This just in from the land of “WTF”: There is now a meditation Barbie called “Breathe With Me Barbie” [available on Amazon]
Now, I personally respect anyone who successfully goes through a spiritual awakening. And it appears that Barbie must have done precisely that. Because Barbie has apparently transformed from a materialistic-girl to a meditation teacher.
Barbie has been basically everything at this point. In her quest to find the perfect occupation, Barbie has been a flight attendant, a hairdresser, and businesswoman and now in 2020 we have the “Breathe We Me Barbie” meditation teacher, part of the new Wellness line-up from Mattel.
Yes, like many of us, Barbie has become bored of materialism and all that glitz and glamour. Now she just likes to sit in lotus position breathing mindfully and working her way towards Zen. Barbie herself tells THE DAILY MEDITATION, “While riding in my pink Corvette, I asked myself, “What’s it all about, this glamorous lifestyle. I mean, what’s it worth, you know?… I searched for meaning in this plastic world and what I found was Dharma. I traded my Gucchi shoes for a first edition of “Awakening The Buddha Within” by Lama Surya Das. And now I just sit, breathing.”
Breathe With Me Barbie is a part of Mattel’s “Wellness Collection”. Included in the collection are all sorts of wellness barbies, included one getting a cucumber face mask and “Barbie Spa Day Fitness Doll”. The standout of this lineup, however, is definitely the meditating Barbie “Breathe With Me”.
I can’t decide whether this capitalism has officially lost the plot with wellness now and gone totally over the top, or whether this new Wellness Collection of Barbies is actually a positive thing because, heck, if it gets kids to actually meditate then it can’t be all bad, right? And maybe I should even feature this Barbie in my list of mindfulness exercises for kids… what do you think?
In Domesticating Barbie, Paul Mullins and Marlys Pearson wrote, “Popular and academic commentators alike routinely lapse into apocryphal observations of a few isolated accessories or a single physical attribute of the doll, using this indiscriminate inspection as the tenuous foundation from which they can assail, celebrate, or ridicule Barbie symbolism along any number of agendas.” Which is probably the most verbose comment anyone has ever made about Barbie, but which basically means that we judge Barbie based on tiny details like her breasts or shoes. Well, with the Breathe With Me Barbie it’s all about the lotus position legs and the hands, which are pictured in Pushpaputra mudra (I wonder whether Mattel knew that this is the mudra for self acceptance…?)
You might wonder how Barbie squares up as a meditation teacher. When you press Barbie’s crescent -moon-shaped necklace a purple cloud lights up on Barbie’s chest and Barbie starts giving a guided meditation, which includes talking about an imaginary bubble bath and blowing bubbles. There’s another one in which Barbie asks you to “Repeat after me: I am strong. I am loved”.
Manufacturer Mattel told THE DAILY MEDITATION that “Barbie recognizes the spike in emotional well-being practices among girls and knows that the focus on personal well-being is a movement that is here to stay.” Mattel also tells us that Headspace is teaming up with Barbie to create a playlist of meditations for girls (because apparently meditations for girls are different to meditations for men… or is that just for publicity…? )
If I has to review Breathe With Me Barbie I would be split in two. I feel like half the review would talk about how this is wellness gone mad and how we are gradually losing the true definition of mindfulness. But I couldn’t review Breathe With Me Barbie without also saying, perhaps optimistically, that maybe this will get girls meditating, and that surely couldn’t be a bad thing.
What do you think about this latest Barbie? Breathing with her? Or throwing her in the trash? Leave a comment and remember to subscribe.