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IS THE BARBIE DOLL "A HEALTHY IMAGE" FOR THE WNBA TIE-IN?
Published February 24, 1998
The relationship between the WNBA and Mattel's "Barbie" doll was examined by Barbara Kingsley of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Kingsley: "Barbie, a symbol to some of image enslavement, meets the WNBA, the league that represents the beginning of female empowerment through professional athletics." Janice Rocco, President of the L.A. chapter of NOW: "It's unfortunate that's the image they're using. Women can be attractive and feminine, which certain women in the WNBA have proven. Women as role models help women to aspire to a healthy image. Barbie is not a healthy image." WNBA President Val Ackerman argues that Barbie's "image has changed," along with "the perception of women." Ackerman, noting "achieving" dolls such as doctor and astronaut Barbies: "Now pro basketball is one of those. We're proud to be a part of that." Women's Sports Foundation Exec Dir Donna Lopiano: "Barbie is perfect in showing that we're in the midst of change. Anything heading in that direction is good." Kingsley: "Barbie is good business. To the WNBA, Barbie is a symbol of broader marketing for the league and bigger bucks" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/23). NOTES: The ABL's '99 All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, January 24 at the San Jose Arena. All-Star Weekend festivities will again include a slam dunk contest and three-point shootout (ABL)....USA Basketball elected the ABL and WNBA into active membership, bringing its total active members to 15. Active members have voting representation at meetings of USA Basketball Congress (USA Basketball).