As a millennial, I grew up playing with Barbie. I loved her. I built her a dream house and village. I re-enacted her wedding to Ken countless times. Barbie would bring my neighbourhood friends together; we would spend hours playing.
Barbie’s new body options are incredible and reflective of our changing society. Mattel is accepting the fact that there is no one ideal type of woman. Changing Barbie’s body promotes self-love and shows girls that they can love themselves for the body they have.
But Barbie meant more to me than her figure; she was an outlet to my imagination. Reflecting on my love of the doll got me thinking about the lessons she has taught me:
Barbie taught me to chase my dreams. Barbie is iconic for her countless career changes and showing girls that there are many careers available. My favourite version of the doll was Veterinarian Barbie which allowed me to imagine the possibilities of a career in animal sciences.
Barbie taught me I don’t need Ken. I had about 50 Barbie dolls growing up and only one Ken. While Ken is Barbie’s partner, I never saw him as essential to her happiness. Ken was an added bonus to Barbie’s life, but without him, she could still be a Veterinarian, a Doctor, a Teacher, an Astronaut or a Model.
Barbie taught me to be creative. Barbie’s world was what you made of it. She taught me to be creative and use my imagination.
Barbie has received lots of opposition over the years for her body. Critics love to hate on the doll and claim that her figure gave girls unrealistic body expectations. I have always supported Barbie and seen her as a figure of empowerment. I’m happy they are updating Barbie to include different body types, but I still stand by the original doll as being a positive role model rather than a negative. Whether Barbie is tall, curvy or petite she will always hold a place in my heart.
Sometimes we struggle with balance. Work, school, friends and family can clutter our schedule. My advice take time for yourself. Be a little selfish.
If you have always wanted to travel, just do it. Stop waiting for the ‘perfect time’ because chances are it will never be perfect. Learning to be selfish with your time and wants will help you develop as a person. Change your mindset. Learn to make yourself a priority.
Embrace the ‘lost’
I hear people saying, “I feel lost”. So what if you don’t have an exact plan of where you will be in five years. If you feel lost that’s okay. You don’t need to have all the answers right now. Stop overthinking.
Being lost is not bad. Some of my best experiences were borne by feeling lost. That lost feeling pushes you to try new things. Get over your fear of rejection. If you don’t have it all figured out don’t stress about it.
Focus your energy on embracing different experiences. New adventures will teach you what you want or don’t want.
Your best friend has invited you to go out with her co-workers. Your first instinct might be to pass. After all those aren’t your people and Netflix is calling your name. My advice is to go! Step out of your comfort zone.
In your 20s is the perfect time to build your network. Not only can you make connections that might help you down the road, but every person has a story. Listen to their stories; they might spark an interest you never knew you had.
What are some of your tips for navigating life in your 20s?