Yesterday featured some wonderful tweets of pictures taken from a Barbie book, but with adapted wording. I enjoyed reading them but wasn’t clear where all this had come from, assuming a new Barbie book had just been released. Apparently though the book was published a year ago, and is astonishingly bad:
… a Barbie book that you’ve assumed, based on the title Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer, will be an empowering look at how Barbie can become a computer programmer …
According to the book’s lone 3-star reviewer … Barbie is all about coming up with game ideas, but she needs her male friends to actually code her games and manages to ruin both her computer and Skipper’s with a computer virus.
Of course, her guy-friends have to fix those busted computers for her, too …
Unbelievable! But true, apparently.
The good news is that various people took it upon themselves to rewrite the text in a way that has a much better grasp on reality. One of them was Brianna Wu, herself a game developer. Her tweets on the topic have been turned into a single page for ease of reading.
Others joined the party too. This panel from YourAnonNews caught my eye.
They also led me to Feminist Hacker Barbie where you can make your own panels. Here’s one I made.
Have a bit of fun and give it a go yourself.
Update: I should really have included this link too. Barbie, Remixed: I (really!) can be a computer engineer. | Casey Fiesler. Thanks @trishroque.
And another update:
The Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer book was published in 2010. Since that time we have reworked our Barbie books. The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn’t reflect the Brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for. We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologize that this book didn’t reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girls imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character.