SBD/24/Leagues Governing Bodies

IS THE BARBIE DOLL "A HEALTHY IMAGE" FOR THE WNBA TIE-IN?

          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).

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