Breaking the Barbie mold

At age 26, and wrapping up a Liberal Studies bachelors program at Capilano University, Melanie Leddings career path is wide. More

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Breaking the Barbie mold

At age 26, and wrapping up a Liberal Studies bachelors program at Capilano University, Melanie Leddings career path is wide open. So its fascinating that for her graduate project, shes chosen to examine a figure (well, figurine) that has had limited professional prospects throughout its 57-year existence: Barbie.

Mattel likes to say that Barbie shows that a girl can be anything and do anything, and were always at the forefront of the type of jobs Barbie can do, says Ledding. But when you actually go back and look at the Barbies they have put out and the jobs they have given her, they tend to not be very progressive at all.

Ledding began investigating brand mascots as part of her final year Bachelor of Liberal Studies tutorials. Initially focused on the anthropology of food and the issues of food security in Canada, Ledding chose the pancake mix icon, Aunt Jemima, as a focus of her tutorial on gender and racism in food advertising.

The parallels that Im drawing between [Aunt Jemima and Barbie] represent how the establishment only really changes when they feel there is a lot of pressure from the main power groups in society, says Ledding. More...

Read the complete blog post on Your Daily Cap.

Submitted by: yourdailycap.ca Capilano Us official blog