Hi, I’m Barbie… & I want(ed) to be an Architect

Posted in opinion, stuff, Women in Architecture by DS26 on 05.29.2010

Hi, I’m Barbie.

I wanted to tell you that I find myself very disappointed.

This year, for my 51st birthday, I wanted to be an Architect.

I thought that by 51 the architecture community would have found it acceptable for me to be recognized in the profession… All of my experiences and all.

Why didn’t you support my dreams ?

Was it because I am a woman ? .. or was it because I am a ‘Bimbo’ ?

I have been called a ‘Bimbo’, many times, but I thought I was simply the doll that all little girls wanted to role play with when they are young. I thought that, my making myself a professional, I could begin to serve as an inspiration to those little girls that maybe, one day, would’ve wanted to become Architects as well.

I might add, ‘Bimbo’ is just an adult-generated stereo-typing name that I have been given, because sometimes I go blond.

Is it that bad to be a blond ? .. or feminine for that matter ?

Truth is, here is a picture of me in 1959… See ? .. Sometimes I’m different.

My makers at Mattel wanted to give me the opportunity to be an Architect this year… in this bad economic environment.

I thought that was nice of them.

The last time they allowed me to run for Architect was in 2002. Almost a decade ago.

Don’t you think if I would’ve become an Architect maybe I could have inspired the young girls, future professionals ? .. or even some of their brothers ? .. or parents for that matter ?

I believe the general public ( you know… those that shop at the stores ? ) would’ve seen ‘Architect’ in the boxes, and maybe done some research into what you all do. Maybe gained some respect, or better perspective into the profession.

Don’t you think so ?

You know, I would’ve left the bathing suit home, and dressed appropriately.

Maybe something like this :

( by professor of architecture Despina Stratigakos; photo published by [Architect Magazine] )

And, after all… my makers and I were inspired… ‘Architect’ seemed like a great title, since this is my new home in Shanghai :

I mean… isn’t it good ?

[Barbie Store, Shanghai – archdaily]

Anyway, I thought maybe you should know.

I guess, instead, I will be another type of ‘Architect’… at least according to Monster and Careerbuilder.

I do sincerely hope next time you think about the fact that the profession of Architecture is for the benefit of the public, therefore they should be better acquainted with and informed about it. It could only help.

This profession’s self-containment is slowly, but surely, being detrimental to its future.

Also ( and this is just in case you have not seen what I can do ) check out the list of all other things I’ve been.. and ask yourself :

Did Barbie ever hurt those professions ?





  • Dentist
  • Doctor (1988, Pediatrician 1994, I can be… Baby Doctor 2008)
  • Nurse (1961)
  • Surgeon (1973)
  • Veterinarian (I can be… Zoo Doctor 2008, I can be… Pet Vet 2009)


  • Paratrooper (2000)
  • United States Army officer (1989, Desert Storm 1992)
  • United States Air Force jet pilot (1990)
  • United States Air Force Thunderbirds (1993)
  • United States Marine Corps officer (1991)
  • United States Navy officer (1991)


  • Ambassador for world peace (1986)
  • United States President (2000)
  • Presidential candidate (Barbie for President 1992, 2004,2008)
  • UNICEF Summit diplomat (1990)

Public service

  • Firefighter (1995)
  • Life guard (Baywatch 1994)
  • Police officer (1993)
  • Canadian Mountie (2005)

Science and Engineering

  • Astronaut (1965, 1985, 25th Apollo 1994)
  • Computer Engineer (I can be… Computer Engineer 2010)
  • Paleontologist (1997)


  • Flight Attendant (American Airlines 1973-75, Flight Time 1989)
  • NASCAR driver (1998, I can be… Race Car Driver 2009)
  • Pilot (1990)
  • Stewardess (American Airlines 1961-64, Pan Am 1966)


  • Artist
  • Athlete (Gold Medal Barbie 1975, Olympic Gymnast Barbie 1996, Olympic Skater Barbie 1997)
  • Babysitter (Barbie Babysits 1963)
  • Ballerina (1961-present)
  • Business executive (1960, 1978, Day to Night 1985, 1999)
  • Cat burglar (Barbie by Christian Louboutin)[1]
  • Cheerleader (1973, Pom Pom Divas 2006, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie 2008)
  • Cowgirl (1981)
  • Chef (1996, I can be… Bakery Chef 2008)
  • DC Comics superheroines
  • Designer (2008)
  • Fashion Model (1959-present)
  • Guest editor of international fashion magazine
  • Hair Dresser (2008)
  • Make-up artist (Barbie loves Mac 2007)
  • McDonald’s cashier (1983)
  • News anchor (I can be… News Anchor 2010)
  • Pet stylist (I can be… Pet Stylist 2008)
  • Photographer
  • Pop singer (Barbie and the Rockers 1986, I can be… Rock Star, 2009)
  • Princess (1990s-present)
  • See’s Candy cashier (2002)
  • Secretary (2007)
  • Sea world trainer (I can be… Sea World Trainer 2009)
  • Soda fountain waitress (Coca Cola Series 1998)
  • Starfleet officer (2000)
  • TV chef (I can be… TV chef, 2008)
  • Wedding stylist (I can be… Wedding Stylist, 2009)






5 Responses

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  1. YV said, on 06.02.2010 at 06:59

    It is good to see Barbie in a more intellectually challenged role. This will help young girls to understand that a fashionista can also read books and have brain.

  2. […] The busiest day of the year was June 1st with 257 views. The most popular post that day was Hi, I’m Barbie… & I want(ed) to be an Architect. […]

  3. Marcela Abadi Rhoads said, on 01.02.2011 at 11:35

    So good! I also was so dissapointed that they didn’t make her an architect. Maybe it’s not sexy enough….or maybe they couldn’t come up with cute accessories and clothing for her….maybe they need to think outside the box a bit!

    • 26at41 said, on 01.02.2011 at 12:42

      Actually Marcy, it was a public vote. The real Architects decided she should not be an Architect (hence my post)… The public decided she would become an IT Architect instead (go figure!).

  4. karen hewitt said, on 02.26.2011 at 14:00

    After many years of delay, Mattel will soon be comng out with Architect Barbie. I am not sure how they decided on the final outfit but I am not convinced that this will inspire young girls to enter the field of architecture. I enjoyed some of the Architect Barbie design ideas shown in the exhibition Despina Stratigakos curated in 2007 at the University of Michigan. However, I don’t think that any of the images of Architect Barblie,whether she has a tube full of architectural drawings slung over her shoulder or is posed with her boot next to a building have much to do with the role of “woman as architect” I have written more about girls, architecture and building blocks in my website blog.

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