Blond hair, long legs and blue eyes have taken the world by storm especially young women. But the most ironic thing about this phenomenon is that this perfect description of a lady is trapped in an eleven and a half inch plastic doll. Barbie dolls have swept lots of young girls off their feet when stores started selling dolls decades ago. Up to this date, many young girls are wishing to receive Barbie dolls as presents for their birthdays, Christmas and other occasions. The image of Barbie has become iconic with its perfect body, long hair and legs, and tantalizing blue eyes. More than being a doll for young girls and even adults, Barbie has said to be the epitome of what girls should be. More than perceiving the dolls as something kids can play with, it turned out to be the desire of young girls. These young girls wanted to have a Barbie doll or two for themselves for fun but in the process they are being led to believe that the ideal and reality of being a woman is that of the measurement of Barbie’s body. In this regard, it cannot be denied that Barbie has a great influence in the process of setting the mind of the young girls as to what they should become in later on in their lives (Plumb, 97). It might not be explicitly stated but the fact remains that the exposure to the image of Barbie has enabled the young girls to think that they should look like Barbie although in reality it is not achievable. A waistline like that of Barbie is not the achievable in real life but still both young girls and mature women are falling into such a prey. Bottom line is they want to become more like Barbie. Beauty is Barbie, or so they think.
It was in 1959 that Barbie Millicent Roberts was launched to the public. Since then, the life of women and as that of Barbie has changed. She was launched with a black and white swimsuit and wearing a swirly ponytail. With such a perfect body figure, girls have swooned over owning one of those pretty Barbie dolls. However, with the increase of sales of the dolls is the increase of the rates of anorexia among women as well (Rogers, 119). It is said that the image of Barbie has been the primary cause of the increased rate of anorexia. This might be true since Barbie has been created so perfect and women and young girls alike want to be like her. The release of Barbie made an impact on the way people, both women and men, perceive the woman’s body. Beauty has been measured not based on the attitudes and skills but rather on their waistline measurement. All that matters now is how they look. Since Barbie is an epitome of a perfect girls are having fun playing with her, dressing her up and end up imagining and wishing that they will be like her—so beautiful and desirable. In this regard, women and girls have changed their perception of themselves. They started to think that in order to become beautiful they should look like Barbie. Without them realizing, Barbie has been changing the ways they think and how they act. Everything is about Barbie. But then again, one question has to be answered in regards with the image of Barbie. What is the extent to which the image of Barbie has affected the standard of beauty in the perception of men and women, boys and girl? Whether the creator of Barbie would agree or not, the image of Barbie has somewhat altered how the society perceived beauty and how women see themselves in the mirror.
Barbie dolls have a certain connection with women. As a matter of fact, it affects the emotions and the minds of both adult and young girls because of the fact that the creation of Barbie is the result and outcome of the passion of women. It has to be remembered that Barbie was not created out of nothing. It is created with such great inspiration that comes from the conscious or subconscious mind (Singleton, 8). Humans do things that they are passionate about. They rebel for liberation and freedom if they are being suppressed or if their passions and desires have no way to be realized. Hence, in the creation of Barbie, it cannot be denied that she was created out of the desire of the creator to create a perfect epitome of what woman should be or with the hope that girls and women would realize that being pretty is all that matters. Barbie appeals to the emotions and sensuality of women. Being perceived as desirable, Barbie made every young and adult woman to want to be like her (Gerber, 19). With this, it has encouraged lots of young girls and adult women to do everything within their might to be like her. At young age, reports have showed that a whole lot of girls are engaging into diets with a hope that they can achieve the same waistline as that of Barbie. This is not to say that dieting is bad. As a matter of fact, living a healthy lifestyle is so important that people who are overweight are being encouraged to go on a healthy diet and to lose the excess weight. But the difference between the encouraged diet and that which is Barbie inspired is the fact that the diet is becoming a threat to the health of these young and adult girls.
Hence, most of the young girls are getting anorexic and sick with the wrong attitude towards dieting and beauty. Regardless of the argument that Barbie is not trying to influence young girls and women into achieving the same body figure like that of Barbie, it cannot be denied that women do look up to Barbie and to everything about her. With the passing time and with the increasing sales of Barbie dolls, she has become the symbol of everything that women want to be when they get older, what they want their body to be and what kind of lifestyle they want for themselves as well. But then again, not all things about Barbie are attainable. Her body measurement is not realistic (Man-Kong, 117). But the lifestyles can be attained. It can be seen that Barbie has a good lifestyle. Fashion, beauty, and jewelleries are the names of her game. Every Barbie doll that is being sold in the market has some sort of clothes collection and jewelleries that are needed to be bought as well but separately. Hence, it can be seen that it will require more money to get a collection. In this regard, Barbie is posing an extravagant life which will also affect the minds of the young girls in both good and bad ways. The bad effect of posing an extravagant life is the fact that the young girls would want to get a whole bunch of collection of Barbie clothes and jewelleries. It has to be remembered that these clothes and accessories are not cheap. They come with a high price (Melillo, 97). Therefore, those who cannot afford to buy it themselves would feel some sort of self-pity and envy. Instead of developing and improving the right attitudes among kids, Barbie is exposing them into a world of useless extravagant life.
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The good thing about this image, on the other hand, is the fact that these young girls are learning how to dream. Hence, it can be seen that Barbie can be inspiring as well. Since she has been one of the idol and icon of the modern day woman, many young girls will be inspired to have the same lifestyle. They might in the process be able to understand that in order to get the same lifestyles as that of Barbie, they need to study hard and get a good job in the future and enjoy a good life. However, this situation needs the careful guidance of parents and older people to make the young girls understand that Barbie should not be the basic foundation of your life and that they should not compare themselves to her (Lord, 59).
With all the foregoing, the image of Barbie can be said to be clouded with negative perceptions among some feminists. But it should not be forgotten that everything has been created for a purpose. Maybe Barbie has been created for sole entertainment only and is not meant to create any harm to the society. However, since the effects of the minds of both young and adult girls are apparent, it is but high time for the society to take full responsibility for it and to stop blaming each other. Yes, the rate of anorexic is increasing and the society has viewed the beauty to be skinny, long legs, blue eyes and long hair. But so what? This is the best time to remind the society that there is more to life and beauty than physical appearance. Outward appearance will face (Boy, 119). Five to ten years from now, each one of the members of the society will look like trampled paper on the floor. Physical appearance will fade and there is no way that it can be prevented regardless of the existence of plastic surgery and beauty technologies.
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