Why This Barbie TV Show is Banned in My Home

My almost five-year-old daughter has become a little more interested in Barbie recently and has discovered the Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse series on Netflix. At first, I didn’t mind too much that she selected this to watch, but after paying closer attention to the show I have to admit that not only would I prefer my impressionable daughter watch something else, I’m also fairly disappointed in the brand as a whole.

 

Barbie

 

How can a company who has been trying to portray this long beloved doll in a more positive, modern light produce a television program that is shallow and sexist?

It’s quite contradictory if you ask me. While Barbie is coming out with a line of career dolls, such as a doctor, pilot or scientist, as well as having campaigns like You Can Be Anything, empowering girls to be whatever they dream of, the brand also makes a show that portrays Barbie as selfish, materialistic and only worried about her looks. Not to mention having friends and a rival who is just as shallow, manipulative and self-centred as the rest.

In the particular episode my daughter was tuning in to, Barbie was trying to think of a gift idea for Ken, to which her little sister suggested a tiara. That response was met with a sexist generalization of what boys like, deeming a tiara an unfit gift for Ken because boys only like “action movies, video games, and sports cars.” Needless to say, I made my daughter pick something else to watch on Netflix.

As a parent, I find this show to be a terrible example to both my daughter and my son since in my honest opinion the characters are not good role models. I’m trying to teach my children about kindness, giving to others, equality and that there is more to life than material things, all things I find Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is lacking.

I’m happy to expose my kids to the more positive image Barbie has marketed recently in their dolls and was even considering getting my daughter her first Barbie for her upcoming birthday. However, this mama is officially boycotting Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse from the list of shows her children will watch.

 

13 Comments

  1. September 4, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    My daughter used to watch this show when she was little, and I was also mindful of sitting with her and talking through the points that I thought were not acceptable. We actually had lots of conversations about what girls can do versus what Barbie limited them too!

    It’s so important that we are on top of what they are watching. So many mixed messages in shows today.

    • September 4, 2018 / 12:30 pm

      Great job on talking through certain points with your daughter! I briefly did with my little girl but I think I may explain further why mommy doesn’t like her watching this show.

  2. September 4, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    We don’t watch Barbie in our home either

    • September 4, 2018 / 12:33 pm

      It was just disappointing to me that this is how the show portrays Barbie when the brand has been making great changes to their collection of dolls, showing children that Barbie is not just a pretty face in a fancy dress. The dolls now come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and I like their Barbie career dolls line. This TV show really doesn’t match this image.

  3. Tamara Goyette
    September 4, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    The Barbie shows are not welcome in my house either.

  4. September 4, 2018 / 11:04 pm

    Zoe asked me about it the other day but I kind of steered her away. i like to see what the show is about before she watches it. Needless to say I wasn’t in a rush then and now its just a hard pass! Thank you for sharing!

    • September 5, 2018 / 9:30 am

      Happy to help! There are so many options for kids TV shows now, and with my children knowing how to turn on Kids Netflix on their own I don’t always see right away what they’re watching. But as soon as I catch something like this I tell them to stop watching and pick something else. My daughter was disappointed and I tried explaining to her why mommy didn’t think the show was good for her. She seemed to accept it and has been back to watching the Trolls show on repeat!

  5. September 5, 2018 / 1:24 am

    Stuff like this really concerns me as a dad to a daughter. While I don’t have anything against “princess culture” necessarily, it bothers me when it’s practically the only option presented to her. We didn’t raise her that way and somehow she gravitated toward it anyhow. She hasn’t gotten in Barbies yet, but friends and family have started giving her dolls and such.

    • September 5, 2018 / 9:32 am

      We haven’t really pushed the whole princess thing with my daughter either, she’s just gravitated to it on her own. I make a point of letting her know that girls can be much more than princesses. I didn’t mind that she liked Barbie because they’ve been coming out with some great dolls resembling different shapes and sizes of women, as well as colour. Plus I like that they have their career doll collection. But this TV show is not in any way like that. It’s disappointing.

  6. September 5, 2018 / 11:02 am

    These are some great points for parents to keep I’m mind.

    • September 5, 2018 / 11:27 am

      I agree. I think when our children watch any TV it should be a show with positive messaging and/or something they can learn from.

  7. September 5, 2018 / 11:58 pm

    They definitely aren’t looking outside normal gender roles, assuming so kids don’t ask questions and ya know… grow? Yeesh.

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