Throughout the controversy, Mattel has remained "unapologetic," citing Barbie's 150 careers, her turns in 26 animated movies and partnerships with renowned fashion designers as evidence that you can be "capable and captivating."
But nobody is thinking about Barbie's career trajectory or its positive examples when she's wearing a one-piece in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition, said California State University-Long Beach professor Shira Tarrant, author of "Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power."
After all, CEO Barbie and Dr. Barbie weren't the dolls appearing in SI.
"When you look at how the lives of women have changed since the doll originally launched, the choice strikes me as particularly tone deaf in 2014," said Rodgers, of RoleReboot.org. The fact that "the version they want to focus their marketing blitz on is a sexy bikini Barbie tells us something."
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