1999 – In The iBook Disaster, John C. Dvorak dissed the iBook design as a “girly” computer, saying, “The only thing missing from the new Apple iBook is the Barbie logo.”
After the US women’s soccer team once again legitimized women’s sports, what’s wrong with a little “girl power” in the boring world of personal computing? And just last week HP removed the glass ceiling and appointed Carly Fiorina as president and CEO, proving women and technology do mix.
Then again, who better to brighten up the computing world with a “girl friendly” machine than the iMac company, Apple Computer?
From the Mattel side, Barbie used to be simply a well shaped shell for girls to dress up. You bought the doll; you bought lots of clothes. Today Barbie can be a Malibu beach babe, a doctor, or anything else.
She’s acquired a slightly more realistic figure and been liberated from the stereotype of blonde ditz clothes horse. Whoever Barbie is today, she is her own woman.
Putting it all together, Apple and Mattel both know how to market. A hot pink BarbiBook could be just what the doctor ordered to have 12-year-old girls salivating for a G3. Team Barbie with the iBook and imagine the possibilities.
After all, it isn’t just horsepower, 0-60 acceleration, or miles per gallon that sells cars. Looks count.
The same goes for computers, ever since the iMac.
How about it, Steve, could you do the iBook in Barbie pink? (Not only could you sell the Barbie crowd, but there’s this cosmetic company with pink cars….)
Art by email@example.com, who has also done art for iBook Zone.
- The iBook Disaster, John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, 1999.07.26. “I suppose I shouldn’t say this, but I can only describe it as a ‘girly’ machine.”
- The Barbie Fixation, Janelle Brown, Salon, 1999.07.28. “…Dvorak’s article is chock-full of sexist stereotypes.”
- ‘Girly’ iBook Not Worthy of Men, Polly Sprenger, Wired, 1999.07.29.
- Will a Barbie Computer Make Math Easy?, Salon, 1999.08.04. Mattel really is releasing a Barbie computer, but it’s no iBook or Mac.
- Bankruptcy Crashes the Barbie PC, Cnet, 2002.01.02. Barbie and Hot Wheels PCs debuted in the summer of 1999.
Keywords: #barbibook #barbie #girlycomputer #pinkibook #johncdvorak #barbiecomputer
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