It wouldn’t be 2023 without at least one Barbie story related (sort of) to pharmacy. You’re welcome.

A study out of Indiana University — published in the BMJ — looked at the medical professions Barbie has held and found some serious shortcomings.

For one thing, she’s never been a pharmacist, although she has been various types of physician (including an ophthalmologist three times), nurse, dentist, and paramedic. She’s almost always adult and female*, and she’s usually white.

But perhaps most shockingly…

[N]o doll fully met professional safety standards for their respective fields. For example, 98% of the Barbie brand doctor dolls came with stethoscopes, but only 4% had face masks and none had disposable gloves.

It gets worse! More than two thirds of medical-pro Barbies…

… also wore loose hair, and more than half wore high heeled shoes, even in settings where this would be discouraged or actively prohibited for safety reasons.

It gets even worse when Barbie’s younger sister, Chelsea, gets involved. Wrote the study’s author:

“She looks to be under age 10 but is working with an alcohol burner and glassware, and it doesn’t look like there is an adult there to help her. I just thought, ‘who would leave a kid alone with alcohol burners?’”


* Well, duh.