Barbie dolls are one of the most popular toys to have ever been created. They have appeared in thousands of different variations with thousands of different fashion accessories, and a great mystery has surrounded the iconic character since she first appeared on the market – what does Barbie sound like? More importantly, what pearls of wisdom would she impart to her fans? The answer to this cryptic question was finally provided in the early 1990’s, when Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie to the world.
Each doll was designed to say four inspiring phrases out of a potential 270, so while one might ask “Want to go shopping?”, another would state “Meet me at the mall!” Truly, a role model for our children. The most famous thing that Teen Talk Barbie ever uttered, though, was “Math class is hard!” This led to some rather distinct criticism from women’s groups, who claimed that the toy reinforced out-of-date gender stereotypes among young girls. The company spokeswoman just tee-heed the objections, but the offending statement was quietly removed from the dolls a few months later.
Other phrases considered for Teen Talk Barbie, but not used:
“Women shouldn’t wear shoes.”
“Well, I don’t need the right to vote.”
“Thinking is for losers.”
“Let me fetch your slippers, dear husband.”
“I’m sorry I burnt the pot roast!”