“Barbie” the Greta Gerwig film that has grossed over $1billion – $300million more than the other summer blockbuster “Oppenheimer” – has more messages in it than you realise as John Lowe of MoneyDoctors.ie reveals…

Barbie now aged 64 is living the financial independence dream – she only works when she wants, lives a lavish lifestyle, has a wardrobe that stretches for miles and enjoys hanging out with a number of similar lifestyle friends while also having a dynamic social life. She also travels.

In a world where role models come in various forms the iconic fashion doll has in my view emerged as an unexpected but powerful figure in promoting financial literacy and independence.

While traditionally known for her glamorous lifestyle Barbie has undergone a transformation in recent years to encompass a broader range of careers and life choices. According to Mattel, Barbie has had more than 200 careers in her lifetime. Considering her expense requirements, that’s a good thing. This evolution has positioned her as a unique and effective financial role model, helping to replicate and empower individuals of all ages to take control of their financial futures.

Barbie’s transformation from being solely a fashionista to a character with diverse career options has contributed significantly to her role as a financial role model. Over the years, Barbie has embraced careers in fields such as science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), medicine, entrepreneurship, and more. This diverse representation demonstrates to the younger reader and viewer that financial success is attainable through various paths, encouraging them to explore a wide range of professions. By showcasing successful women in different careers, Barbie fosters the idea that financial stability is achievable regardless of one’s chosen career path.

Barbie’s influence goes beyond her physical representations; her presence extends into the realm of play. Barbie-themed board games and digital applications provide children with interactive experiences that introduce financial concepts in an engaging and age-appropriate manner. Games such as “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures” and “Barbie Financial Advisor” teach children the basics of budgeting, saving, and making financial decisions through virtual scenarios. By combining fun with learning, Barbie empowers children to develop crucial financial skills from an early age.

One of Barbie’s most significant contributions as a financial role model is her emphasis on entrepreneurship. The “Career of the Year” Barbie dolls frequently feature entrepreneurial ventures, highlighting the importance of financial independence and business acumen. These dolls inspire individuals to pursue their passions, take calculated risks, and build businesses, all while managing their finances effectively.

Barbie’s portrayal as a successful entrepreneur smashes gender stereotypes and encourages individuals of all genders to embrace their ambitions, fostering a sense of self-reliance and financial empowerment.

Barbie’s influence also extends beyond toys and games to include educational initiatives focused on financial literacy. Collaborations with US organisations such as Junior Achievement and the Girl Scouts of the USA have led to the creation of programmes that educate young individuals about money management, budgeting, and financial planning. These initiatives use Barbie’s relatable image to engage children in conversations about money and empower them to make informed financial decisions as they grow.

Barbie’s evolving image also addresses critical financial topics that are often considered taboo. Barbie dolls in career roles include accessories like laptops and briefcases, highlighting the significance of equal pay and negotiation skills. These representations subtly encourage discussions around salary negotiation and workplace equity, encouraging individuals to advocate for their worth. Moreover, Barbie’s portrayal of investment-savvy characters sparks conversations about growing wealth through wise financial decisions, including investing and saving for the future.

Barbie’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity amplifies her impact as a financial role model. In recent years, Barbie has expanded her line to include dolls of various body types, ethnicities, and abilities. This shift is instrumental in demonstrating that financial success is not limited to a specific demographic but is attainable for everyone. By reflecting the real world, Barbie sends a powerful message that financial empowerment knows no boundaries.

In a world where financial literacy is an essential life skill, Barbie emerges as an unlikely yet powerful financial role model. Through her diverse career representations, interactive play experiences, emphasis on entrepreneurship, financial literacy initiatives, and inclusive messaging, Barbie encourages individuals of all ages to take control of their financial destinies. Her influence transcends the limitations of a plastic doll, promoting the idea that anyone can achieve financial independence, regardless of their background or aspirations. As Barbie continues to evolve, she solidifies her place as a timeless and relevant icon for financial empowerment and self-assurance.

…and you thought it was just a film !

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