The Collection

Signature Gifts is excited to launch this very special storybook – the ‘Barbie You Can Be…’ Collection, which features five stories that we hope will inspire and motivate young girls everywhere to dream big. The five stories featured include ‘You can be an astronaut’, You Can Be A Ballerina’, ‘You Can Be A Chef’, ‘You Can Be A Doctor’, and ‘You Can Be a Fashion Designer.’

You can personalise this book with your child’s name which will appear throughout the story! It’s a must have for any young Barbie fan and makes a truly unique and inspiring gift.

The Original Barbie Doll

Since its inception, there have been many different versions and additions to the original barbie doll, with the ken doll being released in 1961 and the first African American incarnation released in 1980. It has grown to be one of the most popular children’s products in the world. Last year, Mattel sold $1.35 billion worth of Barbie dolls and accessories – their best sales growth in two decades. Mattel claims that three barbie dolls are sold around the world every single second.

Barbie officially debuted on March 9th 1959 at the American International Toy Fair in New York as a creation of Mattel Incorporated. In 1956, Ruth Handler, who created the product, got her inspiration from a German build ‘Lilli’ doll that she bought for her children, Barbara and Kenneth – (yes, that’s where the names Barbie and Ken come from!)

Barbie –  A Female Role Model For Independence

Now a huge role model for independence, confidence and equality, the Barbie doll has developed its brand over many years. Ruth Handler believed it was important for Barbie to have an adult like appearance, noticing a gap in the market: most children’s dolls at the time looked like children. 

Not long after the doll first hit the markets, many women credited Barbie with ‘providing an alternative to 1950’s gender roles. Outfitted with clever paraphernalia, the doll was a model for financial self-sufficiency. (Barbie’s résumé includes, among other things, airline pilot, astronaut, doctor, Olympic athlete, and United States presidential candidate.)’ Furthermore, the doll was not defined by relationships of responsibility to men or the family, offering a feminist standpoint which was revolutionary at the time. In the early 1960s, consumers were asking for a Barbie-scale baby. Instead of creating a version of Barbie as a mother, Mattel issued a ‘Barbie Baby-Sits’ playset, further reverseing the stereotype that girls can only aspire to be stay at home mums.

In March 2018, just in time for International Women’s Day, Mattel revealed the ‘Barbie Celebrates Role Models’ campaign with a line of seventeen dolls, known as ‘sheroes’ from diverse backgrounds. The aim was to showcase examples of extraordinary women. The role models include international world-famous gymnast Gabby Douglas, and famous artist Frida Kahlo. 

Of course, the doll has been adapted into many different models over the years before it became the huge female positive icon it is today. Barbie is widely seen as a female role model for independance all over the world, and we are truly excited to be a part of the Barbie doll mission.

Our Mission – Empower Young Girls Worldwide Through Books

In order to help Barbie continue to be a literal role model for girls worldwide by encouraging them that looks do not matter as much as aspirations, we have made the focus of this book on goals, ambitions, and careers. That is why we have included more stereotypically female career aspirations in this narrative, such as ‘You Can Be A Ballerina’, and others including ‘You Can Be An Astronaut,’ to show young girls that they can do whatever they like, whether it’s stereotypically ‘girly’ or not. We want young girls to know that whether they dream of being a stay-at-home mum or having a career, are a tom-boy or a girly girl, or anything in between, they can have and do it all. We believe in them, and want them to know that they do not need to fit inside a neatly packaged box that society has created for them. They are perfect just the way they are.  

Research into gender inequalities in the early years shows that it’s vital we encourage young girls to build resilience from a young age, and we can do this by helping them to figure out their own unique preferences. These preferences are often best explored through language and literature, so practising to read using a book such as this will instil confidence from a young age, reducing the likelihood of issues surrounding low self-worth developing in the future. The book is also perfect for primary school aged children, who will be able to delve into this book themselves.

Click here to get your personalised copy today and become a part of our mission to empower young girls!  

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