Did you know that Barbie went to the moon before women could have their own credit cards?

Invented in 1959, the trail-blazing doll depicted a woman who could have any career she wanted, whether it be an astronaut, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, or President of the United States. And this summer, Greta Gerwig’s movie “Barbie” shined a new pink light on the doll’s history.

“The ‘Barbie’ movie flipped a script for me,” says Upper School Literacy Coordinator Chris Hughes. “I used to think of pink as easy, soft, fuzzy. But now, I see it as an alarm signaling something new and exciting as opposed to being soft and background noise.”

To join the conversation on female empowerment, Hughes curated a Power of Pink display on the second floor of Rivers Library inspired by the film, complete with a Barbie dream house, Barbie dolls, and a selection of books that celebrate women for readers in grades 7-12. She also created a quiz starring famous female figures dressed as Barbies, from Rosa Parks Barbie to Frida Kahlo Barbie. During their breaks, Upper School students have been grabbing a quiz sheet and making their guesses of who’s who.

“It’s about bringing awareness about what it means to be a woman in today’s world,” Hughes says. “I hope the students strike up conversations about it, and I want to encourage them to do all you can not to be pigeonholed into one role or another.”

STAY TUNED | The Power of Pink display will be adapted to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. “We will keep finding ways to bring in pink so it’s not stigmatized as ‘girly’ but that it’s a symbol of power,” Hughes says.