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Life in Plastic not Fantastic: Barbie Redefined

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Blake Mohler

on 16 April 2012

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Transcript of Life in Plastic not Fantastic: Barbie Redefined

Life in Plastic, Not Fantastic Redefining a Barbie World Blake Mohler Orlando Acevedo Ethan Johnson Becca Schafer Abby Savage The Barbie IQ Quiz Can you outsmart Barbie? Which of these pets has Barbie not had? Chimpanzee
Lion Cub Which of these naturally occuring substances
does phthalates (a common plasticizer used
in the process of creating Barbie) imitate
if ingested? Estrogen
Pheromones Barbie has over 50 pets, but an ostrich isn't one of them. Estrogen...this may be bad if your
boy plays with Barbies and decides to
ingest one This past Feburary, how much less did
the African-American Barbie cost at the
local Wal-Mart in comparison to the
$5.95 white Barbie? $4.99
They thought she wasn't worth putting on the shelves $2.99 $2.99 How many different fashion designs
has Mattel created for Barbie
over the years? 1000
over 1,000,000,000 Mattel has lost count, but over 1 billion is their best guess. The official Mattel website informs that it closed its last
American toy factory in 2002, and by 2007 Mattel's toys
were mostly manufactured: in European plants
in South American plants
at plants in undiclosed plants
by subcontractors in China This way, Mattel isn't as
responsible for actions
taken in the plants to produce
their products. In order to keep "private" information
from reaching the public, Mattel has: Voluntarily delisted itself from online business directories
Excluded call back information from the packaging of its toys
increased the number of P.R. employees to ward off inquisitive customers
Discontinued the use of brochures and other promotional material Although all of the others are pretty good
guesses, too. Which of the following Barbie dolls
was actually manufactured and sold
by Mattel? Summit Barbie (introduced in 1980 to commemorate the end of the Cold War)
Army Barbie (introduced in 1992 as a medic sergeant enlisted in Desert Storm)
Oreo Barbie (a African-American Barbie introduced in 1997 in collaboration with Nabisco)
Friendship Barbie (introduced in 1990 to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall) All of them! What are the take home wages of the workers
that make Barbie dolls in the factories? $1/hour
$3.50/hour Mattel's CEO took home seven digits
in 2006 Which of these interesting comments is recorded on the Teen Talk Barbie's talkbox? Let's see what's in Mommy's medicine cabinet!
Math class is tough!
If I had more clothes, I'd be happy!
Abstainers are gainers! Which of these actions should you take against Mattel if you feel that they are in the wrong? Throw stones at the Mattel headquaters
Keep Barbie dolls out of the household
Join a boycott/sign a petition (searching Google is a good way to get started)
Recycle plastic All of them! Although the rock idea might get you in trouble... Environmental & Health Barbies are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is 43% petroleum and 57% chlorine from industrial salt. PVC is also widely used in the medical field because it is durable, flexible and lightweight. Industrial salt is mined from the earth by causing explosions into large caverns. Diesel-powered machines then harvest the salt. Salt mining is a very dangerous industry, with 38.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers in the U.S. in 2001. PVC does not biodegrade or degrade. Instead in granulizes, which means it only breaks into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are easier for animals to ingest. PVC is difficult to recycle because additives like stabilizers and plasticizers are not recyclable and can even contaminate other plastics. Most recycled PVC cannot be used in medical supplies for fear of contamination. These additives have also been linked to health issues in humans. Plasticizers, known as phthalates, do not bond to PVC and can leach off. This is especially dangerous since phthalates are found in teething rings and other toys likely to end up in a child’s mouth. Phthalates act like hormones in the body, namely estrogen. This could lead to sexual developmental issues, even in small doses. The timing of the contamination is more of a determinant than the size. Phthalates have been shown to reduce sperm count, enlarge the liver, cause cardiac and respiratory arrest. Another contaminant in plastics is Bisphenol-A (BPA), which can also act like estrogen. It has been linked to aneuploidy, which causes miscarriages or mental retardation if the pregnancy is carried to term. Down syndrom, Edwards syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, Cri du chat syndrome, and Alzeheimer’s disease have been linked to BPA. Sweatshops “It isn’t the factory itself. The factory knows the standards set by the U.S. mother companies. But as the workers are hired by someone else for a period of 120 days, it is easy to fire us after 118 days of work. Very often we are hired again the very same day we are fired for another period of 120 days.”

