "some of the world's most famous swimsuit legends - like Barbie - who have gone on to break boundaries, build empires and shape culture." According to Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni, "Barbie is a legend in her own right, with more than 150 careers and a brand valued at $3 billion. She is in great company with the other legends, such as (actress-models) Heidi Klum and Christie Brinkley, to name a few."
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editor MJ Day believes that Barbie fits in with the swimsuit issues' "message of empowerment" for women.
Aside from this, the "unapologetic" campaign does not end at the feature. Mattel will be issuing a collector Sports Illustrated Barbie doll and hosting an event at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Beach House on Monday. Barbie will also be featured on a billboard in New York's Times Square and an active social media offense will include @Barbie tweets with the hashtag "unapologetic" on Twitter. In addition to Sports Illustrated, Barbie also will appear on the cover of 1,000 issues in an advertising "cover wrap" for the New York Toy Fair, which starts Sunday.
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