The Children, Childhood & Youth program at York University presents a film screening of Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (Nevins, 2018) and a fireside chat with Kim Culmone, the 2019 Alexander F. Chamberlain speaker, on Jan. 21.
Culmone, Mattel’s vice-president of Barbie design, sets the global creative vision for the No. 1 toy property in the world. She leads an award-winning team of product, packaging and graphic designers who are entrusted with maintaining the brand’s position as a leader in play innovation. Through purpose-driven, humancentric design, Culmone championed the most diverse Barbie doll line in the brand’s history. The 2016 Fashionistas collection introduced an unprecedented variety of skin tones and hair textures, and launched three new body types – curvy, tall and petite. This bold reinvention generated five billion media impressions worldwide, led to a Time Magazine cover and was named one of the “Top 25 Inventions of 2016” by the magazine.
In her 59 years, Barbie has become a fashion icon, a lightning rod and a topic among feminists. Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, featuring newly discovered footage and unprecedented access to the inner workings of a toy giant during Barbie’s biggest reinvention, surveys 60 years of women in popular culture through the lens of this 11.5-inch, Zelig-like plastic icon.
Featuring interviews with Gloria Steinem, Roxane Gay, Peggy Orenstein, Mattel insiders and cultural historians, the documentary reveals, through both funny and fascinating archival material, and fly-on-the-wall observations of Barbie’s current architects, the progression and regression in the fight for gender equality.
The event takes place Jan. 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in York’s Second Student Centre. All are welcome.