Mad Men and Barbie: A Marketing Love Story

Mad Men Barbie photo

Consider today’s post a public service announcement for women’s studies majors everywhere: I have your senior thesis topic!

Today’s New York Times is reporting that Mattel will be releasing a set of collector’s edition (read: $74.98 a pop) Mad Men Barbie Dolls this summer.

Mattel is all about the brand synergy: The first Barbie came out in March 1959; the first episode of Mad Men was set in March 1960. But let’s talk about the brand irony: Betty Draper, the beautiful-yet-dead-inside Stepford wife as a Barbie doll? Well, yes, I think we knew that. So is literally marketing her as a Barbie doll a way of acknowledging Mattel’s 51 years of sexism? Or will it just encourage little girls (who are probably not DVR-ing the show and parsing its every nuance) to think they have to look just like January Jones to land a hottie like Jon Hamm?

Also, is it just me, or did they shave down the curves on Barbie Joan? Um, kind of a lot?

Mad Men Joan Holloway Photo

Ugh. Type, women’s studies majors, type as fast as you possibly can!

[Barbie photos via the New York Times; Joan Holloway photo cropped from Jewelry Gal Blog.]



Filed under beauty standards, For Extra Credit, week 17

4 responses to “Mad Men and Barbie: A Marketing Love Story

  1. Pingback: Pretty Price Check (03.12.10) « Beauty Schooled

  2. Pingback: Join Beauty Schooled for the next Feminist Carnival: Beauty Edition! [Deadline March 29] « Beauty Schooled

  3. I think they should have a Barbie with a buzz cut.

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