Female Empowerment and Femininity in Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” YouTube Channel Campaign
- 10.2991/assehr.k.200729.013How to use a DOI?
- Barbie, empowerment, femininity, girls’ mentorship
The famous Barbie doll is stereotypically perceived with negativity because of its unrealistic representation of the female appearance and standards of beauty. Thus, Mattel created a new campaign titled You Can Be Anything (YCBA) to encourage young girls to be ambitious and aim toward their aspirational selves. Among other means of dissemination, this campaign also uploads videos on the company’s YouTube channel. This article explores how the color pink is utilized in this campaign both as a signifier of femininity and as a message of empowerment. Its use eventually delivers an abstruse interpretation of the campaign’s mission. Applying Roland Barthes’ conception of the levels of connotation and denotation to the analysis of the campaign’s message of female empowerment through its depictions of the female mentorship program, this study finds that the YCBA campaign is indeterminate in its portrayal of empowerment for young girls, who form the target market for Barbie. The results of the study emphasize that girls still generally lack workplace and career equality and that the campaign contains moments of disempowerment that affirm dominant patriarchal values.
- © 2020, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
- Open Access
- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Alyssa Melita Rahmat AU - Shuri Mariasih Gietty Tambunan PY - 2020 DA - 2020/07/30 TI - Female Empowerment and Femininity in Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” YouTube Channel Campaign BT - Proceedings of the International University Symposium on Humanities and Arts (INUSHARTS 2019) PB - Atlantis Press SP - 66 EP - 70 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.200729.013 DO - 10.2991/assehr.k.200729.013 ID - Rahmat2020 ER -