Barbie Can Be or Is An Architect

Barbie’s symbolism as an architect acknowledges that any woman can be an architect. As architects we often seek symbolism in the final product of our actions. Perhaps due to that aspect of our profession, we want to see with certainty what profession Barbie represents.

Barbie’s symbolism seems like it will be conveyed primarily through package (and possibly online) marketing and 3 doll accesories, a hard hat, a drawing tube, and a model house. These indicate she’s an architect. (Her image here.) I hope she is “redesigned” one day with attire and other accessories that more accurately meet our stereotypes and reality of the real image of a female architect. (Let’s be honest regarding ‘the’ female architect’s clothing. She can wear anything she pleases.)

Otherwise Barbie’s an architect.

We are disappointed because the image, because of its lack of real stereotypical architect characteristics, is vulnerable to the sexist symbolism that applies to Barbie as a toy overall. One of my tweets implied this. I deleted it and apologize. That additional symbolism is likely what architectural, career oriented females (and males) on twitter reacted towards. The symbolic message we consider most important for a young child to gain, that “Barbie IS an architect”, is severly endangered by that.

With all it takes to become an architect, marginalizing that accomplishment with a competing and negative symbolism is immensely disappointing. We don’t want Barbie Can Be An… Architect. We want it known, clear and visibly apparent Barbie Is An… Architect.

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