Barbie. Women and girls of all ages know about this global icon. The doll who has probably worked every job under the sun. From being an astronaut to president of America. Travelling the world as an air hostess to now being a boss bitch music producer. Barbie inspires gals and gays all over the world to be who they want to be.
Co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler, introduced the doll for the first time in March 1959. In her 1994 autobiography, Handler says:
“My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.” She wants every girl to grow up feeling they can be anything they want to be, no matter who she is.
As it stands, women make up less than 3% of music producers in the music industry. That includes DJs, mixers, audio engineers, songwriters...you name it. Barbie ain’t having it and has partnered up with actress, singer-songwriter and music producer Ester Dean and Girls makes Beats, a non-profit organisation that “empowers girls by expanding the female presence of music producers, DJS and audio engineers” to create a new line of Barbie dolls in the form of music producers. Girls makes Beats was founded in 2012 by certified audio engineer, Tiffany “Delilah” Miranda.
In a YouTube video, where Barbie interviews her, Ester Dean talks about the differences between writing a song and producing a song. Ester says the difference is that producing a song is the music. When you hear the voice/lyrics, that’s the writing. Her advice to girls who want to start in the music industry is follow your magic. Find what makes you sparkle and talk about your emotions. It is all about affirmations. More is good.
The organisation that partnered alongside Barbie and Ester Dean, Girls makes Beats (GMB), works with girls aged 5 to 17 through educational seminars, summer camps, industry panels and networking events. GMB furthers their careers as music producers, DJs and sound engineers through courses on leading industry hardware and software. Through this collaboration, Barbie is funding scholarships with GMB so even more girls are given access to their future careers.
So, what is a music producer? According to Indeed, a music producer, also known as a record producer, is a person who manages the recording process for bands, singers or other musicians. Their main duties include overseeing the recording sessions, managing budgets and giving the artists and audio engineers clear directions and visions for each song.
As a young woman, I am so happy to see that Mattel is producing dolls that are inclusive and accessible to girls of all ages and backgrounds. They are a great example of a company that is fighting for equality in every industry, especially the music industry.