For generations, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has been a powerful force for good in the in the lives of girls. Parents trust the Girl Scouts to


For generations, the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has been a powerful force for good in the in the lives of girls. Parents trust the Girl Scouts to provide positive role models and foster their daughters’ healthy development. That’s why it’s troubling that GSUSA has partnered with Mattel to promote the Barbie brand to young Scouts.

Barbie is now featured prominently in the “For Girls” section of the GSUSA's website [1]. A web game produced by the Girl Scouts and Mattel is little more than an interactive ad [2]. And Daisies and Brownies, the youngest Scouts, are encouraged to wear a Barbie patch, transforming their previously commercial-free uniforms into walking advertisements.

Please join CCFC & the Center for a New American Dream in urging the Girl Scouts to end this harmful partnership with Barbie.

Partnering with Mattel undermines GSUSA’s vital mission to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character.” Over the years, Mattel has frequently been criticized for promoting sexualized stereotypes to young girls -- most recently for Barbie’s inclusion in the notorious Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue [3]. While Mattel and the Barbie brand benefit enormously from GSUSA’s endorsement, the partnership harms girls. In addition to encouraging sexualization, the Barbie brand idealizes a dangerously impossible body type. Research shows that girls 5-8 -- the exact age targeted by the Barbie/Girl Scout partnership -- who are exposed to Barbie report more dissatisfaction with their own bodies and want to be thinner [4].

In announcing the partnership with Mattel, the Girl Scouts’ CEO called Barbie “an American Icon” whose appeal would encourage girls to “explore exciting new career possibilities”[5].The campaign tells girls that they can “be anything,” but an inescapable component of that message is that girls should aspire to be like Barbie. Girls visiting the GSUSA’s I Can Be... website view pictures of Barbie dolls and are asked to identify their careers based on their attire: from a veterinarian in a frilly mini-skirt, to a pink-suited U.S. president, to a racecar driver in stilettos. Many of the outfits pictured are worn by actual Barbies available for purchase.

We have enormous respect for the Girl Scouts, which is why we asked them privately to end the partnership with Mattel. But our efforts were fruitless -- so now we need your help. Please visit to urge GSUSA to cut all ties with Barbie.

Thanks for all you do for children,
Susan Linn, EdD
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

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