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NFT Barbie: Perennially cool, or just another baby boomer who couldn't care less about the environment?

The non-fungible future
When a digital-only work of art sold for $69 million last month, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) hit the mainstream headlines.
If you're hazy on NFTs, here's a great explainer from The Verge.
Not all of the attention was admiring - the artist who produced the big ticket work admitted that creating it used up the equivalent of two years' worth of electricity. Hm.
It turned the head of eternally on-trend Barbie - she of 'one sold every three seconds' fame.

Born in 1959 as both a blonde and a brunette, Barbie was a full-on career woman toting a briefcase in the Eighties, is available in diverse skin tones, body shapes, clothes and hairstyles, and still enjoys an on-off relationship with toy-boy doll Ken.

“She was the first doll to emulate adult women,” points out a sixty-something grandmother. “Dolls in my day were about responsibility, to care for, to fuss over. Then Barbie came along and it was all about growing up fast.”

Growing up fast...
...sounds like something activist Greta Thunberg would have related to in 2019 when she called out largely Baby Boomer world leaders for having "stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words" on climate action. Today's children are having to clean up after their elders.
Seized upon as a role model for environmental activism, Greta, now 18, enters adulthood firmly gripped in the media maw - an emblem of stolen childhood in more ways than one.
What do Barbie and Greta have in common?
They both have a huge environmental and cultural impact.
Of the billion+ Barbies sold over the decades, millions have ended up in rivers and oceans as plastic waste. But she's also one of the world's great marketing influencers and a role model for children across cultures.
Marketing role models
Is the very notion of 'role model' beginning to be a burden to our youngsters? How could that affect advertising and marketing?
"Children should be free to exercise their imagination," says a 50-year-old male. "Without limits - and that includes having to become someone 'special'."
A female media student, 20, agrees:

“Is it starting to be seen as ‘wrong’ to want to just play with makeup and clothes? What’s wrong with just being a girl?”

And finally, here's how our poll on LinkedIn is going - feel free to hop over and have your say.


Posted by Tree Elven on 08/08/2021

Keywords: NFT Barbie, NFTs, non fungible tokens, Barbie and environment, Greta Thunberg stolen childhood, children's role model dolls

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