Barbie Becomes a Computer Engineer

2010 February 12
by Terri

As many of you heard, Mattel had allowed internet voting to get help in choosing Barbie’s next career. The choice was announced: the girls wanted Barbie to be a news anchor. But that’s not the end of the story…

Consumers loudly campaigned for another Barbie® career. The winner of the popular vote is Computer Engineer. Computer Engineer Barbie®, debuting in Winter 2010, inspires a new generation of girls to explore this important high-tech industry, which continues to grow and need future female leaders.

“All the girls who imagine their futures through Barbie will learn that engineers — like girls — are free to explore infinite possibilities, limited only by their imagination,” says Nora Lin, President, Society of Women Engineers. “As a computer engineer, Barbie will show girls that women can turn their ideas into realities that have a direct and positive impact on people’s everyday lives in this exciting and rewarding career.”

(That’s from the official press release)

You can take a look at Computer Engineer Barbie’s fact sheet on their press release site, or check out coverage elsewhere. There are more pictures on the Barbie media site, although apparently you have to click to download the high-res ones if you want more than a head and shoulders view.

It’s neat that they asked some actual women engineers about what clothes and accessories Computer Engineer Barbie should have. Although I’d have traded those leggings for blue jeans, I know plenty of geeky women who’d wear a binary shirt. It is interminably weird to imagine Barbie as a potential coworker, though!

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This post was written by terri.

Terri is a web security researcher, open source developer, teacher, amateur photographer, naturalist, geek, gamer, musician, and woman in technology. She blogs/tweets under the name terriko, and maintains a web security blog at

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22 Responses
  1. Jazmin permalink
    February 12, 2010

    So where can I get one? Great gift.
    - Jazmin

    • Terri permalink*
      February 12, 2010

      Apparently you’ll be able to pre-order Computer Engineer Barbie at MattelShop but I didn’t see her for sale yet when I looked briefly and all the pink and stereotypes hurt my brain. (My grandmother collects Barbies, though, so I’ll be getting one for her!)

      • Jazmin permalink
        February 12, 2010

        Yeah my boyfriend’s mother collects Barbies. This would be a perfect addition to the princesses.

      • Loquacity permalink
        February 16, 2010

        I braved the pinkification and found it! Shipping in December 2010, by the looks.


        • Jess permalink
          February 18, 2010

          I’m so excited (in spite of the eye-searing pink and the Fox News reporter look-alike).

  2. bibliotrek permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Now if only they would explain why she requires a bright pink laptop…

    • Terri permalink*
      February 12, 2010

      Plenty of real women geeks enjoy bright pink laptops, so that actually doesn’t bug me as much as it would have when I was younger and they were uncommon.

      • Carla Schroder permalink
        February 13, 2010

        You know what is cool about pink? Boys and men won’t touch it. Women mechanics, for one example, learned that if they use pink tools the guys won’t “borrow” them. The power of pink!

      • Mackenzie permalink
        February 14, 2010

        ZaReason started offering the laptop I bought from them in pink like 2 months after I bought it. Jealous.

  3. Tricia permalink
    February 12, 2010

    I was hoping that Computer Engineer Barbie came in something other than the pink and blonde stereotype but alas it didn’t. At least I didn’t see any multicultural variations on their website. I’ll just have to wait for the Ubuntu Barbie.

    • Leigh Honeywell permalink*
      February 12, 2010

      Barbie-modding time! :)

    • Alan Bell permalink
      February 13, 2010

      Ubuntu or Kubuntu?

  4. Jaime Schmidts permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Blond haired pink loving barbies can be computer engineers too :D.

  5. Wenonah permalink
    February 12, 2010

    Well, this is much better than the “Baby Doctor Barbie” they were advertising last year. I guess they thought that little girls wouldn’t understand Pediatrician?

  6. February 12, 2010

    the binary on her laptop actually spells something when read as ascii! It says barbie barbie barbie barbie… that’s pretty neat. :)

  7. Michael Granger permalink
    February 12, 2010

    The “t-shirt featuring binary code” kills me, but I have to give them props for the binary on her laptop. In ASCII it’s: “Bar”.

  8. Kimberly permalink
    February 13, 2010

    What’s up with the glasses?

    • Terri permalink*
      February 16, 2010

      I thought they were too stereotypical too at first glance, but the more I think about it, the more I like them. I don’t think very many barbie dolls have glasses, and I’ll bet she’ll make a lot of glasses-wearing little girls happy. Plus, it’s a nice statement for those girls that glasses can be an accessory for a fashion doll.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Computer Engineer Barbie | Impromptus
  2. Barbie Computer Engineer coming your way! « Engineering Gal's Insights
  3. Muskoka Mac User Group
  4. Link(s): Mon, Jan 25th, 11pm to Wed, Feb 17th, 1pm | Your Revolution (The Blog!)

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