~Anonymous Worker #1 "It sometimes gets so hot and moist in here that some of us faint."

~Anonymous Worker #2 “Barbie is powerful. Three friends have already died. If they kill me, who will ever know I lived?”

Dynamics Factory Worker $7, 278,178 “What you are doing is hurting your country. You cannot continue to investigate Seagate [another factory in Thailand] or any other foreign investor. You are a threat to the workers of this country”

~ Stapron Kavitanon
First secretary of the prime minister of Thailand
Director-general of the Thai Board of Investment “We were practically raised by Barbie and it has become a part of our lives.”

~Anonymous Worker #3 “I'd never seen anything as beautiful as Barbie. I loved the dolls so much. I really miss my job.”

~Anonymous Worker #4 “Important shortfalls wages and working hours, health and safety standards, and environmental protection,” workers were exposed to “air, ground, and water contamination.”

~Official Mattel Report for “Plant 18” “When production is outsourced to Chinese factories infamous for paying their workers pennies an hour, dumping toxic sludge into the environment and for covering up all kinds of health hazards, it should come as no shock that the products turned out by those factories pose a danger to our own health.”

~Senator Byron Dorgan Social Influence Barbie was introduced in 1959 after WWII with the intention
of influencing girls to get out of the house and do "independent"
things such as shop. Her body was originally shaped by
designer Dior, her figure being one which
contributed to the sexualization of women. Her image of beauty was a shift from the regular body shape of women that suggested a change in the way they maintained themselves. A study was performed in which Barbie’s proportions were blown up to life size and it was found that her body type was near impossible, with one in 100,000 women being able to come close to it. If exact, a woman would not be able to support her own body. Mattel is one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world, which is impressive... The chances of a man matching Ken’s body type are 1 in 50, a lot more realistic. A study was performed in which girls who were read stories of shopping and birthday parties were exposed to pictures of Barbie. The ones who saw the pictures expressed dislike for their own body types afterwards and the ones who didn’t were satisfied with their own image. A woman who idolized the doll considered herself a real-life Barbie, an extreme case of its influences, and spent spent £500,000 on plastic surgery to modify her body and face. Barbie’s feet are constantly tip-toed, making her unable to stand by herself. All of Barbie’s accessories upon her introduction, would have been unaffordable to the poorer populations, which were mostly African-Americans. A study was conducted that found that most of the African-American girls involved viewed the white Barbie as more beautiful than the black Barbie, despite the similarities to their own skin color, suggesting a negative self-image. Wal-Mart deemed it necessary to make the African-American Barbies’ price half of the white Barbies’ price in order to sell more this past February. Corporate Secrecy The barrier to effective organizational gorvernment • Where is corporate secrecy found?
• How is it practiced within the business world?
• Why is the process of corporate secrecy encouraged?
• What business procedures are companies hiding from consumers?
• Examples of companies that have practiced/are practicing corporate secrecy Existing checks on corporate secrecy have been proven ineffective •Deterrence •Government action •Consumer Action Issues How to take action against Mattel, Barbie, and Plastic Production Abuse Joining a boycott is always an option. Just "google" it to get started! Write letters to prominent Children's TV show producers who partner with Mattel.The students at Crittenden Middle School wrote notes to Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods expressing their dissapointment that the two athletes were still choosing to be sponsored by Nike during the famous Nike sweatshop boycott. If parents don't like Barbie's social messages,
then they should try to keep the doll out of
the household. Dr. Berg's arch nemisis: the Disney Princess Barbie If keeping the doll out of the house is too difficult
or becomes too opressive, then look at the bright side
of Barbie:
Barbie has almost always been portrayed as financially independent
Barbie partakes in many physical activities and leads a robust, outgoing life
Barbie has an incredibly diverse set of career options Recycling plastic will certainly help our environment, and will also lower the need for new plastic to be produced. Information is readily available on government websites and there are many privately owned plastic recycling companies springing up all over the world.

One could even start his or her own recycling
plant using a fairly new technology called Vinyloop. It is certainly untrue for one to make the comment “There is nothing I can do!” 6,553 ...considering they make clothes for dolls Ways to Reduce Corporate Secrecy
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