I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that NASA had teamed up with Mattel to produce “Mars Explorer Barbie.” As Megan Garber wrote in the Atlantic:
The “Mars Explorer Barbie” — part of the “I Can Be” line of the dolls — comes complete not simply with a sassy pink-and-white spacesuit, but also with a helmet (pink) and a “space pack” accessory (also pink). The doll’s packaging features a glittery Martian landscape with the Curiosity rover (also pink) in the foreground and the Earth in the distance. (The Earth is one of the few items included that is not pink.)
Seriously, you have to click on that link to see the Atlantic’s close-up image of the packaging. Our beloved Curiosity rover really is pink.
I sent that image to a few friends, and got this one in return, from the UK organization Let Toys Be Toys, which is actively campaigning against such overt sexism in children’s toys:
The images on the left are from a 1976 Argos catalogue, while those on the right were taken from the current Argos website. As Let Toys Be Toys tweeted, “Yes, it’s amazing to think that the 70s were a time when the toy industry was LESS sexist.”
Here’s another from their Twitter feed, showing the girls and boys toy aisles in the same store (and there are many, many more images like it):
Clearly, Pink Barbie in her pink spacesuit with her pink Curiosity rover exploring the Pink Planet will fit right in. How utterly nauseating — it makes me want to pink. I mean, vomit.