Marie Louise McConville: It's time Barbie is recognised as a time-travelling force for good - not a target for criticism

It's ridiculous that some have criticised Mattel's new Barbie doll based on Jodie Whittaker's new Dr Who character. Photo: 2018 Mattel
Marie Louise McConville

Boy, we really like to complain, don't we?

It seems that no matter the subject, the product, the thinking, someone just always has to find a negative.

These last few days, it's big toy brand Mattel who have been getting it in the ear after launching a new Barbie based on Jodie Whittaker's Dr Who character.

The blonde-haired doll comes complete with signature braces, a long hooded trench-coat, high-heeled lace-up boots and a sonic screwdriver.

We're told the doll has been launched to firstly mark the first ever female Dr Who in the show's 55-year history and secondly, to coincide with a new major Barbie campaign called the `Dream Gap Project'.

The campaign, which will see Mattel work with university researchers, aims to teach young girls to believe in themselves, and not to buy into sexist gender stereotypes.

Speaking about the campaign, the company said: "Research has identified that starting at age five, many girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence in their own competence".

Sounds like a great idea.

Over the years, Barbie has taken on many roles - pilot, doctor, beach beauty, scientist, and now, sci-fi hero.

But of course, to some, this is not a good thing as the launch of the new Dr Who doll was met with criticism from some, who said they believed its release was sexist - as there has never been a male Dr Who doll.

Some also claimed the doll is 'too feminine', 'too curvy' and her blonde hair `too shiny'. In addition, some even claimed the doll did not set a good example to young girls as too big a deal is being made of the fact that the new Dr Who is a woman.

What a load of rubbish.

As a mother of a young daughter, I am more than happy for her to play with Barbies, any style, any occupation, as I did when I was little.

If anything, this new Dr Who doll only serves to further reinforce the message that young girls can achieve anything they put their minds to and can be anything they want to be - artist, astronaut, actress or time traveller.

It's time these complainers gave it a rest and just let children be children - rocket scientist or beauty therapist, it doesn't matter - as long as they are loved, cared for and inspired, anything is possible, especially when you have a sonic screwdriver.


It's all fine.

No need to panic.

I'm safe.

I survived.....well just about.

Ahead of Christmas, for the second year in a row I braved Sainsbury's fabulous half price toy sale this week and boy, was it crazy.

Up from the crack of dawn and queuing outside the shop in the darkness, I had my trolley at the ready for the shutters going up - the only problem was, I wasn't the only one.

All I can say is, it was mad and manic and absolutely bonkers - but so worth it.

I salute all my fellow toy sale shoppers from this week.

Well done, you should be proud of yourselves - now, on to the wrapping.



The festive season is fast approaching so how do you fancy kicking off the celebrations in style courtesy of Ireland's top country music star?

Nathan Carter will be returning to Bangor Elim for his Christmas Special on December 13 and I have two pairs of tickets to give away.

Fresh from performing for Pope Francis at Croke Park in the summer and having just launched his autobiography `Born For The Road', the popular singer is looking forward to the annual festive concert, which is always a sell-out.

Speaking about the event, Nathan said: “I always know it's very close to Christmas, when I'm performing at Bangor Elim and as well as performing all my hit singles, I will also sing some festive favourites along with my band”.

Tickets for the event are available from or by contacting Bangor Elim Complex on 02891 271800.

I have two pairs of tickets for the concert to give away.

If you fancy winning a pair of tickets, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

(Q) Where is Nathan Carter performing on December 13, 2018?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


The winner of The Cursed Goblet competition is Caroline Birt from Maghera

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