Thursday, April 3, 2008

Barbie(R) tech team opens VW conference with bulemic bang

Mattel's Chief Barbie Officer Rosie O'Neill delivered the opening keynote address at the Virtual Worlds 2008 Conference today. In a surreal performance, she and co-presenter Charles Scothon described how young girls' love for Barbie will be used to rope millions of older girls into a new paid subscription section of
…girls aged five to six were more dissatisfied with their shape and wanted more extreme thinness after seeing Barbie doll images…For those aged six to seven the negative effects were even stronger. Reference
Strangely, no mention was made during the keynote of the effect that pencil-waisted avatars might have on the body image of their cash cow cuties. In the question part of the keynote, someone asked what kind of avatar BarbieGirls might offer someone who is not thin and cute. O'Neil said (with a straight face) that they offer resources to let girls "be whatever they want to be." It got me thinking....


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at