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Barbie YouTube videos tackling childhood depression

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 | News

Mattel, the creators of the wildly popular Barbie toys, are using the immense platform of the cultural icon to talk about depression. During a weekly video series in which Barbie often discusses and addresses fairly trivial topics, the creators have made depression and mental health the central focus of an episode.


The episode in question features Barbie talking about feeling blue - the word depression is never specifically mentioned - and what she does to try and move out of a down period.


Barbie tells viewers about her routine: “So here’s some of the things I do to cheer myself up. I journal, I write, I doodle. Usually I try to do that before I go to bed at night.


The topic of depression can be a difficult one with children. Many adults simply don’t know or understand how they can approach the subject, which is what makes the vlog so important. It shows children that even Barbie, a character that has classically been portrayed as ‘perfect’, can struggle with her mental health.


I feel guilty about being sad,” explains Barbie, “because I’m supposed to be the upbeat, positive one all the time.”


One of the most important messages in the video is that it’s okay to not always feel okay. Coming to terms with depression is one of the best ways of dealing with it, rather than denying it. More than that, it’s just about realising that you are not alone.


Given the recent news about the negative effects that social media platforms can have on young people, creating a discussion about mental health will hopefully encourage more children and young adults to open up about their own problems.

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