Thursday, June 21, 2012

Plastic Yoga Teacher

There's a new yoga teacher on the block... She's got blonde hair, big boobs, wears too much make up, and I hear she lives in a beach house in Malibu and drives a pink convertible--totally missing the whole point of the practice. She's superficial and materialistic and, you know, plastic.

Introducing Yoga Teacher Barbie! (Coming soon to a Target near you!)

It's ironic, really. All the things that have always made us shake our heads about the unattainable (and maybe a little warped) idea of perfection this iconic doll represents are the very thing that make her such an imperfect yoga teacher. She falls short of what many of us consider the ideal--health conscious, strong but flexible, humble, spiritually awakened, esoteric. Big boobed, anorexic Barbie just doesn't fit the bill. Sorry Barbie! We don't want your kind here.

It's true. We LOVE to tell everyone how great yoga is for all body types. But we were talking about seniors, disabled, plus size and, well, men--not waif-like blondes and their cutesy designer dogs. (Although, maybe Barbie has a rescue Chihuahua.)

It's not all bad news, though. Yoga Teacher Barbie is part of the "I Can Be..." line of dolls that includes Engineer, Architect, Pet Vet, and Dentist Barbie. If yoga teacher is a career as desirable as engineer, it gives a lot of us more prestige and, dare I say, validates it as a profession that takes lots of skill and training. I'm just glad Barbie isn't giving up her other day jobs to pursue her dream of teaching yoga. After all a lot of teacher training programs require the salary of an architect (before the housing bubble burst) just for tuition.

Besides, if this doll sparks just a few little girls' interest learning more about the practice or enrolling in a kids yoga class, I think it's great! It might just set them on the path of a lifelong journey that we all know teaches self-acceptance, confidence to try new things, and positive body image.