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Life

Barbie Issues A Challenge That Is Empowering Girls Worldwide

July 30th, 2018

These days, little girls are constantly being reminded of their equality. Being a girl does not dictate whether you’re good at math or if you can run really fast. It’s becoming increasingly possible for women to go after their dreams, now more than ever before. Despite how often we remind our girls of their potential, sometimes it’s easier to hear a message from a favorite idol or cartoon.

Cue Barbie.

Most recently, Barbie (yes, the doll) addressed a loaded topic in her YouTube video blog.

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Mattel/Vulture Source: Mattel/Vulture

The video is called “Sorry Reflex”, and in it, Barbie discusses the idea that females constantly say “sorry’ to others even when they haven’t done anything wrong.

“We [girls] say it a lot— like a lot,” she said. “It’s a reflex, and somehow everything that goes wrong is our fault?”

“Somebody bumps into us, and we say, ‘Sorry!'”

You go to a restaurant and the food they serve you is cold, and you say, ‘Sorry, but you could heat this up for me?'”

“We get excited and exuberant about something we’re really excited about and we instantly say sorry.”

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Video Screenshot Source: Video Screenshot

Barbie believes our “sorry reflex” stems from the fact that we are scared to offend people with how we really we feel. While she does note that it’s “really important” to offer sincere apologies when they’re deserved, girls, in particular, need to cut back on the reflexive apologies they’re constantly giving out.

“It’s like we’re afraid of being too big.”

Karen Sugar, the founder and director of The Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, told WKBW that the reflexive apologies are an issue related to inequality and the idea that “women are not comfortable in their power.”

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock/Oprah Source: Stockbyte/Thinkstock/Oprah

She said: “You want people to respect and listen to you, but when you’re apologizing, it takes away what you’re trying to say.”

“This kind of minimizing our assertiveness and our confidence really can get in the way of us communicating what we want, what we mean.”

In the video, Barbie challenges her 4 million young subscribers to stop saying sorry and to start using other ways to express how they feel instead.

“Instead of saying sorry, say ‘Thank you for understanding feelings.'”

“There’s so much more power in saying ‘thank you’ instead of ‘sorry’; it really does change the dynamic.”

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Video Screenshot Source: Video Screenshot

Among Barbie’s supporters is child development and parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa. In an interview with TODAY, she said: “This is a powerful message about how we can accidentally hurt ourselves with self-deprecating language.” She encourages parents to take part in the challenge with their daughters, but recommends they check back in and notice “what changed in her feelings and the behavior of those around her.”

Since being uploaded last month (June), Barbie’s video has been viewed over 710,000 times— and not just by younger kids.

“Why is Barbie so encouraging whenever I watch her vlog and I’m almost 28!”

“I’m 22 years old… Barbie is still the most insightful YouTuber I’ve found… Thanks for looking out for young women everywhere.”

“I love these vlogs because it teaches the young children watching them the important lessons about life. i can’t wait to see the generation of women that come from a childhood full of this kind of positive and empowerment.”

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Source: Hello Giggles via Tout