LIFESTYLE

Entrepreneur Barbie Gets Down To Business Armed With Her Laptop And Pink Power Dress

19/06/2014 12:03 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 12:59 BST

Barbie may get a lot of flack for her favourite colour preference, her waspish waist and her dubious choice in men, but today she makes a foray into the world of business as Entrepreneur Barbie hits the shelves.

Or rather virtual shelves - it's available to buy on Amazon today and will be released in stores in August.

Barbie has come under fire plenty of times for setting unrealistic expectations of body image for young girls, but Mattel shows it is trying to make amends with the doll's 'I Can Be' line, an inspirational set of characters.

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Entrepreneur Barbie is much more than her power dress: eight businesswomen were asked for their input into what the doll looked and dressed like.

Dubbed Barbie's 'Chief Inspirational Officers', they include Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, One Kings Lane founders Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, and Rent the Runway founders Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss.

"Unfortunately we live in a culture where girls are bombarded with images of male coders and engineers that just don’t look like them,' Saujani told Wired.

"When you ask a girl what a computer scientist is, she usually pictures a geeky guy typing away. And then we wonder why girls don’t pursue careers in tech! We have to change popular culture and start showing more women, more cool, dynamic, creative women, in these roles."

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Entrepreneur Barbie

"We always try to make career Barbie a reflection of the times," said Mattel spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni. "Women entrepreneurs are more prevalent now and they’re growing in number. It's a great way to encourage girls to also learn about this role."

However, not everyone is enamoured with the look.

"Successful entrepreneurs are clever, canny and hard working," says Tamsin Kelly, editor of Parentdish.co.uk.

"But I’ve never met a successful woman, who started her own company teetering around in a tight candy pink dress.

"Entrepreneur Barbie is a strange Fifties throwback, she doesn't come from the real world. Thankfully, today's female entrepreneurs don’t have to pander to some comical ‘business wear’ ideal."

Carrie Kerpen of Inc. wrote: "Mostly, becoming a female entrepreneur is about having the confidence to take risks. And handing young girls misproportioned dolls who give them a skewed view of what's beautiful probably isn't going to help there."

However, beyond selling dolls, Chidoni said Mattel is also partnering with the Girl Scouts to create video stories of successful female entrepreneurs.

Our verdict? Anything that inspires our girls whether it's dressed in pink, brown or a whole rainbow is fine by us.