Dear Dr. Ads,
I’m a big fan of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (hey – I read it for the articles), so imagine my surprise when Barbie® turned up as one of the Barbies featured in this year’s model.
Then I saw this full-page ad in the New York Times.
What is this, Doc – some sorta Hall of Vanity Mirrors?
That doesn’t capture the half of it.
Representative sample (via Yahoo! Shine):
Barbie Graces Cover of “Sports Illustrated,” Mom Wants Apology
In what can only be described as a bizarre marketing move, a bikini-clad Barbie is being featured on the wrap cover of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, debuting this week. That’s right, unrealistic curves and all. For 50 years, the sports magazine has dedicated one cover a year to scantily clad ladies like Kate Upton and Brooklyn Decker, and for their 50th anniversary, they are paying tribute to a doll.
Really? Barbie on the wrap cover of what has become the “sexiest” magazine cover of the year? The unveiling of which is surrounded by as much pomp and circumstance as People’s“Sexiest Man of the Year” or Time’s “Person of the Year?” This is not only sexualizing a child’s doll, but making the ultimate unattainable body (that’s not even human) the epitome of female perfection. (Yes, I know it is the promotional wrap and not the actual cover but STILL!)
Seriously – angry Moms are gold to any marketer chasing the 18-49 demo, the population most coveted by advertisers.
Meanwhile, here’s what #Unapologetic gets you.