Barbie’s a bonafide movie star. Now she’s making a play for other Tinseltown jobs

Barbie's conquered the silver screen. Now she's making a play for a Tinseltown career

Barbie’s conquered the silver screen. Now she’s making a play for the less glamorous Tinseltown careers.MattelNew YorkCNN — 

Despite the overarching message of the Barbie movie, Barbie herself has faced protracted criticism over the years for the doll’s effects on the self-image of young girls. Barbie hasn’t been evolving fast enough, the critics said, and it continues to portray an unrealistic role model of a female body type.

And when career-oriented versions of Barbie entered the marketplace, many iterations of the working Barbie dolls would still portray roles stereotypically dominated by women. So with the latest round of working Barbies, Mattel wants to show Barbie’s young fans that she is just as ambitious about conquering the less glamorous jobs in an industry with long-standing gender disparity in career opportunities.

And it helps that – playing off the film – they’re in Hollywood.

The “Barbie” movie made history, raking in an astounding $1.03 billion at the global box office, putting it in an elite category of movies in history that have crossed the $1 billion mark. Plus, “Barbie” just scored two Golden Globe wins.

Mattel on Wednesday unveiled its 2024 Barbie Career of the Year-themed dolls (priced at $50 each. The toymaker said her career choices this year honor women in the movie industry across a spectrum of roles.

Barbie's conquered the silver screen. Now she's making a play for a Tinseltown career

Barbie is a cinematographer, studio executive, director and, of course, a movie star.Mattel

They include studio executive Barbie, dressed in a blue blazer, leather skirt, black heels and smartphone equipped. Director Barbie dons a comfy denim jumpsuit and sneakers, a headset and script in hand, while cinematographer Barbie wears a “Chase Dreams’ T-shirt, sneakers and carries a professional camera.

Finally, there’s movie star Barbie, wearing a sequin floor-length gown with a beaded silver necklace, holding her award.

The toymaker said the four film career dolls are meant to encourage girls to be creative and imaginative and think about pursuing a future job in the movie industry.

Margot Robbie arrives at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Painting the town pink: Margot Robbie channels 1970s ‘Superstar Barbie’ at the Golden Globes

Mattel has increasingly strived to have Barbie take on culturally relevant and aspirational roles in fields where women are underrepresented.

When Barbie first debuted in 1959, the doll was light-skinned, slender, blonde, with a narrow waist, ample bosom and teetering on impossibly high heels. That mold of the doll persisted for decades as Barbie’s popularity also grew.

But then the tide turned and, amid softening doll sales, Mattel changed its approach and crafted Barbie into a more realistic depiction by making newer dolls that were more inclusive and diverse in their appearance.

Billie Eilish and FINNEAS accepts the award for Best Original Song  Motion Picture for "What Was I Made For?"  Barbie Music & Lyrics at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)

Billie Eilish gets emotional accepting Golden Globe for ‘Barbie’ song

In 2016, Barbie was reintroduced in four body types and seven skin tones, with 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. Her evolution continued with Barbie Fashionistas, which came three years later.

The focus of the Barbie Fashionistas line, according to Mattel, is to provide kids more diverse representations of beauty and fight the stigma around physical disabilities.

Mattel introduced its first-ever version of the Barbie doll representing a person with Down syndrome in 2023.

Last year, Barbie career dolls spotlighted another industry where jobs are still largely dominated by men. The 2023 career dolls represented four sports-related jobs, including coach Barbie, referee Barbie and a General Manager Barbie doll.

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