Essay on Barbie: The Queen of Feminism

Essay on Barbie: The Queen of Feminism

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When I was very young, I owned very many Barbie dolls. To me, they were just so beautiful, and flawless, and I loved them very much. But the Barbie that said the most to me was the President Barbie. This spoke to me. It said that anyone, anywhere, of any gender, socioeconomic status, background, sexuality, ethnicity, race, or belief system could be anything they ever wanted to be, as long as they worked hard enough to achieve it. And this is a very important message, and it is a message that Barbie sends to people every day, all over the world.
One day, as Ruth Handler watched her daughter play with paper dolls, she noticed that often the dolls were put into adult scenarios, such as grocery shopping, working, et cetera (“The Creation of Barbie”). As most dolls in this era, the 1950’s, were either babies or small children, Handler got an idea: what if she created an adult doll (“The Creation of Barbie”)? So, she drew up a design for one, and she named her Barbie, after her daughter, Barbara (“The Creation of Barbie”). Then, in 1959, Mattel, a huge and very popular toy company, picked up the idea (“The Creation of Barbie”). Barbie made her first appearance in New York, at the annual toy fair (“The Creation of Barbie”). That year, 351,000 Barbie dolls were sold, which was a sales record in America (“The Creation of Barbie”). Today, Barbie continues to be the most popular doll in the world, with two sold every minute (“The Creation of Barbie”).
When Barbie first premiered, feminism in America was on the back burner (Hannam), and was little talked of. It’s said that with the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, in 1920, waves of feminism died down, as it was commonly thought that women had been given complete equal rights, and they sho...


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...sity of Florida. 2007. Web. 1 Nov. 2013.
Hannam, June. Women's History, Feminist History. Making History. Web.
1 Nov. 2013.
Walsh, Kenneth. The 1960's: A Decade of Change for Women. US News. 2010. Web
1 Nov. 2013
“A Barbie World.” Allure Magazine. 2009. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
“Toys Shape Your Kid’s Beliefs about Gender, Personality, and Life.”
Little Fluffy Toys. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
“Barbie’s Positive Influence.” The University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
McPherson, Kate. “Barbie Can Teach Girls about More than Body Image.”
The Oklahoma Daily. 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Ann, Corrine. (2012, Oct. 6). “Barbie and Her Positive Influence on Me.” I Graduated, No
What? Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
Prager, Emily. (1997). “Our Barbie’s, Ourselves.” Connelly, Mark (Ed. 5). The Sundance Writer:
A Rhetoric, Reader, and Research Guide (145-6). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

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