Breaking the Barbie mold

April 12, 2016

Melanie Ledding

At age 26, upon wrapping up the Liberal Studies BA at Capilano University, Melanie Ledding’s career path is wide open. So it’s fascinating that for her Graduating Project, she’s chosen to examine a figure (well, figurine) that has had limited professional prospects throughout its 57-year existence: Barbie.

“Mattel likes to say that ‘Barbie shows that a girl can be anything and do anything, and we’re always at the forefront of the types of jobs Barbie can do,’” says Ledding. “But when you actually go back and look at the Barbies they have put out and the jobs that they have given her, they tend not to be very progressive at all.”

Ledding began investigating brand mascots in her Liberal Studies Tutorials. Initially focused  on the anthropology of food and the issue of food security in Canada, Ledding eventually chose the pancake mix icon, Aunt Jemima, as the focus of her tutorial on gender and racism in food advserting.

Read the complete blog post on Your Daily Cap.

Submitted by: Aurelea Mahood