Last week, a good friend sent me a link to Reverend Barbie, the creation of a woman Episcopal priest who thought kids might be curious about and want to play with religious vestments that go along with the office of the priesthood.
As a feminist, I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Barbie. But if I’m going to be totally honest with myself, I’ll admit that I fall more along the “love” end of the spectrum. Unrealistic body types and gender stereotypes aside, I loved my Barbies when I was a little girl (and, okay, as a not-so-little girl, too), and they truly were the main tool I used for understanding the world. Although I could do without the “pinkification” of every imaginable career, I do like the fact that Barbie does hold almost every imaginable career. What a girl can imagine is the first step toward what she can be.
Although Mattel doesn’t endorse or produce Reverend Barbie (which is obvious from the high quality and accuracy of her robes), she might be able to do what CTA still hasn’t: inspire a new generation of girls to see themselves as religious leaders. Creator Rev. Julie Blake Fisher plans to add an African American Bishop Barbie and a Cathedral Dean Ken doll. They will presumably all be Episcopalian, but I’m putting my money on Rev. Fisher to bring a woman to the Catholic priesthood before Rome does.