You Need To Stand Up And Clap For The 8-Year-Old Girl Who Schooled ‘Dwell’ On Architect Barbie

Out of the mouths of babes, indeed! Wherever you are, work, at home, or standing before the dishwasher awaiting another load of dry laundry, you seriously need to applaud 8-year-old Olivia Steger for her letter to the editors of Dwell. Really. You better be clapping.

The Huffington Post reports that the mini Dwell reader took some time out her busy tween schedule to share some comments on the magazine’s summer article entitled “Girl Talk.” The little girl had some of her  own opinions to add to the debate on the validity of Architect Barbie:

“If you’re going to send a girl an Architect Barbie, then you should send something about architecture with it so that she knows what the doll means,” Olivia emailed to the publication. “Otherwise, she might use the doll for a different purpose, like putting its clothes on a different Barbie and forgetting about it…Also you could send the girl a link to the Floyd Loyd Wright Architect Studio 3D, so she could build a house in 3-D. I myself like architecture books on Frank Loyd Wright, but that might not encourage all girls because, after all, Frank Loyd Wright was a man…”architect barbie

The letter to the editor, which was originally spotted by Jessica Valenti, demonstrates not only some acute observations by a kid, but also the gusty-ness to share these comments with a non-kiddie publication. Kudos to these Dwell editors for publishing the perspective of Miss Olivia and bringing the Frank Loyd Wright enthusiast into the robust conversation on girls and stereotypes within “girl” sanctioned toys. While many of us may carry opposing views on this topic (and many others in the parenting world), fostering our daughters to speak their opinions — even where they are not necessarily warranted — is another sorely needed component in the much larger discussion on how we raise thoughtful, intelligent girls.


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