Barbie came alive! No, we don’t mean Valerie Lukyanova, the woman who turned herself into a human barbie, but the iconic 1950 doll that resides in girls’ bedrooms ever since. In the last 67 years, Barbie has been presidential candidate, doctor, scientist, chef, musician, astronaut, architect, computer engineering and now she’s becoming a 3D-animated hologram personal assistant for your kid. Last week Mattel released the Hello Barbie doll, a laser-beamed character that couples motion-capture animation with lively Amazon Echo AI like behavior.
When you pronounce the words “Hello Barbie” the doll comes to life. Until now you can ask her to change her appearance, switch outfits, set alarms, she also functions as a nightlight or takes over the job of a dance teacher. If you wanna know the weather conditions she’s the one to ask. Hello Barbie’s creator states that “when a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become”.
For years Barbie’s designers has been criticized for maintaining unrealistic bodily proportions and putting a strong emphasis on her appearance. With an huge amount of photoshopped and retouched images, it is not surprising that this shaped unrealistic standards. Now, some people might argue that the Hello Barbie Hologram contributes to increase this concern, as it is yet possible to change the core look of the representation.
Barbie has come a long way from being inspired by a German comic and can be perfectly used to identify a specific generation Zeitgeist, maybe this can help us reflect on the evolution we have produced until now.